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Tweet Sunday 17th December 2017

Malham Training Camp...continued 2: Stan Heap (Southdowns Orienteers)

Jennie Taylor Communications Officer at British Orienteering caught up with Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla (Eborienteers) and Stanley Heap (Southdowns Orienteers) who are both athletes in the British Orienteering’s Talent Squad. Both attended the recent Malham technical training camp with the rest of the Talent Squad. Stanley and Anika both kindly agreed prior to attending camp to keep a diary account of their training over the training camp weekend.


Training Camp Diary:  Stan Heap

Talent Squad
Club: Southdowns Orienteers


Read Stan's diary account.

Stan Heap (Southdowns Orienteers)

Day 1:
Friday 1 December

Travelled by train to Preston station where I met up with some of the squad, physiotherapist Heather Thomson and coach Tom Bray, before heading to Malham by minibus.

 

Arrived at Malham Tarn Field Study Centre to be greeted by the rest of the squad and a layer of snow!

 

A late dinner before heading out to build a snowman (of course!)

Day 2:
Saturday 2 December

 


 

Up at 7.30am for a cooked breakfast, muesli and OJ. Made packed lunches – sandwiches, brownies and a massive pot of pasta. Drove an hour to Ilkley Moor.

 

Paul Murgatroyd led a 25 minutes warm-up. We did 10 minutes slow jog followed by lots of variations of high knee raises increasing in intensity and some straight-leg running.

 

We did some 200m-400m exercises with course only maps i.e. with no map detail to practice our distance judgement and compass work. I found this really useful.

 

We then did 2 courses with map detail only in the control circle, again to hone our compass skills and distance judgement, but also making sure we had a good picture of where the control should be in relation to the surrounding terrain.

 

We had lunch followed by a jog around the ‘Cow and Calf’ to warm up for the afternoon exercises. Our warm-up involved quite a bit of rock-climbing!

 

Norwegian Map Memory exercise. 2 x 2km courses. There’s a map at each control showing just the next Leg. You can look at the map for as long as you like and then you had to remember how to get to the next control. I was amazed how much faster I could run and also how quick it was to make a route choice and plan when you had no map to run with.

 

By the time we got back to Malham Field Study Centre it was dark. The snow had nearly melted, and we were all pretty tired. We went and washed, changed and came down for dinner. I had a very good curry and sticky toffee pudding.

 

At around 7 pm we had an hour’s talk from Mark Nixon analyzing what we had done that day using 2D Rerun, a programme for comparing routes, times and speed with other runners on the course. Following this was a 20min chat with our coaches. I went through my training programme with Mark which was really helpful. At the moment I’m aiming to do a long run (50mins) alternating with a tempo run (25mins); athletics (1hr); as much orienteering as possible; hill reps (2 lots of 5 x 1 min reps) and jogs out with a map on all the other days. Every month I cut back on my training for 1 week before moving on to the next training phase.

Day 3:
Sunday 3 December

 

 

Up at 7 am to pack and then a cooked breakfast, muesli and orange juice before heading to Tockholes, an hour’s drive away.

 

We were sharing controls with Pendle Forest Orienteers who were organising an event and we were using a mixture of different training exercises in a 5.5km course.

 

The first part of the course was a corridor exercise, practising staying online and in the ‘corridor’ which was about 50m wide in the terrain.

 

The second part of the course was a compass exercise with map detail only inside the control circles.

 

Then a contour only exercise to practice interpreting the map and taking pictures of the landforms around us.

 

The last part of the course was a line course which we jogged trying to keep as close to the line as possible. All the skills from the previous exercises were needed for this – picturing, compass and direction.

 

After the run, I went for a warm down run before being taken back to Preston Railway Station for the journey home.

 

Reflecting on the weekend technical training camp, Stanley Heap from the Talent Squad and Southdowns Orienteers, said:
“I really enjoyed the weekend. I learnt quite a few new exercises which made me focus on one particular skill. The most beneficial exercise for me at this weekend was the compass exercise that we did on the Saturday with a course and no map detail at all. It made me slow down and take proper compass bearings.”

