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14 February 2016 | in World University Championships, Ski Orienteering

IOF sees Bright Future for University Ski Orienteering


TULA - The third day at the 2016 FISU World University Ski Orienteering Championship in Aleksin, Tula (Russian Federation) was a well-deserved rest day for all competitors. The local Organising Committee, looking to showcase the regions’ attractions, organised a cultural visit to the city of Tula.

The millennial city has always had military references, namely during World War II as part of the defensive lines setup to protect Moscow. The city was awarded the title of Hero City in 1976 and is still today very proud of this achievement. For this reason, the OC prepared a visit to the Tula Kremlin that also houses the Museum of Military History of Tula Oblast.

The student-athletes and officials participating at the WUC Ski Orienteering enjoyed this tour that allowed to associate a bit of history and culture to the sporting excellence showcased the previous two days – truly embodying the FISU spirit of excellence in mind and body.


Interview with the IOF President Brian PORTEOUS

  IOF President Brian PORTEOUS

  • What do you think about our Championship?

I would like to emphasize two special things about this Championship. Firstly, in my opinion, this is the best-dressed championship that I have ever seen. Everything that I have seen on the competition arena (the podium, the banners, etc.) looks perfect. Secondly, it is the young people who help hold these competitions. A good Championship is a good step to the history of SkiO. As far as it concerns the infrastructure (accommodation, catering and transportation), everything is perfect. I am going to have wonderful memories about the time I spent here.

  • What is your vision of the future of ski orienteering?

I would like to see it in the programme of the Winter Olympic Games. This Championship, the next World University Championship and the Universiade in Krasnoyarsk are the steps undertaken to promote this kind of sport into the Olympic Games. We are doing a lot of work for this, although we experience some difficulties. We can compare ski orienteering to such popular winter sports as biathlon and ski racing. And we are so excited about its future!

  • What do you think about SkiO being in the FISU programme?

There is a very strong and developing partnership between the IOF and FISU. Orienteering is a big part of student sport. In this kind of sport it is important to be not only physically strong, but also quite clever. The continuing support of the sport of orienteering began with the Universiade in Kazan. A great job was done and now ski orienteering is in the Winter Universiade programme. To tell the truth, foot orienteering is even more popular than ski orienteering, that’s why we do hope that foot orienteering will be in the Summer Universiade programme one day. We always have a very kind and family-like atmosphere at all FISU competitions.


Interview with the FISU Technical Delegate Valentin GARKOV


FISU Technical Delegate Valentin GARKOV

  • What do you think about this Championship and its organization?

We have this Championship for the first time in the world’s history, that’s why the requirements to the organizers are quite high, because the future of ski orienteering depends on this first event. I was very pleased with the fact that everything was organized at such a high level: everything beginning from the courses preparation and arena decoration to the well-planned infrastructure (competition venue, accommodation, etc.).

  • What do you think about the future of ski orienteering in student sport?

Ski Orienteering occupies its own place in student sport. We managed to have 12 National teams at this Championship, and that is great! We do hope that we will have 100-150 participants from about 20 countries at the next World University Championship in Estonia in 2018. We already know that this kind of sport has a great potential! The only thing we have to do is to prove the National Student Federations that SkiO is a serious kind of sport.


(Source: WUSOC 2016)