Six M/W15 juniors assembled in Stirling for a busy training weekend during October half-term as part of a British Orienteering learning pilot around youth retention. Lead coach Chris Smithard, a member of the British Senior Squad, welcomed the teenagers for the first of a series of three linked sessions during the winter.
"This programme is aiming to coach a small group of athletes in some of the advanced skills needed to perform to a high standard,” said Chris. “The small size of the group enables us to focus on the individual needs of each athlete”.
The first weekend looked at agreeing personal goals for 2019 and set the athletes a mix of sprint training, Night-O and forest-based training sessions in the Trossachs. Sprint training made use of online tools that can analyse route choices, comparing distances and providing insight into which routes would be the quickest. Night-O was held in Stirling town centre, with its steep slopes near the castle.
Moving to the forest, the group performed a technical exercise at Little Druim Wood, navigating out and back along the sloping terrain. “The exercise on running across slopes was new for me,” said one young athlete. “I was videoed by my support coach, which will help me analyse my terrain-running style”.
On the final morning, the group tackled two loops at the Trossachs, one of UK’s most challenging area, both physically & technically.
The aims and objectives of the pilot are to:
1. Learn more about the coaching and training needs of this mid-teenage age group, placed within the context of youth retention
2. Understand in greater detail the value of adopting an athlete-centred, relationship-based coaching approach
3. Appreciate and learn lessons from the logistics of running a small coaching group.
The programme will run from October to February and will be athlete-centred by offering individual 1-1 discussion time with each athlete, as well as group sharing after the training sessions. In addition to focusing on individual needs, the programme will also introduce the concept of “self-help” encouraging the young orienteers to take control of their own training needs and act on them.
Run as a pilot with the support of British Orienteering the intention is to develop further knowledge of how personalised coaching can support the retention of young people in the sport.
“We would like to encourage more athlete-centred coaching in future. All orienteers have different aspirations, pressures and circumstances, and it is important that the sport offers athletes a way forward that can adapt to their needs,” said Craig Anthony, Head of Development for British Orienteering.
The Every Junior Matters Youth Strategy can be viewed here.
British Orienteering's Youth Strategy "Every Junior Matters" aims to attract and retain more young people in orienteering.
You can read the short and full versions of the strategy below:
Guildford Orienteers presents the Southern Night Championships 2018 (Level B) at Puttenham Common and Britty Wood
on Saturday 24 November.
The organiser of the Southern Night Championships, Jeremy Wilde, commented:
"Puttenham Common has been gorgeous if rather cold on these recent clear nights under the full moon. Plans for the Southern Night Champs are well advanced and we are looking forward to a great evening on the 24th of November.
We have hired Myrtle's Courtyard on the Hampton Estate - the Common is part of the Estate - to use as our Event Centre. Tom's burger wagon will be there serving up the usual hot drinks and food, as well as Ian's Ultrasport van. Be there - for a night of O-delight!"
Entries are still open: book online via www.fabian4.co.uk by Saturday 17 November 2018.
Organiser: Jeremy Wilde (Guildford Orienteers)
Planner: Tim Denton (Guildford Orienteers)
Controller: Alan Wallis (Southern Navigators)
This is a UK Orienteering League event.
For more information about the Southern Night Championships visit here.
Photos supplied: Guildford Orienteers
British Orienteering would like to thank all volunteers from Guildford Orienteers and surrounding clubs for their hard work in putting on this event and wishing all members a great evening of night orienteering.
British Orienteering is pleased to announce the Senior GBR Squad for 2019. The squad features 25 athletes, 15 men and 10 women, with a wide range of experience.
Many familiar faces return including European Championship Sprint Bronze medallist Kris Jones and Mixed Sprint Relay Bronze medallists from Round 1 of the 2017 IOF World Cup; Cat Taylor, Peter Hodkinson and Ralph Street.
'Being part of the squad since 2004 has been great for my orienteering development as it provided me information on the aspects around elite sport, it allowed me to experience a variety of different terrain, and it gave me a way to access funding sources' said Ralph.
Many of the World Orienteering Championships Team from 2018 are back intent on building on some strong performances over the year. With the International calendar seeing some significant changes, moving to a forest only World Championships in 2019 followed by a sprint World Championships in 2020 there will be opportunities for athletes focussed on both or either discipline to shine in 2019.
In addition to the familiar faces, there are three new members. The Selection Panel recognised the results and performances of some younger athletes with Matthew Fellbaum’s Silver at the Junior World Championships faces meaning he joins the senior squad along with Alex Carcas and Jamie Parkinson.
Source: THE PUNCH. Suffolk Orienteering Club's Members Magazine
The Bowes Museum Permanent Orienteering Course article by Colin Butler (Suffolk Orienteering Club)
"Recently we visited Barnard Castle a market town in Teesdale, County Durham for a family golden wedding party on a Saturday. We visited Bowes Museum the next day to occupy ourselves, and nephews and families had returned home, before going for a quiet meal in the evening. There was a special exhibition about tulips, and we had to go all around the galleries and display cases with a question paper to find a wide variety of tulip features.
As we went to the reception desk to collect our prize for a fully correct result, we noticed a pile of orienteering maps at the end of the counter. It is a doddle course, but we spent another pleasant half hour finding the controls around the gardens and shrubbery.
I left the course map with my brother-in-law as a reminder to take his grandchildren orienteering on their next visit. The Bowes course is listed via the British Orienteering and Cleveland websites.
On Monday we went for a super walk upstream in the autumn sunshine along the River Tees, and back along an old railway line. It’s a lovely area if you like rambling.
If you would like to explore any of the Permanent Orienteering Courses then details can be found on the British Orienteering website."
Permanent Orienteering courses are fixed orienteering routes where you simply download a map and just go! There are orienteering routes across the country, and this is a great way of exploring local areas when away on holiday or taking a short break in the UK.
More information on permanent orienteering courses can be found here.
Thank you to Colin and Suffolk Orienteering Club for giving British Orienteering permission to publish this article.
If you, your family or your club have any similar stories which you would like to share with other members then please get in touch. Email: email@example.com