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Canadian orienteering suffers loss in the passing of Jack Forsyth

written by Colin Kirk

It is with great sadness the Canadian Orienteering Federation (COF) announces the passing of former COF President, Jack Forsyth. Jack suffered from a serious kidney condition for many years before passing away on March 24, 2011 in a Brandon Care Facility. It is only due to his immense courage and that he survived as long as he did.

Jack became involved in orienteering in 1972 after attending a COF Clinic in Ontario and was instrumental in forming the Manitoba Orienteering Association the same year. He served 23 years on the COF Board of Directors including 9 years as President – both records. Jack was involved in the organization of 6 Canadian Orienteering Championships in Manitoba between 1982 and 2010, serving as meet director at three of the six.

In the world of sport, Jack led a double life. In addition to his association and contribution to orienteering he was just as passionate and involved in amateur hockey. The following comments are taken from an announcement on the Hockey Manitoba website announcing his death:

    “Jack served as President of Hockey Manitoba for 3 years starting in 2001 and concluding in 2004 and during that time was instrumental in several advancements in the game. Jack was actively involved in the game for over 6 decades as a player, coach, official and administrator. Jack was passionate, enthusiastic and held strong beliefs on how the game should be managed and his contribution to the sport was indeed impressive. Jack served on the Hockey Canada Board of Directors from 2001-2007, the final 3 years as the National Chair of Minor Hockey. In 2008 he was awarded the Hockey Canada Order of Merit which is presented to association members who have made outstanding contributions to amateur hockey in Canada. Jack is recognized as a Life Member of Hockey Manitoba and also served as Commissioner of the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League for over 20 years.”

On behalf of the Canadian Orienteering Federation membership, I extend deepest sympathies to his wife, Phyllis, son Keith, daughter Kristin and their families.

Canmore's permanent orienteering courses in the IOF's news

The cover story in the latest version of the IOF’s newsletter O-Zine is about the permanent courses (on foot, bike and ski) that the Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club has developed at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Alberta. Read the full story here.


Update from the Ski-Orienteering World Champs

Robbie Anderson of Ottawa has had the top result for a North American male in both the sprint and middle distance at the Ski-Orienteering World Championships happening this week in Sweden. He has been 45th in both races. Nick Duca of Kitchener placed 63rd in the sprint and 68th in the middle. Nick is pleased with his results considering that he broke a rib recently back home in Ontario. Check out the national team blog for the latest update from Nick and Robbie and a few of their photos. You can see from the photos that they’ve had some tricky weather to contend with. Next up for Robbie and Nick is the long distance. Also, congratulations to the USA’s Alison Crocker’s for her great results. Alison was 18th in both the sprint and middle.

Canadians at the World Ski Orienteering Championships

Robbie Anderson of Ottawa and Nick Duca of Kitchener are competing at the World Ski Orienteering championships in Tänndalen, Sweden this week. Tänndalen in the Swedish region of northwest Härjedalen, approximately 590 km northwest of Stockholm

The event website is at: The website includes live video and results.

Nick and Robbie will be competing in the sprint distance on Tuesday Mar 22, the middle distance on Wednesday the 23rd and the long distance on Saturday the 26th.  The approximate distance of the sprint using the shortest possible route on the tracks is 5.3 km. The middle distance is approximately 14.4 km and the long distance will be approximately 32.5 km. Other events at the championships include a mixed relay and a traditional relay.

These championships will be using an EMIT touch-free punching system, which means that the skier need to be within a short distance of the control (1-2 feet) but doesn’t need to physically punch the control.

There are 27 countries competing at these world championships.

2011 JWOC team announced

The COF is pleased to announce the Canadian team for the 2011 Junior World Orienteering Championships in Poland this summer. The team was selected by Brian May, Magali Robert and National Team Coach Magnus Johansson.

Women: Dahria Beatty, Emily Kemp, Emily Ross, Kendra Murray, Molly Kemp, Tori Owen
Men: Graeme Rennie, Graham Ereaux, Lee Hawkings

Athlete Profile: Jennifer MacKeigan

Born 1993
Hometown Rawdon, NS
Currently living Whitehorse, Yukon
Clubs Yukon Orienteering Association
Occupation Footwear buyer and ski tech
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

This year I went to Jukola with team Yukon and that was such an eye opener for how popular the sport is in Europe.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

I am really excited for a 20km midnight race in Greenland

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

O-Ringen, I still haven’t been and really want to go.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I don’t have seasonal awareness when it comes to hiking or adventures.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

I want to be able to rock climb a 5.10 route clean.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

I am horrible at precision compass bearings.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

Last year I helped coach the Junior program in Whitehorse and I am also on the HPP committee.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

In the past I have done map memory. You look at a leg for ten seconds and then you have to tell your partner your route, attackpoint, catching feature and control feature all from memory.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

I really like Dice-O. Any one can win! You have 2 dice and you roll and whatever numbers you roll those are the controls you go to even if you roll a number more then once you still have to go to it. The person that wins is the one who gets all the controls first.


Jennifer is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program.