G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 27th April 2020

Click here to view this email in your browser.

Compiled by Tristan White


“With 9 rogaines, the volunteers’ picnic, and at least two training events [scheduled for 2020], we can for the first time boast that we will average an event every month,” proudly proclaimed the February newsletter.

Surveying the carnage following the unprecedented bushfire season, it continues: “There are… a range of other areas that remain intact, and we acknowledge the pragmatic event organisers who are working hard to secure these for rogaines throughout the year, continuing our mission of showing people parts of the State they never knew existed. Therefore we expect all NSWRA events to proceed as planned.”

Forgive me for stating the blatantly obvious, but obviously this will not be the case. The bushfires may have subsided, but we now are in the midst of an even more widespread crisis stretching across the globe in the form of Covid-19. With the banning of all public gatherings of more than two people and all non-essential travel it makes a rogaine for 500 people impossible. Plus the health and safety of our rogainers and volunteers is our top priority. It is therefore with sadness that all NSWRA rogaines are postponed until these restrictions are lifted. This also includes the Australasian Champs in South Australia in May and the World Champs in California in August, both postponed to 2021.

We are grateful that, unlike many other higher level sports, indefinitely calling off our events does not put either our competitors’ or organisers’ livelihoods on the line. However, I am aware that there are many rogainers whose future is uncertain with the curtailment of their ability to work or study, or have experienced the illness themselves, and I send my well wishes to them. I would also like to acknowledge the significant number of rogainers who have been working tirelessly and selflessly in the health sector to protect our society, and wish them good health as they face the coming months at the front line.

The committee is working hard to ensure that rogaines will be able to return in one form or another as the restrictions are lifted, but of course we are all uncertain about when and how this will occur, and may require the format to be slightly different – e.g., no catering, staggered starts, and Navlight punches fixed to avoid hand contact. There is also the possibility of “virtual rogaines.”

We welcome any suggestions from our members as we move forward, particularly those with insider knowledge on health, event management or technology. Please contact me at publicity@nswrogaining.org, the committee at committee@nswrogaining.org, or post to our Facebook group to share your thoughts.

Permanent Orienteering Courses

If you are looking for your fix of navigational challenge in the absence of organised rogaines and orienteering events, Orienteering NSW has advised the location of permanent orienteering courses set up in Sydney, Newcastle and Armidale, including a new one in Georges Heights. Details are on the ONSW website here, including the course locations, maps for download or details for downloading the MapRun app to your phone.

An update on NSWRA Newsletters

Formal rogaines may be temporarily on hold, but newsletters will not be! Whilst there of course will be no events to promote in the next few editions, there will nonetheless be plenty to share on gear, history and strategy as we eagerly await the events to return. For those who find themselves stuck indoors and working reduced hours and looking for other ways to pass time and have something worth sharing, please put it up here.

Find out if you are a Serious Rogainer!

As said in my recent Forum interview with NZ’s Tane Cambridge, a great paradox of rogaining “is that on the one hand, it is the sport that people can do if they are too young, old or otherwise unable to do more mainstream sports such as rugby, tennis or running. But on the other hand, championship rogaines can be viewed as one of the craziest, physically & mentally demanding activities on the planet.”

Where on the spectrum do you lie? Take the quiz and find out!

David Williams and Ronnie Taib, our NSW Champions

Thanks to webmaster Chris Stevenson for initiating the quiz and keeping the website afloat during this time!

The NSWRA/Suunto Wonder Compass

Chris has also been working hard to create a special NSWRA brand compass. He explains, “A traditional compass, in the hands of a skilled operator, will tell you which way to go. This new compass will not only tell you which way to go, but also the direction from which you have come.” You can view the full video explaining the features of this practical, lightweight and reliable piece of equipment on our Forum here*

*May contain traces of irony and sarcasm and may have been posted 1st April.

Get Into Gear No. 3 – Giving Dodgy Footwear the Boot

The absence of formal events does not prevent us from talking in detail about rogaining gear, therefore I am pleased to add a “footnote” to the newsletter and share the third instalment of the “Get into Gear” series.

If I were to take a survey of physical ailments that rogainers experience on the course, I would be very surprised if foot problems didn’t top the list. It would be wonderful if I could give an objective solution to foot problems, but unfortunately our feet are not cooperative enough to be standard sizes to do this.

View the full article to read what Graham Field, John Clancy and QRA’s Richard Robinson say about their challenges and triumphs with rogaining footwear and some of the most popular choices of shoes for rogaines.

Do you have a particular item of rogaining gear that you feel passionate about? Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me and have it added to a future section of the next newsletter!

Tristan White
on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee