O Canada
February 2015, Issue 10

In This Issue

Controller's Notes

A big thanks to Meghan Rance for her work as the O Canada editor over the last couple years. Meghan is quite busy working in Hamilton with the Adventure Running Kids program and she is stepping down from role as newsletter editor, but will fortunately for us, be writing occasional content for the newsletter.
We welcome submissions from the orienteering community. Send your articles, pictures and ideas to by the submission deadlines listed below. The newsletter will be published within a couple weeks after these dates:
Submission deadlines: Feb 28, April 15, May 31, July 15, Aug 31, Oct 15. Nov 30

Update from the Orienteering Canada Board of Directors

THANK YOU. As we head into the 2015 orienteering season, it is a great time to reflect on all the volunteer work that went into the hundreds of orienteering events across Canada in 2014. A heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who are working to move orienteering in Canada forward. The "big events" in 2014 were the Canadian Orienteering Champs (Whistler) organizers and the North American Orienteering Champs (Arnprior) organizers. Those events were absolutely top notch and we are incredibly grateful to the organizers.

POLICY UPDATES. The Board of Directors updated several of Orienteering Canada policies, including: Conflict of Interest, Discipline & Complaints, Appeal, Code of Conduct & Ethics, Social Media policy. These policies are all available on the Orienteering Canada website at We encourage you to be familiar with these policies.
ALL CLUBS AND ASSOCIATIONS AND BASECAMP. We have recently set up a contact group for all clubs and associations on Orienteering Canada’s project website called BASECAMP.  This is an online project based software that allows us to communicate with you as well as store and share useful information.  We have already sent out invitations to all clubs and associations inviting you to join.  We are still missing a few clubs- if you did not receive this invitation, please contact Tracy ( and she will send you a new invitation.  It’s very important we have everyone on board so we can share information in a timely manner
BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE. The Orienteering Canada Board of Directors is now meeting by conference call on the last Tuesday of each month.
NATIONAL EVENT DATABASE. We are strongly encouraging all the Canadian orienteering clubs to use the WhyJustRun (wjr) system so that their events are part of the event database that we host at To get set up using wjr, please contact
2015 CANADIAN ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS. Registration and early bird pricing starts soon. The 2015 COCs will take place in the Maritimes during the week August 15-23. There will be championship races in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and for the first time in Prince Edward Island. New or updated maps of fun and interesting terrains. Highlights include racing on the ocean floor in the Bay of Fundy, Sprint on the UPEI campus, Middle on the infamous Pits of Despair, Long distance on the Wentworth ski hill, three days of Fishbones including a Farsta and a Chasing Start – and it’ll be Lobster season!. The website is at and be sure to connect with their social media: and

2016 CANADIAN ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS. July 23 – August 1. This will be the Icefield Parkway Festival – starting with the Western Canadians near Jasper hosted by the Edmonton Overlanders, and travelling south through the Rocky Mountains to Canmore where Orienteering Calgary will be hosting the 2016 COCs.

SPORT LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE. Orienteering Canada’s Executive Director Tracy Bradley attended the Coaching Association Sport Leadership Conference this year Nov 6-8 in Ottawa. This is an annual conference that focuses on coaching development and sport leadership and involves over 60 sports.

LOBBY DAY. In October, the Sport Matters Group organized Lobby Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Over 50 leaders from many sport and rec organizations came together to meet with MPs and Senators to talk about the importance of sport and physical activity. Orienteering Canada’s Charlotte MacNaughton attended Lobby Day 2014 and met with Senator Nancy Greene Raine and MPs Ryan Leff (Yukon) and Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre)

CALLING ALL CANADIAN ATHLETES WHO WILL BE COMPETING IN WORLD RANKING EVENTS. The International Orienteering Federation is now using EVENTOR, an orienteering event management system. All athletes that participate in World Ranking Events in any of the orienteering disciplines need to create a user account for themselves in IOF Eventor before taking part in the event. This is what to do: Go to, and click on Create user account. Please choose the first option: “I am an athlete participating in events”. After filling in your information, if you have earlier participated in WREs, IOF Eventor will ask you: “Are you this and this person”? You will then have to choose yourself on the list, and your account will be merged with your results.
User guides for IOF Eventor can be found here:

From the President: What I Learned this Month

I am learning sooooo much as the new president of Orienteering Canada.  And lots of it is actually very interesting!  I decided that if it’s new to me and interesting to me, then maybe, just maybe, it’s new and interesting to others as well.  And so, I hope to share something I’ve learned in each O Canada newsletter.

At the end of January I attended the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) Summit in Gatineau (across the river from my home town of Ottawa) as a representative of Orienteering Canada.  In attendance were National Sport Organizations (NSOs, the equivalent of Orienteering Canada), MSOs (multisport organizations, like the Canada Games Council or CAAWS – the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport), phys. ed. teachers and many more.

