Talent Development Squad preparing for competition period
This weekend saw the Talent Development Squad carrying out their technical training at Graythwaite, Rusland Beeches and Great Tower as they move into the Competition phase of training in preparation for the forthcoming selection races.
The athletes were fortunate to spend Friday evening in the company of Tess Hill who gave an insightful presentation on orienteering in Bulgaria and the areas relevant to JWOC 2014. Tess then spent the following day with the squad, helping deliver the training sessions that had been expertly planned by Martin Bagness. The exercises were designed to challenge the athletes' map contact skill as well as their direction and ability to picture the features and control circles. Also on hand to support the athletes with their training objectives and evaluations were Martin Bagness, Ben Chesters, Tom Fellbaum and Sarah Hague.
After a full day in the forest the squad returned to the accommodation at Graythwaite Cottages. After showering, eating and relaxing they joined together to consider the learning stages in the development of skill and their individual position along that continuum. This allowed each athlete to consider where they would like to focus and practice over the next few weeks.
Next it was the turn of Rhona McMillan and Tamsin Moran to take the stage where they gave the younger athletes an insight into life at Sheffield University and the benefits of belonging to ShUOC.
Sunday's training consisted of a terrain time trial (4.8km for the boys and 3.2km for the girls) at Great Tower and this was followed by a two-man relay (3 X 1km). The time trial has been used before and data has been captured from previous performances and so the athletes are looking forward to comparing themselves to previous JWOC athletes such as Ralph Street and Charlotte Watson, as soon as the results are available. The course is tough and the wet underfoot conditions made it particularly tricky but the athletes put in tremendous effort and impressed the coaches and other groups, who were using the venue, as they watched in awe as the athletes tore past!
(Pictured: Will Rigg, time trail; Alice Rigby and Ben Maliphant, relay handover; Sasha Chepelin, time trail)
Thanks goes to Martin Bagness for planning and mentoring, Ben Chesters for coaching and control hanging, Tom Fellbaum for mentoring and control hanging, Tess Hill for mentoring and presenting and LOC for organsing access.