Who is Who
Martin Checkley, M55, GBR
[Martin and Judith Checkley will come to Portugal, this time not to compete but to integrate WMOC Staff. With the Russian young lady Aleksandra Schetchikova, they are the visible face of international cooperation in this World Masters. You will find them at the Start and Reception. This interview might seem out of order, but you'll see how pertinent it is, because Judith and Martin is a well-known couple and they have a very interesting way of life. This photo was taken by Raquel Costa, on March 22nd, in Calasparra (Murcia), during the Relay of Spanish O-Champ, where Martin also took part of the Staff.]
You and your wife Judith have discovered orienteering in Spain on Dec '98 (I Trofeo Ciudad de Totana") and, after that, you wrote a very interesting report to SYO News, the website of your British team. Can you remind us the essential of this Spanish adventure?
Judith and I first went to Spain to orienteer in 1998 after we sold our UK house and decided to travel the world for a while. We contacted the club Totana to ask if we could compete in their competition, they hand delivered our information to our campsite, which resulted in us meeting our good friends from our adopted club.
It seems to have been the beginning of a revolution in your life, because now you are living in Spain and running in Totana orienteering club. Anyway you continue doing some races in GBR. How can you be here and there? Retired? What was your job?
Well, I retired from the British Fire Service after nearly 30 years service, unfortunately I was a victim of the much feared Lyme Disease which nearly put an end to my life in outdoor sports, but after many years things are now much improved. We continued to travel between GB and Spain and still do now, wintertime in Spain and elsewhere in the summer. Our club Totana is so different to SYO club in GB, we are mainly family based with lots of kids taking an interest in our sport. We think the atmosphere in just so different to orienteering in GB.
During some months in the year you have a second (or a first?) house: your van! When did you start this "lifestyle"? How many countries have you visited and competing in with the van?
We starting back in 1998 with a caravan, which progressed to a campervan later, we have visited many European countries with our van and have also been to Australia, but we didn't drive!!
Your van... Other vans... good way to make friendships. I've seen you talking with Norman Jones, also a British retired living for 3 years in Portugal with his van. I've seen you talking with Andreas Grote, a Swiss globetrotter also travelling in a van to last POM...
We meet many people through using our van, orienteering with a van is in our opinion the best way to travel between events, our team mates in Spain are buying them also, you will often see our group at events enjoying the social side of orienteering pre and post race. Yes we have met Norman and Andreas fellow van owners, Norman is a new friend and I am sure one we will gladly meet up with for many years to come, Andreas and us have travelled together for many years throughout Europe, he is a regular visitor to Spain.
Hugh Moore, from Australia, also mentioned your name. Where and when did you meet?
Everybody knows Hugh Moore, we first met him in Scotland when he arrived at the 6 days without his luggage. We have since met him at other events and again minus his luggage, I think he has no kit, just borrows his stuff from other competitors, wise man that Hugh. Do not know if I have met anybody else I am always preoccupied finding kit for Hugh or making tea for Norman.
Living in a van maybe offers opportunities that anybody else can enjoy. Moving from a campsite to other campsite, sometimes you have to stop for sleeping in the middle of nowhere. Can you tell us about any paradise that you discovered by chance?
Moving around is great and we have found those special places, but if I tell you where, they no longer will be special, we all have our secrets.
You are a man twice as happy. You have a van and a... wife orienteer! Can you introduce Judith Checkley to us?
Yes, I do have a special wife, she orienteers well and travels around with me, in fact Judith was the driving force to travel, she has had some special results, she beat me once. Judith was a Directors secretary back in Sheffield for 23 years.
You have been to many WMOC events and many other big competitions in different parts of the world. Can you remember some "very special" events?
Too numerous to mention, always look forward to the next event, but POM2002 was special for us, as was the Swiss 6 days in 2006
How do you appear cooperating with WMOC organization?
Well, we decided to help the POF at the WMOC 2008 because we have received many good events in Portugal over the last 10 years, so we needed to give back to our sport something. Of course we have many friends at COC, so making this commitment was very easy for us indeed. Judith and I are very experienced at organising, but since we left England we do very little, other than 2 events in Spain every year. We believe that, because we speak English, we can provide a good link with other competitors who may have problems if their first language is not English. Let's hope for a good WMOC.
(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008 Feb 21st.)
