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Welcome to the new season of 2018
Remembering Adrian Zissos
As many of you have heard, Alberta’s orienteering community lost a wonderful member last week when Adrian Zissos died suddenly of a heart attack while doing what he loved - being outdoors and skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
We wish Adrian's Family our most sincere condolences in their tragic loss.
For those of you who didn't know Adrian, he was a major presence in orienteering, in addition to just being a wonderful friend to many. He was a driving force behind all things orienteering in Calgary, Alberta and Canada over the past decades.
Sometime in May or June, there will be a celebration of Adrian’s life, to which orienteers from across Canada and all Adrian’s other circles of friends etc will be welcome. This will be planned later and no date is set yet.
To share memories of Adrian, a Facebook group has been set up: Remembering Adrian Zissos if you would like to join to read and express memories and stories.
He will be deeply missed in our community.
What's happening in 2018 ?
AOA Strategic planning and club collaboration
As a continuum from the AOA Retreat and feedback from our members, the AOA Board of Directors has been busy creating a new Strategic Plan, which will outline the AOA goals for the next 3 years.
The strategic plan is based on Alberta Sport Connection Accountability Framework for funded Provincial Organizations to deliver Quality Sport in Alberta.
After the initial excitement and positive respond from the members, AOA and the Clubs representatives established the Team Alberta Committee to initiate and guide this new program development.
Thank you for Clarence Kort, Dorothy Penner, Peter Mckenzie, Magali Robert, Michael Svoboda, Danielle Nadeau-McMillan for their commitment.
AOA Board is in the process of finalizing the committee Program Design and hoping to start finding interested participants, coaches, and resources to start with some program delivery soon. Stay tuned with our communication channels to receive more information.The focus will be on supporting the competitive orienteering experience for all levels.
AOA and the Be Fit For Life Network have partnered to create a new resource for outreach.There are lesson plans that are designed for use in a variety of settings, including school, recreation, sport and community programs. AOA has started to work with communities to raise interest and implement this program which anticipated to raise awareness about orienteering and helping to find "local champions" for O program development. Let us know if you know someone who would be interested creating or supporting outreach programs.Check out the details on our website: Orange Marks the Spot- Outdoor Adventure Program. The first Outdoor Adventure program is on the way to start in May with Sport for Life Cochrane partnership.
Officials and Coaches:
Most of the orienteering events and activities require a qualified Official and /or Coach support and leadership. It takes lots of time, effort and enthusiasm to make orienteering happen. Thank you for the many volunteers who engage in officiating and coaching to make this possible.
Good to know:
The Officials certification process is governed by Orienteering Canada and AOA has been working closely with the OC Officials committee to confirm the certified official's list and keep track of the activities in our province.
The Coaching certification is governed by Coaching Association Canada through NCCP and we are in the process of training and certifying many new coaches to support the growth of the junior programs.
Great website for orienteering specific information about Coaching certification is: Get Coaching!
If you are interested becoming an official or coach to support your local club and have any questions don't hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Risk management and policies alignment
Great progress started with the collaboration of the Clubs, AOA and Orienteering Canada aligning policies to ensure our sport and operation not only fun and safe but also ensure quality sport experience for everyone.We have a busy workgroup doing lots of groundwork so let us know if you want to join Kim Kaperski, Andree Powers & Kitty Jones with the fascinating word of document review and writing.Thanks for your continued support to make Alberta Orienteering successful. Check out our new Concussion in Sports page to learn about how AOA helps participants to stay safe.
Provincial Events in 2018
Please support these events by attending to complement the
2018 Highlights for all levels from beginners to old-timers:
April 28- FWOC's annual Prairie Opener - Join us at Rumsey for the first event of the season - a terrific run over rolling hills. Hopefully, the snow will melt, check back for updates.
May 6-EEOC's annual Morningside which is a little north of Lacombe.
May 25 - 27 - Alberta Orienteering Skills Camp at Kamp Kiwanis. Join us for some awesome orienteering on 3 different maps, planned by Raphael Ferrand and coached by FWOC's veteran orienteers. Registration is open now! The weekend will conclude with a forest event on the Elbow Bluffs map!
August 17-24 - North American and Canadian championships 2018 NAOC and COC in Whitehorse, Yukon. All levels are welcome, if you are contemplating about great summer vacations destination don't hesitate to add this to your list.
September22-23 (tentative) – Alberta Orienteering Championships and Recreational Orienteering hosted by EOOC.
