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About the Czech Orienteering Federation
Über den tschechischen Orientierungssportverband

Die rund 150 Mitglieder und jährlich rund 50 Spender des Förderverein Orientierungslauf e.V. unterstützen seit 26 Jahren effizient und erfolgreich die Orientierungssportarten Fuß-, Ski- und Trail-O. Viele Tausend Euro werden jährlich gesammelt und streng kontrolliert, gewinnbringend für alle Orientierungssportler eingesetzt. Gewinn bedeutet dabei, jeder Euro wird so eingesetzt, dass der Orientierungssport in der Breite gestärkt wird.

Mit diesem Artikel begibt sich der Förderverein auf neues Terrain. Er führte das Interview mit dem tschechischen Orientierungssportverband (Ceský Svaz Orientacních Sportu, kurz: CSOS) aus verschiedenen Beweggründen.
Den vielen ehrenamtlichen Helfern des deutschen Verbandes sollen mit dem Blick ins Nachbarland Inspiration und Mut gegeben werden.

Die tschechischen Orientierungssportler feiern gerade zwei Jubiläen, vor 70 Jahren wurde dort der erste Orientierungslauf ausgetragen und der tschechische Orientierungssportverband wurde 50 Jahre alt. Obwohl in Tschechien nur rund 15% der Einwohner im Vergleich zu Deutschland leben, weist der Orientierungssportverband die rund dreifache Mitgliederzahl auf. Die Startlisten sind in den Nachwuchsklassen oft länger als die der Senioren.

Traditionelle Großveranstaltungen tschechischer Vereine ziehen seit Jahrzehnten tausende Läufer aus der ganzen Welt an. Neben vielen internationalen Meisterschaften und Weltcups sollen hier die in Tschechien organisierten Weltmeisterschaften in den Jahren 1972, 1991, 2011 und 2021 erwähnt werden. Deutschland war hier in den Jahren 1971 und 1995 aktiv.

An Weltmeisterschaften erkämpften tschechische Orientierungssportler inzwischen über 100 Medaillen. Tschechische Kartenaufnehmer sind in der ganzen Welt gefragte Spezialisten.
All diese herausragenden Fakten werden natürlich auch in Tschechien hauptsächlich durch ehrenamtliche Organisatoren, Trainer und Helfer der über 200 O-Sport-Vereine realisiert, aber mit Unterstützung einiger Hauptberuflicher.

Das folgende Interview führte Milena Grifoni im Herbst 2019 mit dem Generalsekretär des CSOS Jirí Šubrt sowie Jarmila Nemecková und Jana Kubátová. Die Übersetzung ins Deutsche soll bei Bedarf mit den üblichen Internetwerkzeugen selbst geschehen.

When the COF, the Czech Orienteering Federation was founded?
The Czech Orienteering Federation has existed as an independent sports federation since 1969. Before that, orienteering runners were part of the Czech Tourist Federation.
Winning team of the very first race in Bunc – Kubícek, Jaroš, Zapletal. Photo: Publication The 50 years of Orienteering in the Czech Republic
Czech orienteers became also the founding members of the IOF in 1961, as well as the German ones. The very first orienteering race in the Czech Republic was organized in 1950 as a race of patrols in Bunc near Zlín as the first year of the Cup of town Zlín. In 2019 we celebrated 50 years of existence as an independent federation. In 2020 we celebrate 70 years of orienteering in the Czech Republic.
How is the COF organized? How many areas of responsibility do you have?

COF has currently four sports sections. The most numerous is Foot-O, in 2018 with 12.443 members, the most successful MTB-O with 785 members, Ski-O with 624 members and Trail-O with 100 members, which offers our sport even to handicapped athletes.
The sports side of our activities solves leadership of each section and several committees, Competition committee, Methodical committee, Committee of referees, Foot-o development committee and map board. The leadership of each section is responsible for national competitions organized by COF. Besides we also have eleven regional areas, each organizes its own regions classification of competitions according prescribed COF frame.

How many officers are working for the COF at present?

The economic and organizational functioning of the COF is ensured by the paid – secretary general and one economist. Besides the union employs in the Foot-O the head coach of the Czech national team, head coach of juniors and head coach of the Youths. In MTBO and LOB in each we have part-time job for one coach. The COF rewards certain activities on the basis of specific projects and the work actually done by other workers, recently these includes some development projects like Orienteering in to the schools, Methodical portal for coaches and so on. The work of sections leadership of the COF and its commissions are appreciated only symbolically, it is a voluntary work of many people.

