Half term in Bolton saw a new partnership form to help deliver Xplorer events whilst introducing and promoting club orienteering events to hundreds of new people.
The National Childbirth Trust (NCT), Bolton Council and South East Lancashire Orienteering Club (SELOC) teamed up to run two events over half term for families and young children in Queens’s Park, Bolton. Over 300 people attended over the two days keeping the volunteers on their toes throughout. Lorna Brooke, Anne Jeremiah, Keri Berry (NCT) and Caroline Barcham (SELOC) were on hand ensuring everyone got their maps and a crash course in orienteering, whilst also hearing about the opportunities there are for anyone to get involved in the club events running locally.
Commenting on the event Lorna Brooke (NCT), said: “The NCT is there to support parents in many ways from antenatal classes, to first aid courses and through the early years of becoming a parent. Activities such as Xplorer, pram walks and coffee mornings play an important role in supporting parents by running fun activities for young families, whilst providing the opportunity to meet other parents and share their experiences.”
Caroline Barcham (SELOC), added: “It was great to see so many people enjoying orienteering in Queens Park, there were lots of smiles and very keen families. Hopefully, following these events, we’ll see them joining up with SELOC and experience the wider world of orienteering.”
There will be another opportunity for families of all ages to experience two Xplorer challenges in Queens Park on Saturday 24th November, people can start the courses anytime between 11am and 1pm, collect your free maps from the Queens Park Café.
Find more Xplorer events here.
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.
The World Championships is beginning to reach its climax as it nears the end of the week, and Thursday Relay provided some of the best racing yet. Tight, fraught affairs in both the Women’s and the Men’s races provided some of the most exciting racing of the past few years.
The terrain was different to that of the middle distance, with a simple start to the courses in the parkland in the shadow of Turaida Castle, with a series of short legs in thick green before an early area passage, just a third of the way through. After this, the athletes entered the large hills of the Gauja valley, with wide forkings and wide routechoice options splitting the packs, before a long kilometre leg back across the hills to the arena and a loop around the parkland to finish.
Proceedings began with the Women’s race, and it was Jo Shepherd who took the first leg for Britain. After an early mistake in the green, Jo settled well, but a short forking for Switzerland meant that they had already broken clear of the pack by the arena passage, with the pack trailed out behind them. To the 8th control, a difficult forking for both the men and the women, Norway through away second place, missing big and allowing Jo to gain more places as Estonia broke clear to join Switzerland. By the turn for the arena, Jo had clawed her way up to 10th, as in front of her the favourites were strung out, each choosing different routes on the long leg. By the end of this leg, and as they neared the arena, it was still Switzerland in the lead, but Sweden had cut the deficit significantly, with Estonia just falling off the pace and Norway gaining time back from their earlier mistake. Jo lost time late on in the parkland, handing over to Megan Carter Davies in 13th place.
Megan was quick out of the blocks and was already pushing through the field by the spectator control. Estonia was quick to fall off the pace in front, as Denmark and GBR worked well together, moving into 7th by the arena. Across into the next series of controls, and the lead would change numerous times, with Sweden, Switzerland and Russia all alternating. Norway was the fastest moving team in the forest though, with Marianne Anderson recovering the lost time from the first leg well. Megan was holding her own behind the leaders and was still working well with the Danes, but the gap to the leaders was growing. As the athletes hit the long leg, again there was no single route taken amongst the leaders. With Russia and Norway both getting stuck in the tougher, greener sections, it was Sweden who capitalised and moved clear, with Karolin Ohlsson using her superior speed to drop Jakob of Switzerland. Megan took a far wider route, flat but long, around through the arena, and though lost some time not as much as others. Sadly, so hard was she pushing that she ended up missing a control close to the end of her course, chasing hard to get in touch with the second pack for her teammate Cat Taylor. This meant a disqualification for the British women.