AOA Retreat and AGM November 2-4 at Deer Valley Meadows.
For a full list of upcoming events, you can always visit our website EVENTS page.
Join us for the provincial camp near Calgary, it will be a great one - for all levels from beginners to veterans!
Click on the picture to REGISTER before MAY 1st to get the early bird price.
Message from the President
It has been five months since I became president of the AOA and I have been very impressed with the support and engagement of all the AOA board members, as well as our outstanding Executive Director, Bogi. It is very comforting to know that there is a wealth of experience I can rely on at times when I feel a little out of my depth. If only I could access that same experience when I’m lost in the forest! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the members that stepped up to volunteer at the AOA casino in Calgary last March. This is one of the two main sources of the AOA’s funding. The other source is from Alberta Sport Connection, which has recently changed the method it uses to assess Provincial Sport Organisations that receive provincial grant money. The main outcome of this for the AOA is that we need to concentrate on recruiting new members from outside the traditional Edmonton and Calgary areas. Which leads me on to Bogi’s outreach campaign, known as the “Outdoor Adventure Program”, aimed at introducing children between the ages of 5 and 12 to basic orienteering skills. Bogi spent the last year developing the program in cooperation with the “Be Fit For Life Network” and is now busy piloting it in Calgary with a view to getting it started up in Cochrane and maybe Canmore. And then we hope momentum will build to grow it to other parts of the province.
We also have an AOA supported training camp coming up at the end of May, organised in conjunction with FWOC and based out of Kamp Kiwanis, west of Calgary. It is designed for ages 10 and up (including adults!) and for all skill levels. Registration is open now, so sign up to improve your orienteering skills and have some fun with other orienteers. More information and the link to registration.
I’d like to finish with a little food for thought that I hope won’t get me into too much trouble: I have seen and heard that almost all the young orienteers that regularly attend “B” events and up come from families that have been involved with orienteering for many years. With the help of EOOC and FWOC, we are starting up a new concept called “Team Alberta”. Is this something that we can use as a vehicle (literally and figuratively) to get more kids and families out to larger orienteering events.
Here’s to another great season of orienteering in Alberta (and beyond). I just hope it warms up soon!
Congrats to the 2018 HPP athletes selected from Alberta!
Congratulation to the Alberta High-Performance athletes who have been selected to the Orienteering Canada HPP program. The High-Performance Program (HPP) is designed specifically to support athletes who wish to achieve excellence in international orienteering.The HPP athletes will represent Canada at the international events. Michael Svoboda has been selected to attend the 2018 Junior World Orienteering Championships, Hungary, and World University Orienteering Championships Finland.
Do you enjoy reading event/training blogs?
I find that there is a lot to learn from these young athletes. Their knowledge, dedication, focus, and ability to stay motivated can be contagious, so read on: all the links can be found on ourwebsite.
Do you have a blog or story to share? AOA is looking for people to submit blogs or trip /event/ training reports to post it on our website.
The Spring season has started for the Junior Programs
KRW and SOGOhad a quite cold but strong start of the Spring session. It was great to see that the snow and freezing temperatures didn't scare away the participants.
Great work on raising resilient and adventurous kids who know how to handle the elements of nature.
Did you know about? SOGO ACCESS in Calgary
SOGO wants to support ALL kids to get outside. SOGO Access enables children with challenged abilities - behavioral, mental and/or physical - to access the outdoors and be a part of SOGO.
SOGO Access offers two streams of programming: separate as a stand-alone group or integrated with each level/hour of SOGO programs. We are very proud of the SOGO supportive community and Bridie Pryce -former Sogo head coach- who spearheaded the start of this program. SHINE Home School seriesin Edmonton
Kids Run Wild, under Dorthy Penner boundless leadership, have been providing valuable and fun programming for Home School families in Edmonton.Keep up the great work!
Be Bear Aware & Wildsmart
Just a reminder that the bears are waking up and their home is our playground!
You can run into a wild animal anywhere, be it on a busy trail close to town or in the remote backcountry. Knowing how to avoid an encounter with a bear (and other wildlife) is the best way to enjoy the Alberta parks, safely. In the event you do come across wildlife, it is important to know a bit about their behavior. How we respond in an encounter with them really depends on the type of interaction that is taking place.
Refreshing your understanding is always a great choice: visit the WILDSMART site before heading out this season.
Enjoy a fantastic 2018 season starting with these events!