Košice and its wider surroundings will be teeming with orienteers in mid‑August (11 – 18 August). After three major global events in the past (1988 – World Cup Round 5, 2006 – World University Championships, 2012 – World Junior Championships), this time masters will meet in their championships. Athletes, who have already surpassed their previous performance limits, but whose love and passion for moving in unfamiliar terrain with a map and a compass in their hands remain.
In 2023, the World Masters Orienteering Championships will be one of the most important and the most visited events not only in the Košice and Prešov regions, but also in Slovakia. Originally, the event was to take place in 2020. The organisation of the Masters Championship is one of the most sought‑after formats within the IOF and there is always great interest in its allocation. Organising the event in our region is a result of the skills and sports diplomacy of experienced organisers.
The ATU Košice Orienteering Club will be the main organiser of the championship. 250-270 volunteers will be involved in the event (and they are still welcome). The City of Košice, OB Kysak Club and many other partners will be co‑organisers. The Technical University (TUKE) will also be a very important partner of the event. TUKE is represented in the organising committee, some of the participants will use the dormitory accommodation, the stadium on Watsonova Street will be the finish line of the first race and the opening ceremony will also take place there after the end of the race. The races will be run in the TUKE campus and in the adjacent Park Angelinum housing estate.
3,000-3,500 competitors aged 35-95 from 40-45 countries of the world are expected to participate in the event. Men's and women's categories are arranged in 5-year groupings, the most populated of which are usually the categories of 60, 65 and 70 year olds. There are currently almost 2,500 registered applicants (most Czechs – more than 400), the deadline for applications is 30 June. In addition to the main race, the event will also include accompanying races for the public and accompanying persons under the age of 35, with 300-400 expected runners. During the event, five races and three training sessions will take place. Runners will compete in three disciplines – sprint, middle and long distance. Each race and each training will take place in a new venue having a new finish arena, new starts, new facilities…
Košice and its wider surroundings have very good conditions for orienteering. The variety and diversity of terrains around the city are the biggest attraction for fans of this sport. There are continental terrains with deep valleys, large landslide areas with fine terrain details, but also remotely accessible terrains of the Slovak Karst National Park with its unique vegetation. The quality organisation and the possibility of visiting cultural and natural attractions of the surrounding area create very good conditions for a pleasant stay. Since most of the participants will come from economically strong countries (Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, Great Britain, Germany, …) the organisation of the championship will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the economic contribution in the hotel industry, catering and other areas of tourism.
The organisers aim to present Slovakia and Košice through the quality organisation of this important global event. The organisers want to prepare the championship not only in terms of sports, but also in terms of social aspect. In addition to attractive terrains and tracks, they also want to offer the participants the widest possible range of opportunities to visit the cultural and natural attractions of Košice and its surroundings. The ambassadors, the Slovak Olympic medallists – Anastasia Kuzminova, Matej Tóth and Jozef Gönci will certainly add social respectability to the event. It is also gratifying that the Mayor of Košice Jaroslav Polaček, the Chairman of Košice Self‑Governing Region Rastislav Trnka and the President of the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee Anton Siekel have taken over the patronage of the individual disciplines. The Rector of TUKE will also have a place in the honorary presidency.
11 August – Accreditation – K13, Model Event – Košice, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy campus + Obrancov mieru Park
12 August – Sprint Qualification, Košice – Technical University + Park Angelinum, Opening ceremony – TUKE stadium
13 August – Sprint Final, Prize giving ceremony, Košice – the city centre + City Park
14 August – Rest day, Model event, Lemešany, trips
15 August – Middle and Long Qualifier, Budimír
16 August – Middle Final, Prize giving ceremony, Sigord near Prešov
17 August – Rest day, Model event, Silická Plateau, trips
18 August – Long Final, Prize giving ceremony, Closing ceremony, Silická Plateau