changed/improved at about July 2004. That was our first experience of being told by forestry that they had no plans for any felling activity in a given part of the forest, only for us to arrive there to put out controls and find that serious thinning operations were underway. Which made the going fairly slow in some parts at that particular event but once the felled logs were cleared away the forest became as you see it today (with no longer any need for the green stripe denoting direction of plantings). Incidentally, here are the results from that event - back when course 1 was the very easy: http://www.sa.orienteering.asn.au/results/2004/jul...
Something I occasionally do is to check results from a chosen number of years ago eg 10 or 20 and see who is still active. I'm never quite sure how to interpret the answer to this however - still active - fantastic. Still active and many fewer in the cohort?. Particularly in my "boys" ages eg Lachlan H, Tyson H, Jamie C, Andrew M, etc.
Yes, it seems that once the dream of national representation is lost, there is a fair extinction rate. That this often coincides with career seriousness, mortgages and family might also help.
Some return when they reach their 50s and 60s.
Finding they are still active, often in 'related' sports (rogaine, endurance/long run events) but also finding they are coming intermittently with family - so in mid 30s or so.
Yes, it seems that once the dream of national representation is lost, there is a fair extinction rate.
This is especially obvious in MTBO where you can currently find exactly one junior (Chris) from our awesome National junior ranks of 2011-2013 still riding MTBO at all at any level, although Angus is a senior this year and is still keen.
Maybe it's time to encourage people to do orienteering ' for fun' and because 'it's awesome being able to run free through the forest', rather than as a serious thing. Rather reminds me of learning piano - l lost interest rapidly after being forced to practice scales and sit exams, even though l recognise music as a beautiful thing . Are we killing interest through placing too much emphasis on the results of junior participants, especially noting that not everyone can be a champion and that is OK and the participation of everyone is valued regardless or even as much as the participation of the champions.
We try all angles across Australia. In fact there's barely any mention of 'elite' in WA when promoting the sport.
I've still got that image of the Newbury Navigators (disabled group) on the podium at Street O. You would have thought they had won the world champs. One of the best moments ever in my O experiences.