CS4L is the brains behind LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development).   Sport Canada wants every sport to have a sport-specific LTAD.  A few years ago Orienteering Canada created one for our sport. LTAD is about doing the right training/activities/competition at the right time in one’s life.  It is about having sport activities and training that are “developmentally appropriate” – that match the age and stage that an individual is at.  The Orienteering LTAD has stages from Active Start (0 to 6 years or so), through FUNdamentals, Learn to Train, Train to Train (1 and 2), Learn to Compete, Train to Compete, and Train to Win, as well as Active for Life.  The appropriate stage for an individual is determined by physical and emotional maturity, ability, desire, skills, and so on.
If you haven’t seen the Orienteering Canada LTAD yet you should check out the document.  It is online at  It is incredible - the work put into creating it (thanks Marg Ellis for the leadership on this project!), the knowledge to be gleaned from it, the layout and photographs.  Copies are available for anyone who wants to purchase one, or free to coaches and program leaders. Contact the O-Store ( if you are interested.

Back to the conference.  I could go on for a long time, but I will just mention a few key concepts that kept coming up over the 3 days.  They relate to how we introduce children to sport and how we train and compete.  One big topic of conversation was Physical Literacy – a new (not so new?) buzz word.  Physical Literacy is about getting young children out and active, about making sure they have the basics of movement – the Fundamental Movement Skills (that’s FMS to those in the know!) like running, jumping, throwing, catching before getting caught up in too much sport specificity.  There was a lot of talk of competition review and restructuring for young athletes – of age appropriate competition, of festival type events instead of high end competition for younger age groups.  There was a lot of talk of how to make sure coaches, parents, volunteers and officials understand the LTAD concept.  And then there was much conversation about aligning the sectors within our society that should be working together on all this – not just sport but the health sector and the education sector and the recreation sector as well.

It’s got me thinking.  And ready to learn more.  And that’s a good thing.
Anne Teutsch

World Champion Brian Ellis!

Canadian Orienteering has another World Champion in its ranks. Brian Ellis of Vancouver won gold in the long distance in M70 at the 2014 World Masters Orienteering Championships in Brazil. A lesson for all ages – Brian was in second place when he punched at the final control, but his sprint down the finish chute took him into the gold medal position! Congratulations Brian. 

(Brian was also course planner for the Canadian Champs long distance race in Whistler last summer and the event Controller figures climbing up and down those slopes all spring and summer was part of his secret training plan).
Brian Ellis of Canada with his M70 long distance gold medal celebrating with Sharon Crawford the US who also won gold in W70 in the long distance.

Invitation to the 2015 O-Ringen Academy

The aim of the O-Ringen Academy is to assist the development of orienteering around the world. The idea behind the Academy is, through the transfer of knowledge and experience, to develop individual competency to be able to promote, organize and teach orienteering in your own country and at the same time participate in one of the world's greatest orienteering event, O-Ringen, held annually in Sweden. The Academy is primarily intended for orienteers from new and developing orienteering countries. However, the Academy also welcomes participants from established orienteering nations who want to increase their base of knowledge.
Many Canadians have attended the O-Ringen Academy in the past. We definitely recommend it. More details are at:

Orienteering Gear Profile

in conjunction with the
Ski-O:  Two poles, one map, one compass, one SI, but only two hands!
It’s winter.  There’s snow on the ground.  That means ski-O season!   Two poles, one map, one compass, but only two hands; hmmm  . . . A number ways to deal with the map: 
  1. Hold the map in your hand while also holding your pole.  Don’t drop it!
  2. Pin your map to the front of your coat by its top edge.  Better than option #1, but it doesn’t orient the map to north. Definitely a good start for the novice ski-Oer.
  3. Create a snazzy string and cardboard map holder for around your neck and waist.  Works fairly well actually (but not as classy as option #4).  One string around the neck, one around the waist.  A card board square the size of the map, attached to the waist string near your body and the neck string at the far side.
  4. A real ski-O map board.  Costs more than the cardboard-and-string version for sure, but are they ever nice!
Ski-O maps board have a small chest plate held snug with a shoulder and waist harness system.  Attached to the chest plate is an arm that can pivot to point horizontally, or up or down.  Attached to the end of the arm is a firm plastic sheet (board) to set your map on, with a plastic cover to protect it.  The map board easily turns 360 degrees to allow you to orient your map to north.  You can adjust the distance of the board from your body, and it can fold up or down to be out of the way.  They are even comfortable to wear.
Ottawa's Robbie Anderson and his ski-orienteering map holder