On the final leg, Tove Alexanderson of Sweden and Judith Wyder of Switzerland were neck and neck throughout the whole course, exchanging the lead when either picked a better line through the green. As they hit the long leg back to the arena, each choosing a slightly different route, refusing to run together. It was Alexanderson who had the advantage on the climb to the 14th control, breaking the Swiss runner and leading all to believe that she had got the gold in her grasp. An error on the 15h though, a hesitation through thinking the control wasn’t hers (perhaps due to the oxygen debt accrued from pushing so hard on the climb) and Wyder capitalised, kicking for home and opening up a gap on the Swede which it would be impossible for her to overcome. Behind, Russian had sealed the bronze with a textbook run from Middle Distance champion Gemperle, with Norway not having enough to continue moving through the field, having to settle for fourth place.
Across to the Men’s race and it proved just as thrilling as the Women’s race. With the same team for GBR as the team that claimed 5th at the European Championships, we knew that a great performance was both expected and achievable. Peter Hodkinson took charge of the first leg, and duly delivered the perfect start for the team. The pack was close and the pace unrelenting for the first half, with no splits appearing until the tricky 8th control, that had caused so many problems in the Women’s race. It was here that a pack of 5 formed, with GBR tucked in. Into a section which extended the Men’s course across the hills, which the Women didn’t enter, and Peter was sitting well until the 11th control where he made a small mistake on the wide forkings. 10th at this spot Peter gained back a huge chunk of time on the long leg back towards the arena on the 14th control and had moved into 3rd place. He would not relinquish this position and would change over just 41 seconds down on Latvia and Norway (1st and 2nd respectively).
Norway moved clear early on the second leg, but as with Peter, Kris Jones stayed steady in the pack, hitting his controls well and minimising any errors. At the front Norway and Latvia were pushing the pace, with the chasers splintering on the 11th control, with Kris slipping into 5th place 50 seconds down on the lead. On the long leg, the runners all split, with several different routes being chosen, and as they hit the slopes to the 14th control, and Kris had jumped up the pack. Into the changeover and GBR were in second place, with a 4-second gap to Norway in front, but with 15 seconds back to Latvia and Finland and another 30 seconds back to a larger chasing pack.
Latvia got the shorter gaffles early on 3rd leg, opening up a lead before the arena passage, with a 47-second gap to the chasers behind, with Ralph Street leading the chasers, but with the big teams right on his tail. Norway would move back into the lead alongside Latvia, with France now into 3rd place just 15 seconds behind at the 10th control, and GBR just another 15 seconds back. The packs all split at the 11th control, with the home team Latvia missing badly, as well as France and Sweden. They all corrected well though, and all the runners were strung out in one long line as the athletes hit the long leg back to the arena. Here, Norway and Sweden went straight, with the other 7 teams all going south and around, taking on the climb at the end of the leg. Sweden came unstuck early on the leg, making big errors and falling from contention. As the GPS lines converged on the 14th control, Norway looked to be in the lead and would hit the control 14 seconds ahead of the chasers. Up the hill, the chasing pack had blown to pieces, with Switzerland and France breaking clear of the chasers. With just the simple parkland to go, it would be hard for the chasers to gain back the time on Norway, who did enough to take a 4 second lead over Switzerland, who had dropped France for the silver medal. Behind, it was the closest podium in World Championship history, with GBR coming in an eventual 6th place, just 37 seconds down on the gold medal, behind Austria and the Czech Republic in 4th and 5th respectively.
Next up on Saturday is the Long Distance, the race every athlete wants to win. It will be the final race of the Championships, and the final chance for some to salvage their championships with a gold medal. Make sure you are following @GBR on twitter for live reporting on the final race of the championships.
1 Switzerland 1:45:03
2 Sweden 1:45:18 (+15 seconds)
3 Russian Federation 1:47:20 (+2 minutes 17 seconds)
GBR – Mispunched.
1 Norway 1:47:26
2 Switzerland 1:47:30 (+4 seconds)
3 France 1:47:36 (+6 seconds)
6 Great Britain 1:48:03 (+37 seconds)
Report by William Gardner