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Discussion: Relay attendance

in: Prendy; Prendy > 2024-03-17

Mar 19, 2024 10:07 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
I think the trend is more obvious for relays for a number of reasons. Interest in relays in general is low. Bendigo used to organise a club relay. Attendees didn't want to hang around for other people to finish their runs, so we went to an all legs mass start event and added times later. Nobody saw the point of this so the event has long disappeared from our local fixture. Maybe the same is happening to the state relay?

Few people want to organise relays anyway. They remain stubbornly complex. Why make the effort when few turn up anyway.

Finally, the trend towards relays in local parks around Melbourne isn't much of an incentive to travel for 2 hours if you live in Bendigo. I understand why this choice might be made. Organising a relay in good terrain would mean lots more travel for any organiser in Melbourne. Its one way of compensating for the complexity in relay organisation.

My personal perspective is that I only bother entering national carnival relays if the terrain is interesting and I will be there anyway. This state relay didn't meet either criteria. Its a long drive for a jog in the park. It might have been fun to attend to video the self-appointed 'policewoman' videoer. But I wasn't aware of that till afterwards.

My memory of recent fixture meetings has been that clubs have had to have arms twisted to organise a relay. Perhaps its best to let the relay rest until there is some renewed enthusiasm. Might happen, might not. Match the fixture to the volunteer willingness.
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Mar 19, 2024 11:05 PM # 
PrueD:
‘Self appointed videoer’ - l only heard about this afterwards. How peculiar!!!!!
Mar 20, 2024 12:09 AM # 
Prendy:
Hard to know how to respond to this Invis. Sounds like making excuses for not supporting a sport to be inclusive. I think relays are great but I do understand that there are those who consider it creates too much pressure and they cant handle that.

For me it creates an opportunity for the club to come together, plan and support each other in a way they never do at most events. If set up well it is really fun. The event was spoiled for me on Sun as we, as a club could not even fill 2 teams and the numbers of other clubs were so poor as to make it close to a dull event.

The type of terrain seems irrelevant. In fact easy terrain creates more opportunities for contact on the course and which can add to the excitement of the battle. The loops on Sun made it really enjoyable. Even though I am slow these days I was in contact with several people on my course and it was interesting watching a couple of elites dash past. I had forgotten how fast I used to be.

Orienteering is in many ways an individual sport even though it takes a team to set it up. We can be very selfish individuals at times and if it doesn't live up to our personal high standards, well then, I just wont do it.
Mar 20, 2024 1:08 AM # 
jayne:
I guess easier terrain makes it more accessible to newcomers.

Can someone please fill us in with the story of the videoing? Royal park would be a great place for a permanent course- especially if you had some info at the children’s playground.
Mar 20, 2024 2:56 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
I wasn't there, so would only be hearsay from me.
Mar 20, 2024 11:07 PM # 
patjaffe:
There were a couple of members of a local community group who were unhappy with orienteering occurring in the park. There's quite a complex process in place to resolve this and while I think it's unlikely that comments from attackpoint are found, it'd be one less thing for us to worry about if people held off from discussing it on a public forum at this stage. Hope that makes sense and happy to discuss it in person once things are resolved.
Mar 20, 2024 11:28 PM # 
patjaffe:
Also just wanted to add, thanks for the enthusiasm about the event and Angus' courses Roch, really appreciated!

A couple of the best orienteering experiences of my life were the recent years where MFR hired minibuses, brought a bunch of relatively new members into the teams (as well as talking some orienteers who hadn't been out for a while into making a comeback) and then went out for lunch/drinks afterwards.

As much as it was a bigger effort than usual, I'm happy we managed to keep the Club Relays going this year and hope other clubs look at replicating the minibus/brewery idea for future years.
Mar 21, 2024 3:39 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
> We can be very selfish individuals at times and if it doesn't live up to our personal high standards, well then, I just wont do it.
That's more than a little harsh. I read that as saying its selfish to choose to only attend events you get joy from. I didn't go the Taylor Swift concert. Anyway, I spent the day mapping instead which is doing something different for the sport.
Mar 21, 2024 11:20 AM # 
jennycas:
About 20 years ago, the Arrows took over the running of the club relays in SA because none of the clubs wanted to organise them. Teams of two, each person runs twice and the courses are short, alternating sprint and forest years, only one member of the team has to be a current financial member of an SA club. Works perfectly as an Arrows' fundraiser and a social function for the metro clubs, with over 70 teams in recent years - and I'm pretty sure nobody else is going to take the organisation away from us now...because they don't know how to do it any more.

But, we've never thought of the minibus/brewery option to get teams in from Whyalla and Port Lincoln :)
Mar 22, 2024 2:53 AM # 
tRicky:
I didn't consider 105 entrants for the Vic relays as a poor turnout. Perhaps compared to the glory years from decades ago (similar decline with all overall attendances) but with the number of clubs involved with OV, then perhaps teams per club were quite low - BK fielded the most teams with seven but failed to win overall. However, it was a higher attendance than each of the two Sunday Morning Sprint events and the Eureka sprint weekend (which attracted some interstate competitors) held in the preceding weeks. The indoor/outdoor sprint held earlier in the year attracted a near identical number of people (actually the same number if you knock Richard G out of the results for not turning up).

Congratulations to all clubs involved, in particular MFR for organising. I wish I could have been there (I'm still a BK member) but then I haven't yet managed to attend any events held in WA this year either aside from the street event I organised. As with OSA, OWA runs a two person, two leg sprint relay format which is considered to attract more people than the former three person bush relays we used to run (though you can have 3-4 people if you don't want to run two legs).
Mar 22, 2024 10:04 PM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
I think the most obvious conclusion is that proximity wins attendance. Its demonstrated this weekend with two events on the same day.
Mar 22, 2024 11:04 PM # 
Uncle JiM:
Also demonstrates how few ppl get to run a bush event pry to Easter, unless you came to Bendigo for Fowl and Fizz, BendiGo ToDay, or today

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