In Germany mainly real Olympic sports are supported by the ministry of sport. What are the criteria for financial support of the COF by the Czech government, and how big is it, if it’s allowed to say?

It is similar also in the Czech Republic - Olympic sports have much bigger financial support from the state – Ministry of Education and Sports and since 2020 newly by the National Sports Agency – and can be run on a professional basis.

The only two Czech full-time orienteers– Miloš Nykodým, Vojtech Král. Photo: Helsingin Suunnistajat
Nevertheless, from the time of unified physical education, there are also other criteria that follow the size of membership, growing of sport, activities for youth, medals and top results from international races like WOC, EOC or World Cup. This allocate enough money to allows semi-professional functioning and partial paying of the training costs for at least a few top orienteering athletes of the COF. Nowadays the Czech Republic has a good economic situation and the money, especially for the sport of children and youth, is much higher than it was ten years ago. A large part of financial support goes directly to the clubs, on the contrary, federations are often neglected by the state administration in some aspects - partly due to several big affairs from last years and partly because distribution of finances is provided by local and regional authorities, which are closer to smaller local groupings.

Is there a statistics for the development of orienteering over the last 20 years? It would be interesting for example to know the number of clubs and people affiliated to COF, the average number of competitions (local and national) per year?

In 1999 there were 7.500 registered athletes in all four sections, 20 years later it will be over 13 000 athletes. But only 9.000 participate actively in competitions.
Great overview offers central information system ORIS where each year appears about 220-250 official national and regional competitions and countless other school leagues, trainings and sports events. The online system ORIS made us much more transparent not only for COF members but also for newcomers. You can see the competitions, registration, classification of long-term competitions, register for race etc. To access all its functions it is necessary to authorize the club, its system administrator and the club leader.

What is the average number of new maps per year and how do you control the quality of the maps?

With the availability of laser printing, it is difficult to follow the exact number of new maps, but roughly it corresponds to the number of official competitions, so about 220-250 per year. However, there is dramatically less new terrains, just a fraction of the percentage.
Czech cartographers are generally very good, they are often mapping abroad. Within the COF, there is a Map committee, which oversees the quality of the published maps and also organizes training course for new cartographers every year. The quality was also supported by the availability of map sources. The laser scan materials can be purchased twice a year for discounted prices thanks to the central purchase - clubs report requests, the federation handles the order for better prize but paid by clubs themselves. For the year 2020 there is also possibility to get financial support from COF for local clubs, which issue a new map.
How to make orienteering popular, at least in the Czech Republic? Is there a name, a date or event which is connected with the start of big growing of COF?
For more than ten years we’ve been running several parallel projects for the public audience, where a little financial and material support for clubs is provided, like handbills, diplomas etc. We believe that these together with the modernization of orienteering itself with electronic cards, online split times, online results, fitting sports jerseys instead of the older baggy socialist ones, contributed to the popularization of orienteering. Moreover, the popularity of outdoor activities in the Czech Republic is growing in general.
In recent years Orienteering in the Czech Republic "ran out of the forest" and began to emancipate among traditional sports also thanks to great cooperation with the Czech Television. The first live broadcast took place in 2007. Now we have about 5 broadcasting, at least one of it live each year. We have good results of our top athletes and the support of the Czech Olympic Committee.

Can you mention some areas as well as activities which have been especially important for the development of Czech orienteering?

We have many events in different types of schools:

  • Single or multiple events in schools, where there is interest or active parent/teacher.
  • School curriculum - in the Czech Republic there is work with maps included in curriculum for elementary schools. Nowadays we run an initial program “Experience Your Hometown” for schools supported by EU, which demonstrate orientation as a part of regular lessons. It will be finished in May 2021.
  • Inspiration abroad - a good book written by Goran Andersson has been translated into Czech, focusing on specific school exercises of navigation and orientation.
  • School Teams Competition – splits in to regional rounds in 14 administrative regions of the Czech Republic and national final for the best teams from each region. Each year participate about 2.500 runners from primary and secondary school. Besides there exist various regional school O-cups and kids games, where orienteering is included.
  • Educational maps - a program of the COF which provide a small financial support for creating a map of school surroundings or places where is possible to promote Orienteering to schools or the public general.

