Written by Ian Gamlen (Harlequins Orienteering Club) 2023 Event Co-ordinator
The Junior Home Internationals take place every year in early October. The top 12 male and 12 females in each of the age groups M/W14, M/W16 and M/W18’s from all the home nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland compete in a two day orienteering event with an Individual Day and a Relay Day.
There are four trophies awarded at the Junior Home Internationals (JIHs):
• The Individual Trophy - awarded to the country with the most points in the Individual race.
• The Relay Trophy - awarded to the country with the most points in the Relay.
• The Ward International Trophy - awarded to the country with the highest overall points total.
• The Judith Wingham Platter - awarded to the winner between Ireland and Wales.
This year the JHI was hosted by the West Midlands Orienteering Association on 7–8 October 2023 with Harlequins Orienteering Club (HOC) organising the Individual Day and Octavian Droobers (OD) organising the Relays. Sutton Park was the venue with residential accommodation at Beaudesert Outdoor Activity Centre.
Images: Credited to Will Heap of the teams taking part in the Ward Junior Home Internationals 2023.
In total 88 competitors took part supported by team managers from each of the home nations.
Adrian Bailey and Barry Elkington planned some challenging courses for the individual and relay races respectively, overseen by Richard Lewis from Wrekin Orienteers (WRE) who controlled both days. Peter Langmaid and I organised the individual day and Alistair Powell from OD organised the Relays.
Thanks to the unseasonably warm weather we were able to have a very lively ceilidh and individual prize giving outside with live music from the Banjacs, a West Midlands band on the Saturday evening.
England won the individual day, and going into the relay day, held a slender five point lead over Scotland for the Ward International Trophy.
The total points for the relay day were: ENG 58; SCO 46; IRE 24; WAL 10, making England also the winners of the relay trophy.
The overall scores were: ENG 135; SCO 118; IRE 65; WAL 33, so England were awarded the Ward International Trophy and Ireland were awarded the Judith Wingham Platter.
Images: Credited to Will Heap. L-R: The England team were victorious taking the Individual, Relay and Ward International Trophies; and the Irish team were awarded the Judith Wingham Platter.
Thanks again to everyone who helped make sure that the event was both challenging and enjoyable.