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Tweet Monday 9th March 2020

#9. International Women's Day: Interview with Fiona Bunn - Medal Winner!

Celebrating International Women’s Day – 8 March 2020.

British Orienteering is supporting International Women’s Day.

2019 JWOC Gold and Silver Medal Winner - Fiona Bunn (Thames Valley Orienteering Club)

Fiona Bunn digging deep!
Left to right:  Megan Keith, Grace Molloy, Fiona Bunn

Jennie Taylor Communications Officer at British Orienteering caught up with Fiona Bunn from Thames Valley Orienteering Club (TVOC) as she arrived back from the Junior World Orienteering Championships held in Denmark last year.  

Fiona Bunn

Club:  Thames Valley Orienteering Club

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Many congratulations Fiona on your junior world-class medal-winning orienteering performances this year at JWOC! 

How does it feel to be a World Gold Medal Junior Orienteering Relay Champion?
Fiona:  "It's a pretty crazy feeling, and probably the most perfect way for me to end my time as a junior! I can only look back with satisfaction now; the final race literally couldn't have been any better and I got to share the moment with the team which was incredible."

What was the last piece of advice your coach said to you before you competed?
Fiona:   "Something along the lines of "You know what to do".  It's nice that the team has faith in me even when I'm feeling nervous inside, and it was a good reminder to keep it calm and controlled and just do the job; it was definitely excited nerves as I always love Relays."

Do you have a word or mantra that you say to yourself when you’re competing?
Fiona:  "I’ve tried a few over the years, usually just something to make me focus on a key technique that I’ve identified to be important from training. I rarely need something to get me more fired up, it’s more to help me control my performance.  In the Middle distance, I wanted to focus on my direction so the phrase was “Aim and fire”…focussing on investing the time at the beginning of the leg before running at full speed.  It’s always about simplifying the process and making everything controllable: you know that there is no way it can go wrong if you do a few simple things on every Leg!"

What one or two things did you do in your training that helped you to win?
Fiona:  "I think for me I benefitted from a more consistent build-up this year, less disrupted by injury and illness than previous years. I made a very conscious effort to monitor my training and lifestyle carefully over the season, which sometimes involved holding myself back at times, but it paid off and allowed me to get a more solid block of training in.  Despite living in the flatlands of Cambridge, I managed to do a lot of gym work for leg strength and power that helped me tackle the hills in the terrain, and also went out to Denmark on 3 occasions to practise training and racing in relevant terrain which was a big help."

Do you hear the crowd roaring when you were running?
Fiona:  "Whilst I was running I just tried to focus on my own navigation, but it was great to have so much support from everyone. There were lots of Brits forming a loyal spectator squad, but I was also blown away by the number of people from other nations who were clearly supporting the Brits strongly and enjoying seeing us taking on the bigger nations!"

How proud are you of your other two GB Relay team-mates?
Fiona: "I don’t know how to express how proud I am of them. It is not often that you are in the situation that we were in with such a strong chance of a medal, but to pull off such incredible performances when it mattered is just awesome and I’m super grateful that they helped make the opportunity a reality. Megan had one of the performances of the championship, in my opinion, coping with the pressure of running the first Leg for the A team in her first JWOC and is such an exciting talent for the future. Grace had already inspired the team to aim high with her double individual Bronze, and then beat the Russian World Long-distance champion on the last leg in a display of amazing calm-headed orienteering."

What will you always remember about this World Championships?
Fiona: "The moment that Grace came bursting out of the forest in the lead on the Relay, the team hugs and general team spirit, the awesome terrain and of course the pancake machine at the hotel breakfast."

Are you interested in orienteering, but don’t know enough about the sport?
This set of Frequently Asked Questions will help you find out more.

International Women's Day (IWD) provides an important moment to showcase commitment to women's equality, launch new initiatives and action, celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness, highlight gender parity gains and more.

The day is celebrated and supported globally by industry, governments, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women's networks, charities and non-profit bodies, the media and more.

Collectively every person and all groups can make a difference within their sphere of influence by taking concrete action to help build a more gender-equal world. From small powerful grassroots gatherings to large-scale conference and events - International Women's Day is celebrated everywhere. It's a big day for inspiration and change.

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#ThisGirlCan #IWD #ParkRun #Orienteering

#IWD2020 #EachforEqual

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