Very important for us is also the cooperation with the Czech Olympic Committee (COC):

Best three (here two third places) in category W14 and top runner Vojtech Král decorates them. Photo: Olympic Games of Children and Youths 2019, Liberec
  • Olympic Games are events organized by the Czech Olympic Committee during the Olympic Games. Various sports, including the non-Olympic ones, are presented here. At first, these were central events, then regional authorities required them to be held at more locations took over part of their costs. Also COF is able to present in a very limited space – usually as an O-labyrinth + classic track in the area with fixed controls nearby the particular location.
  • Summer and Winter Olympic Games of Children and Youth, where in the last ten years we’ve managed to promote the Foot-O and Ski-O into the sports program. This again is an event financed by regional governments. The young runners are very serious in dreaming about participating. Each of 14 regions of the Czech Republic represent teams consisting of 4 girls and 4 boys in the categories W/M12 and W/M14, W/M14, W/M16 in Ski-O. Disciplines are usually sprint, sprint relay and middle.
  • World Orienteering Day is other option such as various local sports festivals. The organisers COF supports with symbolic contribution from the public and recruitment program.

Do you advertise orienteering as a natural sport and a family sport?

Nowadays in the urban areas there is a great interest in outdoor sports, including Orienteering. The parents of children appreciate that they can also actively participate in competition or training courses in the collection of races for children. Recently, interest in several regions is bigger than the capacity of our clubs.
On the other hand, we have areas, especially in the west and south of Bohemia, where the rise of orienteering is slower - yet they have great conditions for it. Apparently it is because of a slightly worse economic situation. Even here the situation is becoming better. Moreover, it is amazing to see the enormous effect of a single person, who is capable of project work, administration of grants, organizing trainings and events for the public and of course a great deal of effort.

How does the COF support the successful work with children and youth done inside and by the many clubs?

In the Czech Republic directly the state sends large funds to support work with youths in clubs. The COF supports clubs according to the success of their youth in the Czech Championships or in the classification of long-term competitions.

Do you know anything about the lobby work pro orienteering behind the public scene? In fact, what’s the reason for the good reputation of the natural sport orienteering in the Czech Republic?

In recent years, we need more space to negotiate permits for access to forest lands and meadows for parking, some of the traditional orienteering localities we may not negotiate. The number of sporting events on commercial base increase, while hunting associations are growing stronger and somewhere even the management of protected landscape areas is defending.
Furthermore, somewhere there is an intensive bark beetle calamity and logging is massive. It is an objective but sometimes even substitute reason to ban entry into the forest. Unfortunately, it is true that over the next 3-5 years the face of the Czech Republic will change dramatically and we will have to face it.
The newly created Innovation Council is trying to successfully launch projects using a membership base, for example, to clean and restore the forest and thus establish more contacts between the Orienteering community and the foresters. It is simply necessary to act, talk to many people who can help us reverse this unfavorable trend to keep the orienteering where we have it now.

How does information about COF’s activities and promotion come to the people? Is there any paper magazine?

Due to the declining number of subscribers, the Magazine "Orienteering" was stopped two years ago, replaced by electronic monthly newsletters and methodological sheets. Once a year, we publish an O-Book, a hardcover colour book that exhaustively maps the activities of the COF throughout the year. It is an attempt to release it before Christmas as a nice Christmas present. Next year we are also going to publish a book “70 years of Orienteering in the Czech Republic”.
The COF regularly informs on its website, as well as its regional parts and sections. We have also established cooperation with several paper magazines, which are devoted to running and outdoor and get regular space here. A much wider sports audience knows about Orienteering than just orienteering runners now.

How is the partnership with Czech television organized? Are there yearly contracts?
Czech TV crew on the Junior World Orienteering Championship 2019 in Denmark. Photo: Martin Krivda

Based on experience from the World Championship 1991 and personal contacts with Czech Television (CT) and its sports director Karel Jonák, we have established a long-term cooperation that lasts until now, although Karel is already an independent economic entity providing demanding sports broadcasts from many Orienteering events to the Ski Classic long distance series.
It is necessary to say that the plan of broadcasting from O-events is planned with CT already in the last quarter of the previous year. Sometimes it is also possible to arrange for national television to buy broadcasts and rights from international events from IOF, it may not be more expensive.

Are there any tips for the German orienteers to make our sport more popular?

Support methodologically and at least partially materially everyone who wants to promote orienteering. It does not have to be only finance, the COF provides organizers with simple printed promotional materials about Orienteering, diplomas, etc.
Try some pilot school projects, preferably where interest and good contact exists, like teachers are o-runners or there are sports schools.

Thank you very much and good luck in your future work!

Protokoll der Mitgliederversammlung des Fördervereins OL
am 28.09.2019 in Bad Freienwalde

 Das Protokoll der Sitzung zum Download als PDF-Datei

Einladung zur Mitgliederversammlung des Fördervereins OL e.V.