Stanley continued: “I’d like to say a big thank you to Paul Murgatroyd, Mark Nixon, Tom Bray, Rona Lindsay, Helen Winskill and Heather Thomson who gave their time for another great weekend of orienteering with the Talent Squad. I’m looking forward to Blencathra in January 2018.”

 

Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer at British Orienteering, says: “Many thanks to Anika and Stanley for both sparing the time to write and share these diary accounts of your time away. It is great to hear about the various technical training activities you did whilst at camp and learn how they have directly benefited you and your orienteering skills.”

 

 

 

 

 

Find out more about the full Talent Squad attending training camp here.

You can read Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla (Eborienteers) diary account here.

The next Talent Squad Training Camp is being held at Blencathra in the Lake District in January 2018.

British Orienteering wishes you both and all the Talent Squad all the very best with training in the last days of this year and throughout the new year of 2018.

 

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Tweet Saturday 16th December 2017

Malham Training Camp...continued 1: Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla (EBOR)

Jennie Taylor Communications Officer at British Orienteering caught up with Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla (Eborienteers) and Stanley Heap (Southdowns Orienteers) who are both athletes in the British Orienteering’s Talent Squad. Both attended the recent Malham technical training camp with the rest of the Talent Squad. Stanley and Anika both kindly agreed prior to attending camp to keep a diary account of their training over the training camp weekend.

Training Camp Diary:  Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla

Talent Squad
Club: EBOR Orienteering Club


Read Anika's diary account.

Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla

Day 1: Friday 1 December 2017

19:00

As the Squad consists of members from all over the country, everyone had a fair journey to make so that we could all arrive together. With this camp taking place in Yorkshire, I had an easy drive to the Field Centre (though a little icy) and arrived with a hot meal awaiting us (Evie, my sister and I), whilst the others arrived on a minibus from the train station.

21:30

Once everyone had arrived safely and had eaten and unpacked, we spent a bit of time previewing and outlining the plans for the weekend ahead, so we were prepared for the exercises in the morning and were all ready to take on the challenges of the next day.

After which we had some time to catch up with our friends and relax in the warmth of the fireplace. As we wandered up to our rooms a little way from the Field Centre, we found some of the squad had already been hard at work building a snowman. O-top and all!

Day 2:
Saturday 2 December 

 

7:45-8:00

The snowman had already begun to melt 

9:00

An hour in the morning may seem like a bit of a journey… but when you have music blasting in the minibus the whole way there, it flies by! (Shout out to Zac’s Spotify and his mega tunes - featuring ‘Run The World’ by Beyoncé)

10:30

Technical Session 1 – Direction & Distance Judgement

Once having arrived in Ilkley Paul lead a preview of the first session we’d be doing that day. Before getting started on the technical exercise, it was important to do a thorough warm-up especially given the cold weather that lead some of us to wear up to 7 layers! After doing some drills to work on our running technique, we were ready to get orienteering…. on a blank map. Blank aside from an empty circle around the control site and the line of our bearing. This, of course, proved difficult at first and lead to a lot of confusion on my part for the first few controls. However, this exercise turned out to be extremely useful and after a couple of courses was no longer too difficult. The exercise was aimed to focus our attention to direction (fine compass bearings) and distance judgment-which was key, particularly in an area like Ilkley Moor. Once we had the blank map nailed, we moved on to allowing ourselves to see the map of the control circle. This next step was particularly helpful for the skill of visualization of the control site. I found that with the circle being the only bit of the map we could see, it forced us to really take in and focus on what we would be seeing when we arrived in the control circle. As someone who often drifts off my bearings, I found that having a coach shadowing me and pointing out key elements of taking a bearing extremely useful – even if it meant having someone ask you what your siting is every step of the way! Finally, we put all that into two longer courses (both still with the Leg of the map blank) to practice and put that new technique into action. It was great to be surrounded by people who are as keen to get the most out of their training as I am. No-one was asking when we’d be done but instead asking what the next exercise would be. In an atmosphere where everyone was focused and analytical, it was much easier to get the most out of each exercise.

12:00

Running around all morning is exhausting so lunch was a well-needed break. We drove up to our next area, where there was a small café and we could buy ourselves a hot drink to warm up.

