While the Australian Championships are now consigned to the short list of events that never happened, I would like to provide this final update and say thank you to Tasmanian orienteers.
Prior to cancellation, due to Covid, I believe we were very well-placed to deliver an excellent Championships. Our key personnel had spent many long hours over the past three years preparing for their roles in the championships and had recruited teams of volunteers to help them deliver on the tasks they had taken on.
At my last count, I had 93 people listed in my spreadsheet of volunteers, each of whom had volunteered for specific roles (some more than one!) and a few people who had still to be assigned to roles. These volunteers included control “wakers”, start team and finish team officials, Covid safety people, parking officials, commentators, marketing and media, schools’ championship organisers, competitor services personnel, course planners and controllers, the IT team, awards ceremony personnel, logistics team members, control collectors, search and rescue team members, and more. This represented fantastic support for the Championships and reflected our willingness to make sure we delivered the best possible carnival.
I would like to thank each one of you for volunteering and for your commitment. Your support has made the tasks of both the team leaders and of myself much easier. (I appreciate that many of you are still working to make the “replacement” CTNWB carnival a success and I thank you for that.)
Tidying up after the cancellation of AOC is continuing. I have yet to write Exit Reports for our government sponsors, Events Tasmania and Sport and Recreation. They have given us strong indications that we will retain all our grant money, subject to receiving the official reports from me.
Ian Rathbone has had the daunting task of working through all 566 entries (at the time of cancellation) to calculate the refunds due and to provide this information to Dirk Nankervis so he can carry out the reimbursement. This process is still ongoing.
It is also pleasing to report that an initiative, suggested by OA by way of support for us, that we offer people the opportunity to make donations to OT, given our likely losses on the event, has been well supported. Over 100 people entering themselves and/or other family members into AOC have made donations through the Australian Sports Foundation. Some have donated all their entry fees! A number of Tasmanian orienteers, who have had roles in the AOC organisation, have made donations, in addition to working as volunteers. These donations will contribute significantly to reducing to a minimum the losses that the carnival will make.
I received many emails, from individuals and O clubs, showing support for us, as organisers. This has been much appreciated by me and I have included a couple of typical ones here to share with you.
A pleasure to support you in this crazy time. Needless to say we are very upset at missing out on our Tassie trip, but for us it’s just a missed trip, whereas for you and your team it’s several years of hard work with a frustrating outcome. We’re feeling for you! Here’s looking forward to joining you for O events in Tassie in the not too distant future 😊
We are so disappointed that we won’t be enjoying Tasmania this time around. I am also incredibly disappointed for Orienteering Tasmania and all the organisers for the years of hard work, the uncertainty and the sleepless nights that have no doubt been had in 2020 and again in 2021. You guys do a great job at event organisation. We always look forward to Tasmanian events and the opportunity for a bit of a holiday afterwards. And so we will look forward to next time, and hope the days ahead are more certain than the last interminable lot have been.
Thanking you and the rest of the team for all of your hard work and perseverance over many years in such difficult circumstances. I look forward to being able to run on those maps at some stage in the future.
While the cancellation has been disappointing for everyone involved, I am gratified by the way that the Tasmanian Orienteering community has worked so well together, in the face of adversity and uncertainty, over the past three years. I am sure it bodes well for the next major carnival that we eventually take on.