Ort: Erna und Kurt Kretschmann Oberschule, Waldstraße 20, 16259 Bad Freienwalde
(52.775556 N, 14.042552 O)
Zeit: Samstag, 28. September 2019, 17.00 - 18.50 Uhr
(Raumnummer hängt am Eingang, 400 m zur Siegerehrung um 19 Uhr)

Vorgeschlagene Tagesordnung:
TOP  1 Genehmigung der Tagesordnung
TOP  2 Bericht des Vorstands und der Kassenprüfer
TOP  3 Entlastung des Vorstands
TOP  4 Wahl des Vorstands für die nächsten zwei Jahre
TOP  5 Wahl der Kassenprüfer
TOP  6 Wanderpokal des Fördervereins
TOP  7 Ehrung der Ranglistensieger
TOP  8 Mitglieder und Spenden
TOP  9 Verschiedenes
TOP 10 Präsentation Projekte 2019

Wir wünschen uns die rege Teilnahme unserer Mitglieder, zukünftiger Mitglieder und Gäste.

Kandidaten für den neu zu wählenden Vorstand sind herzlich willkommen!

Der Vorstand nimmt außerdem weitere Vorschläge für den diesjährigen Wanderpokal und die Tagesordnung entgegen.

gez. Lutz Spranger, 1. Vorsitzender, 28.06.2019

Nachrichten zur Mitte des Jahres ...

Die Hälfte des Kalenderjahres ist bereits vergangen und die Orientierungssportsaison 2019 bot vielen Sportlern bereits tolle sportliche Erlebnisse.

Danke an all die Spender für ihre großen und kleinen Zuwendungen und ihr Vertrauen in uns, dass wir mit Weit- und Überblick Projekte fördern, die den schönsten Laufsport der Welt in ganz Deutschland voranbringen.

Aktuell läuft zum Beispiel folgendes:

  • Zwei professionell Trainierende mit Erfolgsaussichten bereiten sich gezielt auf die Weltmeisterschaften 2019 und 2020 vor. Ihnen finanzieren wir einige wichtige Sportartikel und zusätzliche Trainingsmaßnahmen, um den immensen privaten, finanziellen Aufwand etwas abzumildern.
  • Wir ermöglichen dem erfolgreichen Trail-O-Nationalteam die Teilnahme an den World Trail Orienteering Championships 2019 (WTOC) in Portugal. Nach dem überraschenden Staffeldiplom bei der EM 2018 wird nun erstmals auch bei den WTOC eine deutsche Staffel am Start stehen.
  • Das hochmotivierte Jugendnationalteam startet mit unserem starken finanziellen Rückenwind zu den European Youth Orienteering Championships 2019 (EYOC) in Weißrussland.
  • Besonders wichtig sind uns aber Projekte wie diese: 11 Vereinen mit vorbildlicher Nachwuchsarbeit finanzieren wir gerade wichtige materielle Anschaffungen wie Kompasse, Postenschirme und vor allem Kartenaufnahmen. Gerade abgeschlossen wurde zum Beispiel eine Karte bei Uslar auf der jetzt bereits Kindergruppen fleißig trainieren.
  • Bereits im Januar konnten wir die Teilnehmer an den Juniorenweltmeisterschaften im Ski-OL in Schweden finanziell entlasten.
  • Die deutsche Pressearbeit werden wir an den kommenden Weltmeisterschaften in Teilen unterstützen können.
  • Der neue Internetauftritt wartet gerade auf seine Finalisierung auch mit unserer Unterstützung.

Alles in allem werden wir für diese und weitere Projekte in diesem Jahr den Orientierungssport mit rund 40.000 Euro fördern können. Damit wir das auch 2020 tun können, bitten wir schon jetzt um deine finanzielle Unterstützung, gern auch als Mitglied mit einer regelmäßigen Spende beliebiger Höhe, denn wir haben unter anderem auch diese Pläne:

  • Startunterstützung für neu gegründete Orientierungslaufabteilungen.
  • Unterstützung von Spitzensportathleten in finanziellen Notlagen.
  • Unterstützung der Lobbyarbeit in Forst-, Umwelt- und Waldeigentümergremien, auch in politischen und sportpolitischen Gremien.

Sprich uns an, stell deine Fragen, gib uns weitere Ideen.

Anmerkung: Wer den MTB-O in den Aufzählungen vermisst - für ihn arbeitet traditionell ein eigenständiger Förderverein.

Lutz Spranger, 1. Vorsitzender, 20.06.2019

Ältere News gibt es im Archiv 2018.