13:00

Technical Session 2 (as pictured)
Now you might’ve hoped that this afternoon you’d get to run the course with the full map…not quite! These exercises were based on Norwegian-style orienteering where the map of the Leg you are about to run, is attached to the control. This is great for map memory and making sure you plan the whole Leg as you won’t have the map on the run. This was tricky but well worth the time spent at the control planning, as it allowed us to make a simple yet accurate plan at the beginning, giving us the time to focus on running and execution whilst actually running the Leg. As well as this being a fun area to orienteer on, we were blessed with a beautiful view from the top of the rocks overlooking all of Ilkley – a perfect photo opportunity of course.

16:30

After climbing on rocks (strength and conditioning yeah?) and soaking up the view, we had a Christmassy bus ride back, with Christmas songs featuring in our minibus. By 16:30 we were back at the Malham Field Centre to have showers and a bit of free time before dinner during which we received our new kit. Everyone loved the nice warm fleeces.

19:00

Technical Review Session

After a day full of technical training and a lot of learning curves, it was important to reflect on the day’s work. Mark lead a review session, so we could reflect on any mistakes we’d made during the day, what those mistakes were and how to fix them. This was really helpful in terms of learning how to analyze your progress/mistakes and training as this was something I haven’t done in the past. In the Talent Squad, I’ve found there is a large focus not only on the training itself but evaluation of training and the importance of planning your training to specifically improve your areas of weakness. It was really helpful investing time to think about everything we’d been doing post training so that the next morning we could focus even more on things that had gone wrong. It was really interesting to see the range of programmers you can use to help analyze your orienteering online.

Just before the end of the review Tara and Niamh ran out of the room without explanation. I was really confused and thought one of them might be sick but luckily, I was surprised by a birthday cake instead which had been wholeheartedly decorated!

20:00

Individual Reviews

This was a chance we had to talk individually to a coach about how we were getting on, not just with our personal training but how we were settling in and finding our experience with the squad. This meant that anyone new to the squad like me could ask about anything they didn’t understand in the group review or anything they were unsure of in general. It was really helpful talking through aspects of orienteering one to one and what I could do to get the most out of training opportunities.

21:30

We had plenty of time that evening to chill out together and relax. For some of us that involved playing cards, for others watching YouTube videos and some spent even more time in the orienteering zone, looking at the new specifications for orienteering maps (starting in 2017). By the time we headed up to our rooms the snowman had lost his eyes and was partially melted.  :(

Day 3:
Sunday 3 December

 

08:00

The last we saw of that snowman, he was a sad pile of snow.

10:30

Technical Session 3 – Combination

On our final day of training, Pendle Forest Orienteers were kind enough to let us use their event at Tockholes as a training area. There, instead of doing the courses set at the event, the coaches planned us our own course-specific as a follow up to the training we’d done the day before. This meant our map included lots of different exercises, such as corridors, lines, blank maps and contours only. This was my favourite exercise of the weekend as it was orienteering with even more of a challenge. One moment we were navigating through intricate contours and wet marshes and the next moment the map had been blanked out and we were left to rely on our compass. We were always adapting to the next challenge.

This variation of techniques and exercises gave us lots of practice in a slightly more race style experience, although as it was training we were still encouraged to redo Legs that didn’t go well and talk through controls with coaches out on the course.

Having coaches shadowing us for parts of the course was really helpful as it meant they could see how we were getting on when left to ourselves and give us feedback after we finished or if something went wrong, right then so we could redo it and correct it straight away.

12:45

After finishing our courses and doing a cooldown, we had an individual briefing chat with whichever coach shadowed us on our course to take us through what went well and any mistakes we did.

After saying our goodbyes, we set off on our way home. It was a great weekend and I can’t wait for the next one!

 

Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer at British Orienteering, says: “Many thanks Anika for sparing the time to write and share your diary account of your time away.  Best wishes with your training in the last days of this year and in the new year."

 

 

 

 

Find out more about the full Talent Squad attending training camp here.

Read Stan Heap's diary account tomorrow here.

