Half term in Bolton saw a new partnership form to help deliver Xplorer events whilst introducing and promoting club orienteering events to hundreds of new people.
The National Childbirth Trust (NCT), Bolton Council and South East Lancashire Orienteering Club (SELOC) teamed up to run two events over half term for families and young children in Queens’s Park, Bolton. Over 300 people attended over the two days keeping the volunteers on their toes throughout. Lorna Brooke, Anne Jeremiah, Keri Berry (NCT) and Caroline Barcham (SELOC) were on hand ensuring everyone got their maps and a crash course in orienteering, whilst also hearing about the opportunities there are for anyone to get involved in the club events running locally.
Commenting on the event Lorna Brooke (NCT), said: “The NCT is there to support parents in many ways from antenatal classes, to first aid courses and through the early years of becoming a parent. Activities such as Xplorer, pram walks and coffee mornings play an important role in supporting parents by running fun activities for young families, whilst providing the opportunity to meet other parents and share their experiences.”
Caroline Barcham (SELOC), added: “It was great to see so many people enjoying orienteering in Queens Park, there were lots of smiles and very keen families. Hopefully, following these events, we’ll see them joining up with SELOC and experience the wider world of orienteering.”
There will be another opportunity for families of all ages to experience two Xplorer challenges in Queens Park on Saturday 24th November, people can start the courses anytime between 11am and 1pm, collect your free maps from the Queens Park Café.
Find more Xplorer events here.
Six M/W15 juniors assembled in Stirling for a busy training weekend during October half-term as part of a British Orienteering learning pilot around youth retention. Lead coach Chris Smithard, a member of the British Senior Squad, welcomed the teenagers for the first of a series of three linked sessions during the winter.
"This programme is aiming to coach a small group of athletes in some of the advanced skills needed to perform to a high standard,” said Chris. “The small size of the group enables us to focus on the individual needs of each athlete”.
The first weekend looked at agreeing personal goals for 2019 and set the athletes a mix of sprint training, Night-O and forest-based training sessions in the Trossachs. Sprint training made use of online tools that can analyse route choices, comparing distances and providing insight into which routes would be the quickest. Night-O was held in Stirling town centre, with its steep slopes near the castle.
Moving to the forest, the group performed a technical exercise at Little Druim Wood, navigating out and back along the sloping terrain. “The exercise on running across slopes was new for me,” said one young athlete. “I was videoed by my support coach, which will help me analyse my terrain-running style”.
On the final morning, the group tackled two loops at the Trossachs, one of UK’s most challenging area, both physically & technically.
The aims and objectives of the pilot are to:
1. Learn more about the coaching and training needs of this mid-teenage age group, placed within the context of youth retention
2. Understand in greater detail the value of adopting an athlete-centred, relationship-based coaching approach
3. Appreciate and learn lessons from the logistics of running a small coaching group.
The programme will run from October to February and will be athlete-centred by offering individual 1-1 discussion time with each athlete, as well as group sharing after the training sessions. In addition to focusing on individual needs, the programme will also introduce the concept of “self-help” encouraging the young orienteers to take control of their own training needs and act on them.
Run as a pilot with the support of British Orienteering the intention is to develop further knowledge of how personalised coaching can support the retention of young people in the sport.
“We would like to encourage more athlete-centred coaching in future. All orienteers have different aspirations, pressures and circumstances, and it is important that the sport offers athletes a way forward that can adapt to their needs,” said Craig Anthony, Head of Development for British Orienteering.
The Every Junior Matters Youth Strategy can be viewed here.
British Orienteering's Youth Strategy "Every Junior Matters" aims to attract and retain more young people in orienteering.
You can read the short and full versions of the strategy below:
Guildford Orienteers presents the Southern Night Championships 2018 (Level B) at Puttenham Common and Britty Wood
on Saturday 24 November.
The organiser of the Southern Night Championships, Jeremy Wilde, commented:
"Puttenham Common has been gorgeous if rather cold on these recent clear nights under the full moon. Plans for the Southern Night Champs are well advanced and we are looking forward to a great evening on the 24th of November.
We have hired Myrtle's Courtyard on the Hampton Estate - the Common is part of the Estate - to use as our Event Centre. Tom's burger wagon will be there serving up the usual hot drinks and food, as well as Ian's Ultrasport van. Be there - for a night of O-delight!"
Entries are still open: book online via www.fabian4.co.uk by Saturday 17 November 2018.
Organiser: Jeremy Wilde (Guildford Orienteers)
Planner: Tim Denton (Guildford Orienteers)
Controller: Alan Wallis (Southern Navigators)
This is a UK Orienteering League event.
For more information about the Southern Night Championships visit here.
Photos supplied: Guildford Orienteers
British Orienteering would like to thank all volunteers from Guildford Orienteers and surrounding clubs for their hard work in putting on this event and wishing all members a great evening of night orienteering.