Ric Gamble - Organiser (Lagan Valley Orienteers)
Christmas 2019 saw Lagan Valley Orienteer's (LVO’s) Festive Fun event move from Tollymore Forest and the National Outdoor Centre in South Down to the corridors of Ballyclare High School and a meal and quiz at the nearby Chimney Corner Hotel in Mid Antrim.
The head torches, full body cover and muddy studs needed for a Night-O were replaced with trainers, shorts and t-shirt for the Indoor-O.
When participants picked up the expertly mapped, planned and controlled courses (thanks Stephen and Wilbert) at the start, we were quickly brought back a few years, with memories of our first day at big school – nervous and feeling a little bit lost!
Personally, I have spent a fair fraction of my life in schools, as a student and teacher so I was feeling fairly confident and relaxed. So, as soon as the start was dibbed, I headed off at a great rate, loving the idea of running through the corridors like I tried to do as a school kid, without being yelled at by a teacher.
My running should have soon stopped as I got completely confused with the split levels, but of course it did not, meaning I did some serious additional vertical steps up and down floors. Eventually I slowed things down and was happy to complete the course without error rather than end up completely confused in a classroom or likely lost in the library.
Just to add an additional twist to a head turning course, the gym was transformed into a maze. This was complete with a “senior teacher” looking out for those who could be inclined to take a shortcut or two.
All in all, great fun and challenging courses enjoyed by all who took part, both young and old, new and experienced.
To be honest, during the planning and organising process of this year’s Christmas event, there were a few nerves regarding uptake due to the change in venue, location and programme but we actually continued to build in numbers, up 20% from last year, with about two thirds of LVO’s regular participants involved in the night.
There are definitely some good Christmas traditions and I think everyone at LVO recognises that this evening of festive fun is one of them – keep a look out for what’s in store next year!
Happy Christmas and New Year from LVO!
Thank you to the event Organiser - Ric Gamble (LVO), Mapper and Controller - Stephen Baxter and Planner – Wilbert Hollinger for putting on this event for all to enjoy.
Has your club enjoyed a recent Christmas Social event or Indoor Orienteering event? What orienteering are you taking part in over the Christmas and New Year break?
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