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A Golden Opportunity

One hundred sixty contestants took part in the Academic Gold Panning Championship in Zielona Gora. This exotic event not only attracted contestants from Poland, but also from countries such as the Czech Republic, Georgia and Vietnam, among others.

This was the third annual International Academic Gold Panning Championship. It lasted for two days this year, and it awarded medals in four categories. - Approximately 30% of the participants already had experiences in panning gold. They got bitten by the “golden bug” during the previous year’s events. Today, not only do they take part in Polish competitions, but in international competitions, as well – said doctoral engineer Dariusz Michalski, the Championship’s organizer, as well as Deputy Dean for Students' Matters for the Mechanical Department of the University of Zielona Gora. He is also an active gold panning contestant and a proud promoter of this activity.

- Next week I will participate in the Championship of Poland in Zlotoryja – declared Minh Khue Phan from Vietnam. He is a physics student who was awarded with a silver medal in the Open category. - I had plans to be ranked as first today, but competing against such experienced contestants is demanding – emphasized Phan. A far more relaxed approach towards gold panning is presented by Urszula Goral. She was victorious in the category of University of Zielona Gora employees. Urszula works in the secretary’s office at the Construction Institute. She mentions the reasons why she considers gold panning to be a pleasant form of recreation, first and foremost. - It's a wonderful way to spend a weekend. Instead of staying at home, you can feel the excitement of a sporting event, meet very nice people, and discover new things about gold – she said. When we ask her if she will participate in the Championship in the future, she has no doubts. - Of course I will – she replied. And will she defend the Championship title? - I will do my best – she laughed.

The event’s host was Tomasz Antosiak of the Polish Gold Diggers Fraternity in Zlotoryja. He emphasized the cognitive values of gold panning. - The word “gold” impacts your imagination. I have been panning gold for twenty five years. Thanks to this activity, I have been able to visit many little known and inspiring places. Gold panning is popular all over the world – from the USA and Canada, throughout the Republic of South Africa, as well as Poland.

The competition in Zielona Gora served gold panning well, as a positive draw to this sport in the future, and had an atmosphere similar to that of a community picnic. The event occurred with the support of local companies. The awards for the winners, as well as gifts for every participant, were endowed by Cinkciarz.pl, the online currency exchange company. - Gifts for participants are a standard at international events. That is why we are happy with the cooperation and the support of the sponsors. We wish to develop our competition in the following years. We are especially diligent about going out of the academic environment and reaching the rest of the community – explained doctoral engineer Michalski. The next significant event related to gold panning will be held next weekend. It will be the 13th annual International Open Gold Panning Championship of Poland in Zlotoryja.

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