In case you decide to buy one ( sells two brands of ski-O map board – both are equally high quality), here are a few hints to make the best use of your map board:
  1. Attach a compass to the map board, so it’s always visible with the map. You can either tape a baseplate or thumb compass to the corner of the board or you can snap it under the cover with the map.
  2. When you are skiing on a long straight stretch of trail use one hand to spin the map board to orient the map to the trail. When trying to decide on a route for a complicated leg spin the map board to be oriented or in whatever orientation makes it easiest to see the different routes.
  3. With a map board you won’t want to rotate the map at every twist on a complicated section with lots of turns and you can’t keep your thumb on your location on the map.  Instead, use one of the following techniques:
    1. choose a more simple route;
    2. memorize a series of turns (first left, then an immediate right, then the second left);
    3. pick a distinct corner or intersection that you can’t miss (the y junction in the saddle between two hills) and ski to it without concern for your exact location enroute.
This will allow you to ski faster and work on simplification and map memory for summer orienteering! Ask a coach – simplification and map memory are important and need to be practiced! BONUS HINT: For anyone who likes to orienteer in rugged terrain with hiking poles – the ski-O map board works well for that too! Questions?  Please contact us at anne, jeff or erict!

Coach's Corner

A few years ago, Orienteering Canada, in conjunction with the Coaching Association of Canada, finalized the community coach stream of the new coaching program. Now we are close to finishing the next step in the coaching program: The Competition-Introduction program. We are working on the material and roll-out plan for the Competition-Introduction Coach workshop and the Evaluation/Certification processes. We will be piloting and delivering the orienteering-specific workshops in the summer of 2015.

Part of the Competition-Introduction coaching process also involves taking several “multi-sport” modules such as Making Ethical Decisions, Planning a Practice, Teaching & Learning, Nutrition, Basic Mental Skills, etc. We encourage all interested Competition-Introduction coaches to start taking the required Multi-Sport modules (workshops) offered through the Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs).  The 6 core workshops are offered individually but most often they are “packaged” into two groups called Part A and Part B.

Part A includes: Make Ethical Decisions (MED), Planning a Practice, and Nutrition. For orienteering, Make Ethical Decisions and Planning a Practice are mandatory and Nutrition is optional but recommended.

Part B includes: Teaching and Learning – mandatory, Basic Mental Skills – optional but recommended, and Designing a Sports Program – not required for orienteering’s COMP-INTRO context.

Each workshop is approximately 3 hours long and the typical cost is $20-25 each. Most of the workshops are held in the major cities at the local college or high school facilities. Several of the big provinces offer remote or home study workshops for some of the modules. These workshops are either interactive, internet-based or soft-copy, tutor-based in format. The details can be found on the respective PSO or CAC web pages. Note that many of the workshops have an evaluation component – like a test – that is part of the workshop or taken on-line.

Contact if you have any questions. To register for a workshop you will need your CC number (CC#). You can contact us if you don’t know your number. 

Here are the links to the provincial sports organizations’ workshop schedules:
Nova Scotia:
New Brunswick:
The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) Canada-wide directory:

Membership Update

Since 2012, Orienteering Canada has been actively working closely with clubs to help increase the number of members that belong to clubs and associations across the country. We are very grateful for all the efforts of the clubs and associations and we are thrilled with the membership growth over the last few years. This is an on-going project. And with more members, we are in a better position to get seek funding and sponsorship opportunities. If you have any questions or comments re membership. get in touch with us at
This chart shows the membership growth since 2011. We aim to be over 8000 members by the end of 2015.

2015 National Orienteering Week

National Orienteering Week is June 6 – 14, 2015 . We'd like clubs across the country to hold a very beginner friendly orienteering event during that time frame. Once you have it scheduled, please let us know ( so that we can update the national schedule. More information is at We'll do some promotion nationally and this is a great time for clubs to up their local promotional efforts.

From the Archives

From the 1984 "Orienteering Juniors" Calendar

Orienteering Canada has posted PDFs of all its old newsletters dating back all the way to the 1960s. Check them out to see young faces, vintage orienteering ads, and much more!
Here's the cover from a 1984 "Orienteering Juniors" Calendar. This is the 1983 Canadian Junior National Team. Take your best guess at identifying these youngsters. Send your guesses to We'll let you know the identify of these 4 in the next issue.

Around the Refreshment Table

Our sincerest condolences to Diana Hocking and her family on the passing of long time orienteer Martin Hocking of Victoria.

Congratulations to Andrea Balakova and Magnus Johansson on the arrival of their new baby, Alex, little brother to Oliver.

We were cheering loudly for Dahria Beatty from Whitehorse who competed at the U23 World Cross Country Ski Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan at the beginning of February. Dahria competed for Canada at JWOC a few years ago.
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