A love for forests and a desire to develop a European-dominated sport on the other side of the globe has seen two Russians take up the coach in residence role at Esk Valley Orienteering Club.
St Petersburg duo Ekaterina Savkina and Ksenia Torganova have been tasked with running EVOC’s summer schedule over the next five months, and have already begun taking their skills to Launceston schools.
Savkina is a former junior world championship bronze medallist and a three-time European champion, while Torganova insists her best skills lay in management.
“Our work is divided into two parts, basically one part is to work in the club to organise events, training sessions and competitions for the club, and the second part is to work with children and the schools of Launceston,” the 27-year-old said.
“I’m not pro but I organise many events and I have a lot of experience in organising, so we decided we’re a good team to combine our skills together to come here.
“To be good at orienteering you need to love forests, nature, and to be dirty sometimes because if it’s rainy or wet it’s always dirty and you have to be prepared for those difficulties.”
Savkina has been in the state for little more than two weeks but has already taken to the Tasmanian summer.
“We really enjoy the sun - it’s summertime in Russia, it’s quite cold and there’s a lot of snow and ice and it’s dirty and freezing,” she said.
“Here there’s a lot of green and a lot of flowers and the birds – they sing so beautifully, everywhere in every street in the town or the country there’s a bird singing and I really enjoy that.
“And the fruit - mangoes and the berries, it’s great.”
The duo will host multiple weekly training sessions during their time in Tasmania.
For details visit evoc-orienteering.com