WOD Ambassador – Simona Aebersold

Private photo.

Why did you start practicing orienteering?

As my parents already took me to competitions when I was still a baby, I got to enjoy the sport from quite early on. I started practicing because it was a nice family activity on holidays or at the weekend for us. So I kind of slipped into the sport, got to run my first competitions, was successful and had fun competing.

Can you tell us about an early memory of orienteering that you have?

My parents signed me up for some competitions, which would be my first competitions to run without my father following me with some distance. I was extremely looking forward to them but was still afraid to do orienteering alone and getting lost and not finding my parents anymore after the finish. To practice it, my parents wanted me to find one control in my home forest alone, without them following me. I was even too scared to run around the next turn. But without doing that, I wouldn’t be able to run the races the next days, so I did it. The races went pretty well then and I even won one of them. And was not afraid of running alone anymore 😉

What is special with orienteering?

You never know what exactly is expecting you when you stand at the start line. It’s never the same. Training is varied and you need to adjust the speed to the orienteering part. You get to see many different places and each of them requires it’s own technique.

What is your advice to children and youths when it comes to practice orienteering?

Try to imagine how the terrain looks from looking at the map. Try lots of different places to run orienteering and get some experience at competitions. And the most important thing I think is to just have fun in the forest and never give up when it doesn’t go that well once.

What are your dreams when it comes to orienteering?

My big dream or goal has always been to become a World Champion. I have already been very close to achieving that goal several times and hope to finally get there soon.

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