At the end of 2017, the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) and the Orienteering Association of China (OAC) agreed upon several action items to further develop orienteering in China. See more at https://orienteering.org/china-a-new-opportunity-for-orienteering/ One of these was an Event Organising Seminar, which would incorporate also an Event Advising Seminar.
The Seminar took place between the 16th and the 20th of June in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. OAC, especially Zhang Guangshuo was responsible for the practical organisation, with Jason Huang and his team taking care of logistics.
The programme included a full Event Advising Seminar, field exercises (such as event planning, course setting, etc.), groupwork, questioning, feedback session, introduction of best practices and many-many discussions.
There were 20 participants (trainees) from all over China, selected and invited by OAC, mostly young and enthusiatic people. The attendance was complemented with OAC staff and local organisers, so we had sessions with about 25-30 people.
A total of 10 sessions were conducted by the IOF instructors. The team included Áron Less (Chair, IOF FootO Commission), Unni Strand Karlsen (Member, IOF FootO Commission), Jaroslav Kačmarčík (Member, IOF Regional and Youth Development Commission) and Száva Zsigmond (IOF Senior Event Adviser). Xiaoping Tan was responsible for all the interpreting, for which we can not thank him enough.
The seminar was conducted in a very positive and uplifting manner. The participants learned a lot about the IOF and current trends and practices in international orienteering. The instructors also got plenty of new ideas, mostly about how to make our sport more visible to the broader public.
In the near future, you will also have several opportunities to try out orienteering in China. Major events include the Beijing Orienteering Week in late October and the Historical Road Orienteering Chmpionships in Guangdong in December. The very first IOF High Level Event in China will be the World Cup Final next year in Guangdong (last week of October), just after the Military World Games in Wuhan. If you ever wanted to try fantastic sprint terrains and forests not to be found in Europe, these are opportunities not to miss!