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Tweet Friday 11th June 2021

#UKCoachingWeek: My Online Introduction to Coaching by Helen Wheelwright (Southampton Orienteering Club)

Orienteering Coaches educating new coaches.

Helen Wheelwright (Southampton Orienteering Club), explains:
"Since becoming the Youth Coordinator at Southampton Orienteering Club (SOC) in 2020 I have been trying to find ways to increase the number of Juniors in our club. Luckily, we received a small grant from the South-Central Orienteering Association (SCOA) to help us in this endeavour. Finding and training volunteers to help with coaching was top of the list of things to spend money on.

The Introduction to Coaching was an attractive offer as it allows keen helpers to start thinking about how to help newcomers to the sport without the fairly hefty time commitment of the L2 Coaching course.

The course was advertised on our club’s website and a few keen members signed up. However, it was then mid-March 2021, and I was faced with the prospect of waiting quite some while to be able to put on the course or delivering it on Zoom. Inspired by the great sessions delivered in January in the British Orienteering Virtual Coaching Conference I opted for Zoom.

The reading element of the course was delivered to participants who had two weeks to complete the tasks at their leisure. On the night of our Zoom meeting, we were able to discuss the pre-work and move on to other tasks on my pre-prepared PowerPoints. Although we were not able to try out map walks and star exercises, there was a lot of good discussion as to why we might use these exercises and how we would help newcomers and give them enough information to help them to make a good start in orienteering without swamping them with an endless list of things to remember.

The participants were very involved and the feedback was that they enjoyed themselves and would enjoy the opportunity to try out some of the things they had been discussing online. Thankfully the Covid situation has improved, and we will be able to do this soon at our next local event."

Thank you Helen.  Fantastic work!

Coaching is at the heart of orienteering at every level from children and adult’s beginner participating in their first activity, through to preparing athletes for the World Orienteering Championships. Coaches are vital to the success of orienteering in the UK and are, in many ways, the people who will promote the benefits and enjoyment of taking part in orienteering.

British Orienteering has a range of courses, quality assured and awarded by 1st4sport, operate across all orienteering disciplines for Level 1 and Level 2. Level 3 is available in Scotland whilst in the other three home countries, we offer bespoke workshops on safety in remote terrain, skill/technique development and advanced planning, methodology, sports science knowledge and physical preparation as a range of continuous personal development (CPD) opportunities.

Find out more about these courses on the British Orienteering website here.