A letter from Jaroslav Kacmarcik

Dear readers, elite athletes, orienteers,

I am using the Park World Tour (PWT) website to say a few words to you.

We opened the new PWT website from 1st of January 2020 to support our work to renew the PWT idea. Despite these challenging times, we continue with this work, but as all of you know, most of the work is halted at the moment. Nobody knows how long this exceptional situation with the pandemic will last, but I hope to see you again very soon in the forests, parks, and cities. I know many of you are keeping on with training and continuing with the “theoretical” work at your homes/countries.

Likewise, PWT works like that. From our homes, we keep on planning, following all the information from IOF, and what happens in different O-Federations. We are still working with the ideas for autumn PWT TOURS, if the situation will permit to travel at the time of course. Your/our health is a priority. IOF has cancelled many major international events, PWT Italy had to cancel MOC and MOC camp of this spring, as is the same with many national events. It is difficult to guess what will happen with the first sprint WOC. Perhaps in this very special time even the sprint WOC in Denmark should be postponed to the end of September, to allow for a fairer preparation for all countries.

2020 is the 25 years anniversary of PWT, as first events were in 1996. To celebrate this, we are preparing the PWT memory book, and the work with this book is ongoing. The aim was to have the book ready for the first sprint WOC in Denmark. But now as everything is going slower, even the book preparation will be delayed a little. Nevertheless, the book will be ready by autumn 2020. More information about the book will be published on our homepage in the near future. Runners, leaders, organizers, ”old” PWT crew/council are approached to help in filling this book with interesting memories.

PWT has no sponsors, but during the last few years PWT has had very good partners, which continued to build up programs (Tours) for elite runners. I would like to thank all partners – old and new (Learnjoy, Nordic Ways, Kisakallio, and many others). Without them, the PWT idea would have faded away. I also want to mention PWT Travel and PWT Italy, which have kept promoting PWT logo during all these years; this was a way to make people know about PWT around the world. The logo has been used by PWT Travel and PWT Italy in different ways from the original idea, but both of them have aimed to develop orienteering in new countries. PWT Travel has focused more on veterans and travels in new countries, whereas PWT Italy has focused more on elite runners, working closer to the original PWT idea and organising MOC competitions every spring starting from some of the first big PWT races in the past, such as Alberobello and Matera.

I hope the PWT idea is and will keep existing: competing at the same economic conditions, fairness, prize money, for all runners irrespective of nationality.

Our working team is very small these days and the work is on a voluntary basis, but we make the best of it. The new website was the first step. PWT Academy is another idea we are working on. To help new countries under IOF umbrella is also our goal (Nepal, Mauritius, India, Cuba, …). I would like to present my team and working partners who are helping me with the practical work to continue with the PWT idea: Tuomas Kari and Giulia Zenere. You can read their introduction in the next posts coming up this week.

Jaroslav Kacmarcik