They come from all over the county. They meet once a week at the event
Wednesdays with a map
and for approximately two hours they leave behind their worries, concerns and work hours and throw themselves willingly into an activity that mixes sport, conviviality and discovery. And lots of guidance.
O Wednesdays with map is an event organized by Associação Desportiva do Mondego (ADM), born in 2014 from the passion for sport in general and with the sport of Orienteering as a particular focus. It has existed since 2017 and is part of the program of the Municipality of Figueira da Foz Sports for All, which during the summer months provides all citizens with the opportunity to experience a wide range of modalities.
Rooms with Map
aims to make Orienteering known to the people of Figueiredo.
But what is this Guidance thing anyway? Let’s not invent the wheel and drink the information from the ADM website source :
“Orienteering is an exciting and challenging outdoor sport that exercises the mind and body. The aim is to navigate between the checkpoints marked on an orienteering map. In the competition aspect, the challenge is to complete the course as quickly as possible, choosing the best options.“
Having made these introductions, let’s move on to the event itself.
Participants arrive in families, in groups of friends, in pairs. Those who come alone are quickly integrated. Orienteering, make no mistake, is a 100% inclusive sport. There is no age limit, no more or less appropriate heights and weights It is seeing them in a contagious good mood, from the youngest child to the most adorable grandparent.
There is no compulsion to run the courses in a hurry, although some people take the competition very seriously. The snail’s pace is allowed, the chatter is constant, there are challenges and goals all the time, and there is no sight of any VAR interrupting races in search of a supposed irregularity in the pick-up. Before departure (there is no order, the time is counted for each one, starting when the first point is marked), there is a kind of check-in where maps are distributed – there are them for all tastes, like T-shirts, from short to extra-long – and electronic devices that allow you to mark the passage through the points defined by each route. So what? Then leave and enjoy.
With map in hand, hurried pace, the next point suddenly becomes the most important circle in the universe. There’s no turning back: even if you’re going as a group, you’re still going to win the map. There are whole families in competition with themselves, children in healthy banter, crossroads and oncoming encounters. As in life, there are disappointments and mistakes. But no one gives up here. After correcting the paths that lead to Ponto D’Ori – the signpost where the dot is pricked -, before moving on to the next goal, the guys follow triumphantly, with smiles spread, free of worries, in a constant (re)discovery of new places. Orienteering, which favors contact with nature but still has its city side, has the ability to bring us closer to places that on other days seem strange or unnoticed. But the next point on the map will put everything in its place.
The Wednesdays with Map take place weekly at different points in the municipality, from May 15 to September 15, and require advance registration on the website of the organization. ADM. The number of registrants is surprising, but those who take part understand why. Today there were 99.”It’s exhausting to see the happiness on everyone’s face, moving from one point to another, to the final step“, says Susana, president of the ADM. We proved it.
Whether you’re from Figueira da Foz or visiting, this Wednesday with a map is an experience you shouldn’t miss. To do with your child, mother, aunt, grandparent or your best friend.