More than 60 Tasmanians from all age classes will contest next week’s Australian orienteering championships.
The week-long event includes the national long and medium distance championships, secondary schools championships and sprint and relay championships.
All will be held in the challenging orienteering region known as the Granite Belt in southern Queensland.
There will also be the Australia-New Zealand Test match for teams from the senior and junior elites and the final of the National Orienteering League, contested by elites from all Australian states competing in three designated world ranking events.
The Tasmanian schools team of 24 includes four experienced Esk Valley club members Eleanor McLean, Arabella Phillips, Jo Dickenson and Jed Fleming.
The Tasmanian secondary school team will be defending its title having won three of the last four Australian championships.
Jo Dickenson, of Launceston, was named this week in the Australian Bushrangers team to contest the junior elite challenge, the M20E class, along with fellow club member Ashley Nankervis and Jarrah Day, of Hobart.
The terrain will suit the Tasmanians as it is what they encounter in the St Helens region
Anna and Zoe Dowling, from the Hobart Club Wellington Ranges, were named in W20E.
Brodie Nankervis was also named in the challenge team for the senior elites, the men’s 21E.
Success in the Australian championships will be important for selection to the Oceania championships in New Zealand in April 2017.
EVOC’s Valerie Brammall said: “The terrain, which includes both granite and sandstone areas, will suit the Tasmanians as it is what they encounter in the St Helens region, used extensively for most of the major events held in Tasmania.”
Two newcomers to the championships will be Jeremy Genar and Silke van Rooy of Belgium.
Genar, who competed for Belgium in this year’s world championships, will travel on to Tasmania to become coach in residence with Esk Valley, helping provide additional schools programs, mapping and coaching with the juniors. He will remain in Tasmania until mid-2017 with the support of Orienteering Tasmania.