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.
It was back to Tesserete for the Men’s and Women’s Relays, the penultimate races of this years European Championships.
The forests which would meet the competitors were open and fast beech woods, with little in the way of vegetation to impede the runnability. This meant that the runners would have to cope with an extremely high running pace throughout the race, which would mean the risk of over running and making a mistake was extremely high.
The Women’s relay kicked off proceeding, with Jess Tullie of GBR1 (supported by Cat Taylor and Hollie Orr) and Jo Shepherd for GBR2 (followed by Charlotte Watson and Alice Leake) leading off for the Brits. The pace was high right from the start, with Switzerland’s Judith Wyder for their first team taking the lead and never relinquishing it. Behind, the chasers could only scramble for positions in the pack, with the Fins and Swedes leading the charge, but Jess and Jo well placed.
Onto the second Leg and the Swiss first teams lead began to come under pressure from one of their own runners. The second team runner Simone Aebersold slowly began to close down on her teammate Elena Roos, catching her by the second TV split at the “Tower of Spirits”, before turning what had begun as a 30-second deficit into a minutes lead by the changeover. Behind a chasing pack of Russia, Sweden and Finland had formed but could do nothing to impact on the pace of Aebersold. Cat Taylor for GBR1 was slowly moving through the places from 14th and would change over in 8th place just ahead of Ida Bobach of Denmark, sending out Hollie Orr and Maja Alm together, 3 and a half minutes down on the lead.
Sarina Jenzer of SUI2 would feel the pressure from behind almost immediately, with her teammate Julia Gross slicing her lead in half by the first radio. To the TV control at the “Tower of Spirits”, it was Sui1 ahead of the chasers, with SUI2 falling back but still holding onto second and Sweden’s Karolin Olsson closing the gap to the lead. Olsson would soon create a gap to her fellow chasers, but not enough to make any major inroads into the lead of Gross until she made a mistake on the third to last control. This allowed Denmark’s Alm, who had been running the quickest out of everyone in the forest and had bridged the minute or so gap to the chasing pack back into the hunt for the silver medal. Both women entered the finishing straight together, but it was Sweden who would have the better sprint finish and take the silver, with Denmark settling for bronze. Sadly, Alm’s relentless pace was too much for Orr, who would bring the team home in a commendable 7th place.
Onto the men’s race, and with the favourable terrain, the race was wide open for a fantastic British result. Kris Jones would start first for GBR1 (followed by Peter Hodkinson and Ralph Street) with Hector Haines - making his debut this week - running for GBR2 (supported by Sasha Chepelin and Ali McLeod). The pace from the start was ferocious, with the Swiss teams wanting to romp away with another gold and the Swedish (who have had a sub-par championships for their men’s team) looking to put their championships back on track.
There was much changing in the lead throughout the first Leg, but Kris remained in the top-three throughout, even breaking away with Florian Howald of Switzerland 2 at the arena passage, before they were closed down; but Kris didn’t falter, coming in in the lead of a quartet of runners.
It was a lead, but a small one. Peter Hodkinson was under pressure in a pack which included several world champions, including Matthias Kyburz, Fabian Hertner and Magne Daehli. Peter kept his cool, did his own navigation and by the time of the long, ungaffled leg back to the arena he was in the pack and holding on. Sadly the elastic snapped after the arena passage and Pete would lose a minute from an additional small mistake but had done a fantastic job at keeping GBR in touch for a bronze.
Out on last Leg and Ralph Street was being hunted down by some of the best last leg runners in the world. A couple of small errors at the start of the Leg meant that Ralph was on the back foot, with Czech, France and Russia hunting him down. It was France who would sneak ahead, with Fredric Tranchand breaking away from the chase and clear into bronze. Small mistakes from all the runners would creep into their runs, with Ralph entering the long Leg back to the arena in fourth place. By the run through though the Czechs have snuck ahead and by the finish, it was as precious, with Ralph finishing in 5th, just behind Vojtech Kral of Czech in 4th.
1) Switzerland 1 1:45:56
2) Sweden 1 +2:11
3) Denmark 1 +2:13
Cecilie Friberg Klysner
1) Norway 1 1:55:40
2) Switzerland 1 +0:30
3) France 1 +3:07