Well, I am feeling somewhat wistful about the end of the regular orienteering season, but also encouraged that the events that were held in 2022 show that Alberta orienteering is coming back from the disruptions of the past few years. And with the behind-the-scenes planning for future events, getting new officials trained to develop and run those events, map making and training mappers, trying to improve land access, training coaches, and so on, the “off-season” looks to be just as busy for our
core of hard-working volunteers.
And speaking of volunteers, this year the AOA held a one-day event last month to celebrate the people who make such a difference for Alberta orienteering. I think the event at the Red Deer Polytechnic on October 15 th was a great success. The sprint courses designed by David Campden of FWOC and Greg Yarkie of EOOC were a lot of fun – of course the fabulous weather helped – and that led to a very tasty (free) lunch and a chance to recognize the volunteers who had been so key to Alberta orienteering in 2021 and 2022 (check out the names in this newsletter).
While the AOA recognizes key event officials and club organizers, some of who put in many hundreds of hours, including hundreds of kilometres of travelling to sites and walking through forests and over plains, there are so many of you who lend a hand, whether offering to pick up controls on a Wednesday night or register participants or mark them in as they finish, hand out maps to school kids, and more – all of which are so welcome to your fellow club member / volunteer who planned and put on the courses.
I would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to all of you who help Alberta orienteering in whatever way you can. This is how we keep orienteering thriving in Alberta.
President, Alberta Orienteering Association
Thank You Volunteers!
The AOA Volunteer Recognition Criteria
AOA board members
Auditor of AOA
Orienteering club’s presidents
Canada cup (A Meet) main organizers
Forest event (B-Meet) main organizers
Someone who has done something especially significant for AOA
Orienteering Highlights in 2022
Canadian Rockies Orienteering Festival
The big event of the year for Albertans was the Canadian Rockies Orienteering Festival (CROF) which included the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships held in Kananaskis, a Barebones event on a new map in the Crowsnest as well as the Canadian Orienteering Championships in Kimberley. This series of events had been planned for 2020 and had to be postponed for two years! It was exciting to see it finally happen. The WCOC Forest Sprint held on the new Banded Peak map was exciting! The Middle and Long events for the WCOCs were held on a new map near Barrier Lake which had very interesting and, at times, extremely challenging terrain! From an organizer's point of view, it was nice to see our hard work of course planning and control site checking come to fruition! Despite the logging that made this map difficult to cross, most finishers said they really enjoyed being out on a new map! Sunday's WCOC Long Event had an extra challenge thrown in by rain and cold weather. Most orienteers made their way to Barebones down south to enjoy a more laid-back orienteering event before moving on to the COCs in Kimberley. These events, too, were held on some very exciting maps! Participants of CROF raved about the orienteering. Congratulations to all the podium finishers and participants! Three Albertans swept their age class in every event: Geraint, Nicki and Grace (pictured above), and seven Albertans made the podium for every event in the 2022 COCs: Lada K, Greg Y, Mark G, Jack M, Tori O, Danny R and Ewan W!
Regular club events!
Alberta orienteers were also very excited to see the return of regular orienteering events! Both FWOC and EOOC held about 20 regular Wednesday events. Calgary had four forest events, including Run the Wild 2022 and an exciting Team Score-O, while Edmonton hosted 4 forest events which included a Score-O at Blackfoot. Both clubs held successful Halloween events: Spook-O at Confederation Park with about 340 participants feasting on candy around the course, and the 3rd annual Rosenthal Haunted House with 941 participants (584 youth), plus 11 volunteers! In addition, EOOC hosted a Sprint Series, a competition designed for Team Canada time trials but open to orienteers of all skill levels.
Red Deer Sprint
To top off a great year, the AOA hosted the sprint event in Red Deer (mentioned by Kim in her letter). This was also the first time on this map, intended for use in 2020! Thanks to Don B for such an awesome map to run on, and to David C and Greg Y for terrific courses. For those of you who missed the event, check out the long course:
2022 Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC)
We had two juniors from Alberta attending JWOC this year! Congrats to Robyn and Andrew! It's been quite a different JWOC - with the forest races being rescheduled for the fall, because of the forest fire risk and heat wave in Portugal.
This JWOC was all about the Sprint races this summer. In the Individual Sprint race, Robyn Astridge was 81st and Andrew McLaren was 91st; other Canadian team members included Isak Fransson from Hamilton (121st) and Lukas Raz from Ottawa (139th). In the Sprint Relay, Canada was 7th in the B final.
The Forest events were held November 4-6, and Alec Le Helloco (from Ottawa) represented Canada in the forest disciplines.