[2008-06-20] Carlos Monteiro, WMOC Event Director
[2008-06-20] Dieter Wolf, M55, SUI
[2008-06-19] Timo Teinila, WMOC speaker
[2008-06-19] Jorge Simões, WMOC Event Director assistant
[2008-06-18] Blair Trewin, M35, AUS
[2008-06-18] Mariett Matias, WMOC Media responsible
[2008-06-17] David May, WMOC Senior Event Advisor
[2008-06-16] Gottfried Tobler, M60, AUT
[2008-06-16] Tuulikki Salmenkylä, W45, FIN
[2008-06-16] Arvo Majoinen, M80, FIN
[2008-06-14] Fernando Costa, WMOC Marketing responsible
[2008-06-13] Sarah Dunn, W40, GBR
[2008-06-12] Santos Sousa, WMOC planner
[2008-06-11] Sigurd Daehli, M55, NOR
[2008-06-10] Alexandre Reis, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-09] Nick Duca, M40, CAN
[2008-06-07] Tiago Aires, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-06] Irina Stepanova, W55, RUS
[2008-06-05] Luís Sérgio, WMOC mapper
[2008-06-04] Ari Kattainen, M50, FIN
[2008-06-03] Rui Antunes, WMOC Mapping coordinator
[2008-06-02] Jon Musgrave, M45, GBR
[2008-05-31] Jacinto Eleutério, WMOC Course coordinator
[2008-05-30] Rune Carlsson, M70, SWE
[2008-05-29] Åke Jacobson, IOF President
[2008-05-29] Augusto Almeida, POF President
[2008-05-28] Jurate Uleviciene, W55, LIT
[2008-05-26] Vladimir Ioffe, M70, ISR
[2008-05-23] José Fernandes, M45, POR
[2008-05-21] Ezio Paris, M55, ITA
[2008-05-19] Gabriella Györffy, W40, HUN
[2008-05-16] Alberto Minguez, M40, ESP
[2008-05-14] Tomas Zdrahal, M55, CZE
[2008-05-12] Paulo Becker, M45, BRA
[2008-05-09] Ingrid Roll, W70, NOR
[2008-05-07] Jerzy Parzewski, M55, POL
[2008-05-05] Hugh Moore, M60, AUS
[2008-05-02] Martin Checkley, M55, GBR
[2008-04-30] Etienne Bousser, M60, FRA
[2008-04-28] Andreas Grote, M40, SUI
[2008-04-24] Liudmila Labutina, W65, RUS
[2008-04-22] Freddy Sillien, M60, BEL
[2008-04-17] Tomislav Kaniski, M35, CRO
[2008-04-14] Eero Tuuteri, M85, FIN
[2008-04-10] Lena Nordahl, W80, SWE
[2008-04-07] Albano João, M45, POR
[2008-04-03] Tom A. Karlsen, M55, NOR
[2008-03-31] Kayoko Sakai, W55, JPN
[2008-03-27] Finn Arildsen, M45, DEN
[2008-03-24] Anne Nurmi, W45, FIN
[2008-03-20] Peo Bengtsson, M75, SWE
[2008-03-17] Alida Abola, W50, LAT
[2008-03-13] Matti Railimo, M60, FIN
[2008-03-10] Cornelia Eckardt, W35, GER
[2008-03-06] Joaquim Sousa, M35, POR
[2008-03-03] Birgitta Olsson, W75, SWE
[2008-02-20] J. Salmenkylä, M75, FIN
[2008-02-18] Torid Kvaal, W65, NOR
[2008-02-15] Mykola Bozhko, M55, UKR
[2008-02-13] Pavlina Brautigam, W45, USA
[2008-02-11] Ferran Santoyo, M35, ESP
[2008-02-08] Sole Nieminen, W80, FIN
[2008-02-06] Stefano Galletti, M40, ITA
[2008-02-04] Gillian Ingham, W50, NZL
[2008-02-01] Jörgen Mårtensson, M45, SWE
[2008-01-30] Tom Hiltebrand, M50, SUI
[2008-01-28] Baiba Ozola, W40, LAT
[2008-01-25] Eddie Harwood, M55, GBR
[2008-01-23] Marje Viirmann, W45, EST
[2008-01-21] Alexander Afonyushkin, M40, RUS
[2008-01-18] Paulina Majova, W55, SVK
[2008-01-16] Björn Linnersjö, M65, SWE
[2008-01-15] Lillian Røss, W85, NOR
[2008-01-10] Tapio Peippo, M55, FIN
[2008-01-07] Elizabeth Brown, W90, GBR
[2008-01-04] Erkki Luntamo, M90, FIN