Adam Woods – Busy Studying, Training, Competing and Mentoring

Nov 13, 2014

Adam Woods, 20, of Coquitlam competes at a high level in orienteering while completing his third year of computer engineering at UBC. He is used to the challenge of balancing studies and sport; training is a welcome break from the textbooks.  He has traveled to many locations in Europe and North  America  to compete.  Most recently, Adam spent Thanksgiving near Ottawa while representing Canada’s junior team at the North American Orienteering Championships. He won a silver medal in the long distance and became the under 21 sprint distance champion. It was a better experience than the 2012 North American championships were Adam ran a race on 4 hours of sleep due to protracted flight delays. Over the summer he competed at the Junior World Orienteering championships in Bulgaria. He returned to earn second place in sprint and long at the Canadian Orienteering Championships at Whistler and the following week won the sprint, middle and long at the Western Canadian Orienteering championships near Kamloops.

In addition to competing, Adam mentors others during weekly training events of the Greater Vancouver Orienteering club.  “There’s always some part of your orienteering to improve,” Adam explains.  “Thanks to a number of excellent coaches, I have knowledge to share”.  Over the summer, Adam had the privileged of coaching junior orienteers from across Canada at Orienteering Canada’s national junior training camp at Whistler. He finds working with the kids extremely rewarding. “I was in their shoes only a few years ago, I can’t help but give back” .

Adam grew up cross-country skiing as a Hollyburn Jackrabbit. He raced at nationals multiple times and represented UBC as a member of the cross-country ski team. He also enjoys white-water kayaking, a sport he learned from his parents, both of whom competed at a high level in white water kayak and are now avid orienteers.  

In the future Adam plans to represent Canada at the World University Orienteering Championships and hopes to race at the World Orienteering Championships. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of fellow Vancouver club member Brian Ellis who recently won the long distance final in the 70-75 class at the World Masters orienteering championships in Brazil. “I can’t be sure I’ll remain competive but I’ll always keep orienteering” Adam says. “It’s a sport for life so when I see the 80 year olds with their canes I think that will be me one day.”