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History of rogaining in the Czech Republic by Tomas Prokes
Tomas Prokes is president of the Ceska Asociace Rogainingu (Czech Republic Rogaining Association), a member of the national orienteering team, winner of the prestigious Swedish 3-day Fjällorienteering and a sports instructor with the Czech army.
Members of the Czech Republic orienteering team, including Jaroslav Kacmarik and myself, participated in the 1990 Most Awesome Rogaine in Alberta as part of the major World Cup programme in western North America that season. In 1996, a group of us including Vaclav Zakouril decided to establish an independent sport association and to organize rogaining and mountain orienteering events in the Czech Republic.
In September 1996, the Ceska Asociace Rogainingu was officially founded and the first two events were held in Branzez and Liberec. The following year, the 1st Czech Championship was organized as a 24 hour and 12 hour rogaine under the leadership of Honza Vokurka. This rogaine attracted 45 teams including the eventual winning Czech-Finnish team of Seidl and Kakko (the latter subsequently a world rogaining champion).
An important step in development came when the Ceska Asociace Rogainingu became part of the International Rogaining Federation in 1997. The next year, several Czech members took part in the 3rd World Rogaining Championships in Kamloops, Canada. The 5th World Rogaining Championships are to be held in the Czech Republic in 2002.
The constraints on rogaining in the Czech Republic differ from other established rogaining countries. Areas with suitable geographical conditions for 24 hour rogaining are limited. Dense population, a network of roads, few forest areas and tight restrictions on some nature reserves restrict use of much available land. However, the country is centrally situated in Europe so travel is relatively easy both to an annual Czech classic rogaine and to rogaines in neighbouring countries.
Copyright 2002 International Rogaining Federation Inc. All rights reserved.
Editors note as published on the IRF web site 2 Sept 2002