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04.04.2021 - In the interview in Swiss Orienteering Magazine 03/2021 with the SOW Head of Department "Day Care", Marianne Okle, spontaneous vacations in Arosa and the influence of the bears were the focus of the exchange of ideas. But also the impression that the locals are interested and relaxed about the Swiss O Week.


Marianne OkleMarianne is the only person interviewed who is doing sports regularly, mostly long-distance running. Occasionally, she also orienteers, a sport which her husband and kids prefer.

The family was introduced to running with a map and compass through neighbors whose engagement in the sport was impressive. Therefore, Marianne was already in charge of the day care in SOW Gstaad 2019 to allow parents to look for and find controls in the terrain without having to worry about their kids shortly after crossing the finish line. During the SOW Arosa, she will also take on this task, which can be found on the organizational chart in the “Security” section.

As it was not possible for her to participate onsite when the OC was scouting in Arosa last autumn, the family decided then at a later time for a private stay and found by coincidence a suitable holiday apartment. This allowed Marianne to do her daily running laps around the “Arosa Bear Sanctuary” at 2’000 meters altitude where she was always happy that a high security fence limited the habitat of these huge animals. Her children, however, were excitedly telling about sleeping boxes, bathing ponds, stables, or the past of the dancing bears after having visited the facility. They also made it clear that the bear “Napa” was a cross between a brown and a polar bear and came from an animal-unworthy environment. Thus, Marianne is convinced that for families and other SOW-guests a visit to “Bear Sanctuary” will certainly be entertaining but will also provide informative insights into an exemplary implemented animal welfare project.

This enabled “Napa” an animal-friendly evening of life until the redeeming death in November 2020 as well as granting the following circus bear “Jambonila” coming from a tiny metal cage in the Ukraine a future in sunny Arosa.

Marianne has a good feeling about 2021 anyway, because locals are meanwhile convinced of the event with a focus on “Culture, Nature and Sport” and are looking forward to the Swiss O Week with interest and calm.

Oskar Schiess

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