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Tweet Friday 8th March 2019

These Girls Can…and have!

British Orienteering is supporting International Women's Day (Friday 8 March 2019) today!

International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements. 

 

THESE GIRLS CAN...AND HAVE!

We three ladies “would encourage even more women to take on the roles of race officials.”

Check out this report by Carol Iddles, Katy Dyer and Diana Nicholl (Bristol Orienteering Klub).

The all-female team of Organiser, Planner and Controller from Bristol Orienteering Klub officiated a Level C race at Black Down, Mendip Hills.  This was a first?!

Planner’s view – Carol Iddles, said:

“I ‘fell’ into this race from a previous one I had planned in the Forest of Dean last October, with Katy as Controller. Many complimentary comments came my way and in the middle of them came a request to take over from the original planner due to logistical reasons. The flattery must have gone to my head as I said “Yes” straight away. Moreover, a strong factor in accepting was that Katy was controlling again, and we had developed a good working relationship. The terrain was completely different from the forest, though.

The sticking point came in finding an Organiser. Fortunately for Bristol Orienteering Klub, Diana Nicoll, a relatively new member, came forward. She lacked experience but was well-organised and her career used the skills needed. She quickly did the Organisers’ course and the Event Safety workshop. With Katy’s immense organising skills I knew she would keep Diana up to speed.

We met three times as a team during the lead-up period and worked extremely well together. Supporting, helping and reminding each other. Diana’s organisation was superb, before and on the day.

The day itself was wall-to-wall sunshine. The ground at the top of the hill dried up, and the courses were extremely runnable. The views were amazing! Black Down was at its best.

The longer courses could have been longer in hindsight, but I avoided the areas of bramble and gorse as much as possible. All the comments I heard that day were positive, people appreciated how much work goes into a race, I believe. Thank you to all the many helpers from Bristol Orienteering Klub who made this possible. Thank you to Trevor Crowe for the many updates to the map he made on his own initiative as Katy and I discovered new pits and paths. Thank you especially to Katy for her support and advice.”


Controller’s view – Katy Dyer, said:

“Our event was the first one to be held solely on Black Down itself, part of the higher Mendip Hills. Initially, our officials’ team consisted of two ladies from BOK, Carol Iddles Planner and myself as Level C Controller. We had recently worked successfully together on a significant Level D in the Forest of Dean, a totally different place from Black Down.

Carol had already considered a possible Start and Finish and in the absence of an Organiser we met up to sort out the car parking and Assembly area. Our best choice was to use the elevated land south of Black Down and we found a long cul-de-sac lane for car parking and the potential of a barn at the nearby farm for Assembly. Black Down is very exposed to the winds and rain of the Bristol Channel and any shelter for everyone is welcome.

Carol had now persuaded Diana Nicholl (Bristol Orienteering Klub) to join us as the Event Organiser. Both Carol and I have a considerable amount of experience as orienteers and officials, both here and abroad and we offered Diana the mentoring and support she would need for this event. Carol began planning her courses: White, Yellow, Orange, Light Green, Short Green, Green and Blue. Carol’s courses started to begin to take good shape and we were within the agreed timetable. Over the next few weeks, Carol tweaked the courses, retagged and together we revisited disputed sites. The Orange and Light Green courses proved to be a problem and they were the subject of much discussion.

The actual race day was a controller’s dream; all went very well with really good weather and over 270 runners participated. I was pleased with the results and the good comments we received. There were some short times but in bad weather, especially fog, some of those speedy times could well have been longer. The foraging animals left the overnight controls alone except for one which I had to replant early in the morning! I am pleased we had so many young runners and also a good number of older orienteers who are returning to the sport. Standing at the Finish was an excellent opportunity for me to talk with runners and spectators, who were almost all pleased with their courses."

 

Organiser’s view – Diana Nicoll, said:

“When Katy and Carol persuaded me to come on board as the Organiser for the Black Down event, I had no real idea what I was letting myself in for, but I have to say it’s been an excellent experience!

I found the thought of being the Organiser more daunting than actually doing it. I think it is key is to have good support from your Planner and Controller and to start organising well before the event. Bristol Orienteering Klub’s Organiser Manual was very helpful for getting my head around all the different things that need to be thought about. It felt like getting a lot of plates spinning and then keeping them up there! I made a plan of what needed to be done and then chipped away at the tasks. The input of the Planner and Controller is critical to keeping you on track.

The day itself was long and tiring but I really enjoyed it. It went really smoothly and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. I think we made a really good team!”

 

We three ladies “would encourage even more women to take on the roles of race officials.”

Many thanks to all of our supporting club volunteers.


#BalanceforBetter
#IWD2019
@womensday

 

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