Recently, Giulia – Project Manager of PWT Academy, visited the Lovely Professional University of Jalandhar, Punjab (LPU) with the help of Dev Balhara.
Successful meetings were held with Dr Sorabh Lakhanpal, Associate Dean at Division of Students Affairs and Dr. V. Kaul, Professor and Associate Director – Division of Sport, who are keen to introduce orienteering and add a new sport to the 26 already practiced at the LPU.
The campus of the University is very big, 6km square, more than 25.000 students, 150 programs, students from more than 26 countries, and it is suitable to host both orienteering seminars but also orienteering races.
The mapping continued in Mauritius with the arrival of Petr Hranicka, international mapper. Together with Roman, and with the unshakable help of John Domah of Orienteering M, the map works continued to Domain de Lagrave, fully supported by Mr Gilbert, the owner.
This is such an interesting area for orienteering. Are you ready to compete here? We are finalizing the preliminary info of Mauritius 3 days, next year in November 😎 Stay tuned!
11/10 was a field day, which started with a visit to Land and Housing – Cartography dept., looking for basic map of the interesting areas for orienteering maps.
After that, Jaroslav Kacmarcik – IOF GDC and Giulia Zenere – PWT Academy, together with Mr John Domah, Mr Vishal Luchmun, Mr Khaiysaar Ahmad Soopun and Mrs Hima Seeboruth of the Mauritius Orienteering Federation, visited the offices of the Ministry of Education.
Dr Reetoo Neeshti Director Health &Wellness, Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology and Liu Yuk Pat-Agathe Mary-Joyce, Ag. Senior PE Organiser, Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology agreed on the idea of introducing orienteering in the schools, and proposed to standardize its teaching system, following what Mr John Domah already started in his zone.
The third essential meeting of the day was scheduled with Mr. Hon Jean Christophe Stephan Toussaint, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Recreation.
Mr Toussaint fully approved the idea of implementing orienteering sport in Mauritius, both at a school level but also at a community level; supporting the goal to create community clubs as recreational activity all around the country and for all ages, pointing that it is a sport that also suits to families.
The Minister sustained the projects of Orienteering M for Mauritians and also for tourists, and embrace the plan of an international event next year.
A meeting was also held with Mrs Vyrum Pillay Munien, Officer at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, a project by the Ministry of Youth which has a component like adventurous journey. The Officer was interested in enriching the Award with Orienteering to develop skills such as map reading and compass work, necessary to achieve the Silver Award which requires 42km walk in 2 nights and 3 days.
A final meeting in the Sport Ministry offices was with Mr Nagalingum Pillay Samoo, Director of Sport, who welcomed the delegation and assured to be ready for the proposed projects.
The delegation then continued to Moulin de la Poudre Forest to check the existing map to be implemented. The area looks interesting, flat, with clear forest.
Being in the north of the Island, a visit to Pamplemousses Botanical Garden was to be done. It is a popular tourist attraction in Pamplemousses, near Port Louis, and the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere. It is populated with more than 650 varieties of plants among which are the famous Baobabs, the Palmier Bouteille, the ineluctable Giant Water Lilies, dozens of medicinal plants, a large spice garden and many more.
The venue is suitable for a sprint race and for some leisure time among its beauty.
The very long day ended with a meeting with Orienteering M in the evening, to discuss the short and medium term projects, the way to constitute officially the local Federation so to apply as temporary member of IOF, to implement orienteering both in schools and at a community level, and to support the organisation of an international 3-days event in november 2022. Are you ready?
On 10/10 a practical test for Cambridge International Examination was held in Bras d’Eau National Park for about 20 Educators.
Once again the PE were tested with Sport Ident System with the help of Mr Jaroslav Kacmarcik, on a course prepared by local course setters. After this experience, a short visit to the nearby beach was due.
In the afternoon, Jaroslav Kacmarcik – IOF GDC and Giulia Zenere – PWT Academy together with Orienteering M delegates visited Chasée La Rivière du Post, guided by the owner Mr Anaida Bhugeloo. The private area is a hunting ground with interesting open areas, tracks and forest.