The next Talent Squad Training Camp is being held at Blencathra in the Lake District in January 2018.

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Tweet Friday 15th December 2017

Talent squad came together for first technical training camp at Malham in the Yorkshire Dales

British Orienteering Talent Squad 2017 at Malham Technical Training Camp.

Back row – left to right:  Tom Bray, Mark Nixon, Stan Heap, Matthew Gooch, Daniel Spencer, Angus Harrington, Zac Hudd, Peter Molloy, Flurry Grierson, Alastair Thomas, Alistair Chapman, Helen Winskill

Front row – left to right: David Bunn, Lindsay Robertson, Lizzie Stansfield, Alice Wilson, Eilidh Campbell, Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla, Tara Schwarze-Chintapatla, Niamh Hunter, Evie Conway, Rona Lindsay, Heather Thomson

Photo credit: Paul Murgatroyd

Following the first planning and sport science support camp at Edinburgh in early November, last weekend saw the Talent squad come together for the first of three technical camps, held in Yorkshire and Lancashire. Based out of the Malham Tarn Field Study Centre, the first day saw some quality exercises on Ilkley Moor, focussing on the key skills of direction, distance and picture. The morning had a range of exercises on the lower slopes of the moor, working on honing compass techniques, followed by an afternoon of Norwegian map memory exercises on the higher part of the moor, where the process of simplification and the establishment of a good picture was the prime objective. The evening saw a discussion, led by Technical Coach, Mark Nixon, of the key learning points from the day and the use of 3DRerun and Quick Route as vehicles for analysis and review. Sunday saw the group drive across to the Pendle Forest Orienteers event at Tockholes, where a combination exercise using the all controls map took place. The 5.5k 'course' saw the athletes move seamlessly from part to part, with elements of corridor, window, brown only and, finally, line meant switching between the key skills and applying the lessons learned from the previous day's work at Ilkley. Finally, the squad would like to thank Airienteers and Pendle Forest Orienteers for organising access permissions to the training areas and allowing the group to come along to the public event at Tockholes for training purposes.

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Tweet Monday 4th December 2017

British Orienteering Strategy Consultation – Youth. “Every Junior Matters”

Between the ages of 12 and 18, we lose approximately half of our junior orienteers.  There is a significant drop off from the age of 14. Whilst a level of drop-off is to be expected in any sport during this turbulent time in young people’s lives this rapid decline is something we can’t ignore.

British Orienteering membership by age

Individuals fall out of the sport at all levels but more so at the base of the pyramid. They may never make a British Orienteering talent squad or even a Junior Regional Squad but every single junior matters.  

There is clear evidence of a considerable number of children are trying orienteering, with some joining clubs, but the majority drop out during their teenage years.

There is also a degree of segregation between junior and adult orienteering. For example, there are many schools leagues with events well populated by juniors. However mainstream orienteering events show consistently low numbers of junior participation, frequently with <10% of runners as juniors.

British Orienteering wishes to build a strategy to address youth membership and participation across all ages & experience levels. This is intended to deliver a more balanced and integrated orienteering population, with clear pathways and satisfaction for juniors at all levels of achievement.

There are many questions to address. Some example questions are:

• How can we boost junior membership & participation?

• How should we best target juniors & families to start orienteering?

• How can we encourage juniors in schools leagues to take up club membership?

• What should a club offer for teenagers?

• Should we encourage more junior coaching in clubs? How?

• How to develop more university clubs?

• What should the sport provide for juniors not in the squad and talent systems?

• How can we leverage new technology and social media?

• How should we celebrate and involve juniors in the running of our sport?

• How can Orienteering events be more youth-friendly?

• How should we work together to develop juniors in England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland?
 

Much of the work needed can be achieved at a local level, and there is already great work for juniors being done in many sectors of the orienteering community. There are also actions required on a national basis to provide a better experience for our young orienteers. This will build on the Junior Development Framework presented at the 2016 Association & Club Conference.

Any thoughts on juniors and youth retention?

All ideas large and small are welcome! Please share your input by e-mailing (in any format) by 31 December 2017 to Phil Conway development lead for youth. Email: pconway@britishorienteering.org.uk

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