When the World Orienteering Championships kick off in Denmark in the end of June, most of the around 350 expected participants will travel and stay with their national team. But for 15 runners, coming from younger orienteering nations, that is not an option. Therefore, they take part in the International Orienteering Federation WOC Clinic arranged alongside the championships.
During the WOC-week, a large scout cabin in one of the host cities, Vejle, accommodates the runners and they are offered a program of lectures, practicing orienteering skills and participation in the WOC-competitions. For most of the runners, it is their first World Orienteering Championships; accordingly, the focus will be as much on the racing as the lectures on orienteering development and technique.
The WOC Clinic is arranged for the 11th time as an initiative from the IOF. Last year 10 athletes took part in the WOC Clinic in Czech Republic and one of the participants, Eef van Dongen of the Netherlands, managed to qualify for the sprint final, where she impressively finished as number 16.
This year, the WOC Clinic welcomes 15 athletes from 9 different countries on 3 continents. The participants are from Argentina, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Moldova, Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, and Serbia.
Volunteers from the five organizing clubs OK SNAB, OK GORM, OK FROS, OK Melfar and Kolding OK look forward to welcoming the clinic’s participants to Vejle and hosting them during the championships.
IOF Secretary General Sondre Gullord says: “We’re happy to invite runners once again from all over the world to join the clinic in cooperation with the WOC organizers and our partners: The Triangle Region and Sport Event Denmark. We hope they will gain lots of orienteering experience and that the clinics on the long run help to promote the global growth of orienteering and develop the sport around the world. Of course, I wish the runners best of luck in the WOC competitions and look forward to following their races in Denmark.”
The CEO of Sport Event Denmark, Lars Lundov, adds: “We are happy that IOF is organizing the clinic and even more happy to welcome participants from other parts of the world. I dare say, that hosting major, international sporting events is a brilliant way of displaying the Danish approach to hosting and organizing.”
Sport Event Denmark is the national sporting event organization that bids for and stage sporting events in collaboration with federations and host cities.
The World Orienteering Championships in Denmark will be the first ever sprint only WOC, with three competitions on June 26, 28 and 30 in Kolding, Fredericia and Vejle respectively. Sprint competitions are often held in urban areas as opposed to the longer distances that take place in forest areas.
The WOC was originally planned to be held in the summer of 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides the 350 participants from around 50 different nations, up to 1500 runners are expected to join the public races arranged during the WOC week.