This week the International School Sports Federation (ISF) is organising the inaugural U15 World School Sport Games in Belgrade, Serbia. 2500 participants, in ages 13-15 years old, from 36 countries are participating in the 14 sports on the program. And through the IOF cooperation with the ISF, orienteering is one of them. The orienteering program contains Sprint, Middle Distance and Long Distance competitions and a special team friendship event for athletes and coaches. The Serbian School Sports Federation is the main organiser for the event and for the orienteering competitions and activities they have enlisted the help of the Serbian Orienteering Federation.
But this is not the only orienteering activities going on during the week.
In parallel with the U15 Games, the ISF World School Championships in Orienteering is also being organised for participants aged 16 -18 years old. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has reduced participation somewhat this year it is still a significant event for school sports athletes.
“Orienteering is one of the main sports in the ISF calendar, and with that we have a great cooperation with the IOF, collaborating with a great team in organising events since 1987, and are continuing to develop opportunities in the sport”, said ISF President Laurent Petrynka.
The special team friendship event was organised on September 14, to coincide with World Orienteering Day. This team event is unique in that teams are made up of participants, including both athletes and coaches, from different countries who need to cooperate to solve the navigation tasks together. A fantastic event to promote international cooperation and understanding. A report from the World Orienteering Day activity can be found on the ISF homepage.
The ISF has also established a sports Fun and Skills Zone which is open to participants, officials, educators and the public during the week. And with the assistance of IOF Regional Development Coordinator Zoran Milovanovic and the Serbian Orienteering Federation there are orienteering demonstrations going on. This is a very valuable way to show the educational values of orienteering.
The IOF and ISF recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding which further develops the relationship between the 2 bodies. The cooperation includes the continuing development and cooperation around ISF events, but also cooperating to increase the presence of orienteering in schools and school sports globally.