Later on, enjoying the pleasant sunshine, the international delegates strolled in Palmar forest beach, an appealing area for a very fast sprint race, checking the tracks and the possibilities for an international race, as well as an area for school orienteering activities.
Saturday 09/10 Mr Jaroslav Kacmarcik – IOF GDC and Giulia Zenere – PWT Academy, conducted a workshop on Teaching Orienteering in Schools at MIE – Mauritius Institute of Education for more than 80 Educators of Physical Education and HEP Educators.
Some of the Educators already followed the online webinar of April-June 2021, some introduced Orienteering in their schools and also participated with their school activities in the World Orienteering Week this year. Indeed, it was the very first participation of Mauritius in the WOD: a great success!
Some other Educators participated for the first time to the workshop on Orienteering.
The workshop consisted in a theorical part in the morning, and a practical part in the afternoon.
The Educators were tested on a simple course using for their very first time the Sport Ident system.
All the participants received a certificate of participation, Mr Gilbert Quéland of Domain de Lagrave was also present to the certificates delivery.
A complete set of Sport Ident System, together with orienteering flags and stands were presented to the local Federation by Park World Tour Academy for their future use.
Orienteering M awarded Mr Jaroslav Kacmarcik and Ms Giulia Zenere with a trophy for the unflinching support for the development of orienteering in Mauritius.
On 07/10 Mr Jaroslav Kacmarcik – IOF GDC and Ms Giulia Zenere –PWT Academy visited Domain de Lagrave, a deer hunting ground in the middle of the country.
Mr Gilbert Quéland, owner of the venue, fully supported the idea of hosting O-school competitions as well as an international O-event.
Domain de Lagrave suits all the requirements for a Middle Distance Orienteering race, being a mixture of open areas, forest, streams and paths. The venue is provided with a restaurant, as well as bungalows to rent.
The visit continued then to Bras d’Eau National Park, with a walk starting by the Entrance on Poste de Flacq, where lies the ruins of an ancient French sugarcane mill and the village settled around it, including a well.
The spot immediately catches the eyes because of the million lava stones composing the whole forest and the paths – being Mauritius created from a volcano.
In this site schools doing CI examinations conducted assessments on orienteering coursework in the last 4 years. The visit of the delegates was to prepare a map according to IOF standards, to be used for schools and trainings during the workshops.
Mr Jaroslav Kacmarcik, also IOF delegate of the Global Development Commission, and Ms Giulia Zenere, delegate of Park World Tour Academy, were welcomed by the Orienteering M, temporary Orienteering Federation of Mauritius.
The purposes of the visit were to develop orienteering as sport in the school system and find suitable venues for orienteering races, both for school competitions and for international events.
Mr John Domah leaded the operative team of Mauritius, and organised the very first meeting on the Island straight after the flight arrival of the international delegates on 06/10 with the Director of NPCS National Park and Conservation Service Mr. Kevin Ruhomaun and his staff.
The Director illustrated the huge work of Park management, endangered species recovery and conservation of terrestrial biodiversity and, being Orienteering sport so green and respectful of nature, expressed his interested in hosting orienteering events in the parks.
The focus was pointed mainly to 2 of the the 3 National Parks of Mauritius: Black River Gorges and Bras d’Eau.
Black River Gorges National Park is situated in the South West of the island, and covers an area of 6574 ha. It harbours most of our flowering plants, bird species and some reptiles which are native to Mauritius. In 1977, part of the BRGNP was designated Man and the Biosphere reserve, by the UNESCO.
Bras d’Eau is located in the North East of the island. It covers a total area of 497.2 ha and is mainly under Mahogany, Araucaria, Tecoma and Eucalyptus plantations. The name Bras d’Eau originated from the outline of the mass of water protruding in the land in the shape of an arm between Pointe Radeau and Belcourt Bay.
The visit to the Parks were scheduled for the next days.