The UK OCR community has had a bit of a rocky few years. Lest we forget, the ill fated UK Obstacle Course Racing Association (OCRA) and all the things we've no doubt told our therapists in the past two years.
In terms of international racing, the UK has been somewhat rudderless. Some have called for a figurehead whereas others are happy to plod along regardless. Some are just here for the japes, and we can certainly have those without turning OCR all serious again. Alas, with OCR associations and organisations cropping up all over the globe and coming together to form World OCR, or the Fédération Internationale de Sports d’Obstacles (FISO), it seemed only a matter of time before someone was called up to support the interests of OCR athletes and enthusiasts from the UK on a world stage.
FISO is the umbrella over the various federations that collaborate on events such as the European Championships, having just concluded their fourth incarnation in Gdynia, Poland. While the host country is responsible for the course build and infrastructure, officials involved behind the scenes are part of the bigger picture.
And so back to the UK. Previously free-wheeling through the European OCR scene, today we hear news that our UK Federation president has been decided upon. And it's, let's face it, a relative unknown in the OCR 'scene'. Big groups such as Team UK, various race teams and indeed our own Mudstacle community have been largely in the dark as to the process of electing this official, but there we have it. The committee is decided.
So who is Oner Avara? At the moment, your guess is as good as ours! Though we have nothing but hope that the interests of the community at large and the excellent athletes within will be represented, this bold first move in the dark may not rest easy with some. It seems the Federation will have a lot of work to do to sell the idea to a community previously burned. Luckily there are some familiar names on the roster of the UK federation here which brings a little more strengths to the new boss's links with those of us on the ground.
As yet, the UK OCR Federation website is fairly sparse but we hope this new committee will communicate with the community at the earliest possible opportunity. More on this as the story develops.