Is orienteering the daggiest sport on earth? In 2014 Clare and I dug deep to come up with an answer...
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
I'm in Melbourne and I'm staying with Clare.
Whilst here, we have been bemoaning the fact that whilst orienteering is a great sport, which we love, and which shaped our lives, and sent us around the world, and given us some of our greatest friends (and in my case a lovely husband) it may in fact possibly be the daggiest sport in the world. This is due to the following reasons:
So - back to the our ponderings..is orienteering the daggiest sport in the world? I put it to you that the answer is no, because surely Radio-Orienteering, Trail-Orienteering, MTB-Orienteering, Street-Orienteering, Ski-Orienteering, and the related sports & activites of geo-chaching & rogaining are WAY more daggy. Ok - so yeah, they are very closely related to orienteering and in fact by suggesting that they are even more daggy is really just proving the original point that orienteering is the daggiest sport on earth.
So this led Clare and I to challenge ourselves to come up with 10 other sports that were definitely daggier than orienteering. You'll have to check back for my next post to discover how we went..
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
(apologies to all those I have borrowed images from without asking)
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Clare pointed out that another indicator that your sport is perhaps a little daggy is when it's commonly misunderstood by the general public (those that have heard of it anyway).
Just as an aside, I work surrounded by arty folk (including plenty of writers) so I often have to restrain myself from making a fuss when sports are misrepresented in scripts (it's normally too late by the time I read the script anyway) - for example I recently read a script which described an aerial manoeuvre as including 2 and a 1/2 pikes (as opposed to 2 and a 1/2 somersaults in the pike position).
A previous animated series we did included a lot of basketball and aside from constantly reminding the animators to not have the players dribble the ball with two hands, I remember a storyline where a cheerleader accidentally fell onto the court, tripping up a player who had the ball. This resulted in the player receiving fouls shots, which of course resulted in them winning the game in the dying seconds. What the? If I was the other team I would have been plenty pissed off - especially as the cheerleader actually belonged to the winning team!!
Anyway - back to orienteering and TV.. this seems to be the perfect storyline platform for misadventure. Typically on TV (in a series I've been involved with and also totally 2 unrelated shows I've seen recently including the really good ABC 3 series Lost Boys), unwilling participants are teamed up in miss-matched social groups and forced to go orienteering with nothing but a map, compass, and set of co-ordinates. Can I just say here that orienteering has absolutely NOTHING to do with co-ordinates. Nethertheless this setup provides the perfect platform for misadventure and hijinks (hence it's common use) - generally for the unfortunate participants, things go terribly wrong when they lose the map, roll an ankle, or the gps devices in their phones stop working. And then of course it gets dark...
Can I just say here that orienteering is generally an indiviual sport, the courses are typically more like 1 hour long than 1 day long, gps devices are not allowed, and to be competitive you need to be really fit, and you need to be fast - the best orienteers are also regular fun-run winners and perform well at national 5k/10k track events. Sure you 'could' walk, just like you could walk a fun run or a cross country race or a marathon. Anyway - I could defend orienteering all day but as I mentioned before, all daggy sports have redeeming features and are undoubtably really great fun to play.
So anyway. Today at the physio I was discussing how I wanted to get my back better so I could be right by the upcoming Australian Easter 3-day Orienteering races in NSW.
Physio (dismissively): "Well.. a bit of everything"
Me (internally): um ..by a bit of everything do you mean like what? swimming? knitting?
Me (audibly): mmm..
Korfball. Korfball has a number of classic daggy indicators. Firstly no-one's ever heard of it, secondly, it's big in Europe - in fact I discovered there's even an semi professional Dutch team there. Thirdly it has a funny sounding name that doesn't give any indication of what the sport is about, forthly it has a funny basket thing, fifthly it's mixed - I just can't take a sport seriously that plays in a mixed format at the highest level - socially sure, internationally.. nup… sixthly you'd probably never ever meet anyone who knew what it was, although from my research your chances of not having to explain it would be increased if you lived in SA. (always the progressive state!).
Korfball has the problem of being very similar in game-play to netball, which we all know is huge in Australia. It would take some heavyweight marketing from the korfball association (and probably some sort of physical torture) to convince young sportspeople that they'd be better off playing a Dutch sport no-one has heard of with a funny name rather than signing up for netball where they could aspire to the Commonwealth Games and maybe even the um.. World Games, or possibly even score a part in an advertisement for Lean-Cuisine. I guess in either sport you wouldn't make any money (unless you played for that Dutch Korfball team) but that's a whole other kettle of gender-related fish I won't even start on.
In fact if you haven't been across to read Clare's blog you should head on over now as she's been writing about the same topic simultaneously and you'll see why she's the actual published author (get it now from amazon) and I'm better suited to Royal Tennis.
Oh, and the prize for being the worlds daggiest sport that's playable in Australia...?
Oh - and after a flood that swept under our house a few years after we wrote this, I stumbled across someone who did actually sew their badges on..
Thursday, 31 May 2018
While the under-house area is drying out, Jon and I have been sorting through all the boxes of stuff we brought upstairs.
Mostly it's been photos and trophies and an awful lot of Christmas decorations but amongst it all Jon has found some gems from the 80s & 90s, including his SA Junior Orienteering tracksuit..
complete with the badges he won and sewed on himself..
I found this old article. Imagine a time when an ankle injury to a junior orienteer could make it into the newspaper..clearly they had too many sports reporters back in those days!
Basically the article was about me being worried that my stress fracture would jeopardise my chances of making the Australian Team for the Junior World Championships. I notice even dad got a quote...
Spoiler Alert - I made the team. But as dad suspected, due to limited preparation and a lot of cadbury's fundraising chocolate I wasn't that fit in Sweden . Nethertheless it was great fun and changed my life as I met a) Jon and b) the au pair of Harald and Linda.
Clare was also mentioned in relation to the 'intensive' training camp held just after the selection trials..
Although the only intensive part of the camp I remember (just) was the intensive night of celebratory drinking on the first night. (kids i hope you aren't reading this).
Anyway - Jon found the glasses he wore to a party back in the 90s.. very cool. We also found a photo of the actual event but he's living it up in Stockholm at the moment so I'm not sure where that picture ended up.
I also found evidence of my short lived sailing career. This was the pocket of the expensive blazer we had to wear in the Tasmanian team that travelled to nationals in Glenelg. I also remember that we had to wear blue wooden clogs, skirts and white shirts. Very fancy.
I was a forward hand rather than the skipper of the boats I went to nationals with. I did end up with my own boat - a tired old thing called 'Birubi' but it was impossible to compete against all the people with new sails every year (mine were 10 years old), so in about 1986 I sold the boat and used the money to go to my first interstate orienteering event in SA. Hmm.. maybe Jon was at that event sporting his fancy new red tracksuit !