Last weekend saw the athletes selected for Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) and European Youth Orienteering Championships (EYOC) heading across to Aarhus, Denmark, to take part in the Danish junior test races happening in the Aarhus and Silkeborg areas.
This Pre-EYOC/JWOC camp focused on finalising preparations for both competitions taking place in a few weeks time, with EYOC running from June 28-30 in Grodno, Belarus and JWOC being held in Silkeborg between 7-12 July. The three test races included a sprint in Marienlystparken, Aarhus on Saturday, a long in Himmelbjerget on Sunday and a middle in the same forest on Monday, before the team flew back later that day. Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer at British Orienteering asked a couple of the athletes travelling out to Denmark to keep a diary of the weekend. Read Grace Molloy's diary account of her time away.
Pre-EYOC/JWOC 2019 Diary Reflections
Forth Valley Orienteers
The team travelled to Aarhus to prepare for the summer international competitions.
Various athletes took the opportunity to either familiarise or refamiliarise themselves with the Silkeborg terrain whilst others went for an easy run to stretch out the legs after travelling.
We had a meeting focussed on the sprint for JWOC where we discussed what we thought the terrain would be like and what challenges it would present.
Some of the team did long or middle style training in a relevant forest but some people rested in advance of the test sprint in the afternoon. I ran middle controls in a group to test lines in the terrain and then we ran a few longer legs with to test out route choices.
The first test race was a sprint and the Danes and the Fins were using it as a JWOC selection race. There were also lots of other JWOC athletes from different countries who were racing to prepare for the competition. The sprint was of medium technicality and we performed well, especially considering most of the other athletes would have prepared for this race and rested in the lead up to it. British athletes achieved the 2nd fastest time of the day of both the boys and girls.
We analysed what we had learned from the sprint and then looked ahead to the long terrain for JWOC. Some of the area was used for WOC 2007.
The long test race was on a much greener map than the other areas we have been training on and that presented more technically challenging legs. Once again, we were able to place amongst the other nations which was a good confidence boost for the British athletes.
We made use of the hotel spa for well-deserved recovery :)
Some of the team struggled in the lower visibility terrain in the long distance so we discussed how to best to orienteer in the terrain. We then looked at the JWOC middle area and thought about how we would tackle a few tricky legs.
The final test race of the weekend was a middle distance on the same area as the long. It was a very challenging course with the majority in slow, low visibility forest. Many of the team had trouble navigating but it was useful to have this practice before the real competition.
The team travelled home - better informed about the JWOC terrain and excited to come back to race in less than 4 weeks time.
Photo credits: Rona Lindsay
Dartford Orienteering Klub held a number of events with 105 adults and 990 children orienteering.
|15 May 2019||Hackney: 365 participants, event held by David LeFevre.|
|16 May 2019||Marlborough School: 277 participants, event held by Neil Speers.|
|20 May 2019||Urswick School, Hackney: 138 partipants, event held by David LeFevre.|
|21 May 2019||Bexley Primary: 234 partipants, event held by Allison Page.|
|21 May 2019||Bexley Park Race: 81 partipants, event held by Andrew Evans|
Totally 1,095 participants comprising of 105 Adults and 990 children.
South Yorkshire Orienteers celebrated World Orienteering Day with a lovely sunny evening event on Wednesday 15th May. 176 people enjoyed the stunning views across Sheffield from Bole Hills and The Rivelin valley. There were 6 different courses, all expertly planned by the Lightfoot family, catering to the wide range of participants on the night including toddlers, brownies, schools children, super vets, students, runners and experienced club members. After the event, many club members adjourned to the local pub to enjoy a special World Orienteering Day Menu!
"It was a busy World Orienteering Week in Maroc Land in northeast Scotland, with five different activities on offer on various days, organised and run by a range of different groups.
First off, the club held one of their Forest Sprint events at Deeside Activity Park and Dess woods to celebrate World Orienteering Day itself, on a gloriously sunny Wednesday evening. There was a good turn out of 41 runners and the kind weather encouraged everyone to linger and socialise.
On Thursday it was the turn of the 18 pupils in class P4-7 at Braemar school to try orienteering in their playground, with courses which had been planned and set up by class teacher Mrs Wood. Braemar school enjoyed participating in orienteering as part of the 2016-18 Cairngorm Leader COPE project and it is fantastic to see a legacy of the development work continuing in this way.
Later in the day, 13 enthusiastic members of the Aboyne cluster after-school club tackled some special WOW themed courses in Castle Woods. The biggest challenge of the session proved to be trying to solve the puzzle of the WOW link!
On Friday, orienteering was one of the activities on offer at Mearns Academy as part of their festival of sport. The Academy recently commissioned an orienteering map of their grounds and this was one of the first opportunities to try it out. With instruction from club member Andy Oliver, six S3 girls enjoyed the new experience and challenge.
Finally, on Tuesday it was the turn of Upper Deeside schools to get together for a festival in the woods adjacent to Crathie school. The festival was organised by the local Active Schools Co-ordinators with course planning and support from Maroc members. 31 pupils from four small schools- Tarland, Logie Coldstone, Strathdon and Crathie - all had a great time finding their way around the most scenic extended playground in the UK. There were some really impressive scores recorded, again demonstrating legacy from development work undertaken through the COPE project.
All in all a successful World Orienteering Week which offered a taster of the sport to a wide range of different people."
Potteries Orienteering Club held 3 activities in Central Forest Park to mark World Orienteering Week.
We held 3 activities over three days based on our permanent orienteering course. This is our latest permanent orienteering course and was designed with easier controls only.
DAY 1: Wednesday 15 May.
We ran a SCORE course which was intended to cater for the Urban Activities regulars. 10 extra controls were added using the bright numbered stickers on lamp posts, as per the Urban Activities.
The next 2 days catered for groups and non-orienteers.
DAY 2: Thursday 16 May.
It was clear from the lack of bookings that no one was expected on this day. However, I still felt I needed to be prepared, but no one came. I hold the record for the planner of an event with the lowest attendance ...2 at Forest Park about 20 years ago. Can I claim to have beaten this with an Activity?
DAY 3: Friday 17 May.
A contrast. 42 Brownies or Guides + 12 adults turned up to tackle Marian's special courses.
Day 3, along with the Guide groups on Day 1, used the permanent orienteering course posts in a series of short loops in order to spread out the participants.
As part of WOD 2019, the Army Orienteering Association (AOA) hosted the Army Inter Unit Team Championships at Longmoor, Hampshire, over the period 15-16 May 19. The Championships were organised by the Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC) and the Army Air Corps (AAC).
Day 1 was based on four Spanish Score courses (Long, Medium and 2 x Short variants). There were 5 categories: Open, Masters, Women’s, Under 25 and Guests. Dependent on the category entered, teams comprised of four or three competitors. Team times from 1 rolled forward to Day 2.
Day 2 used the Team Harris format with a long variant for teams of four and a short variant for teams of three. Times from Day 2 were added to times from Day 1 to determine overall category winners.
In total, 182 participants took part over the 2-day event.
We even introduced a new discipline....moo-rienteering!
How did you, your club or school take part in World Orienteering Day & Week?
Email: email@example.com and be included in the next snapshot to celebrate our sport globally!
British Orienteering has supported Volunteer's Week (1 - 7 June 2019), and as it closes let's celebrate our Volunteer and Club Awards Winners again!
Celebrating and thanking again all this year's Volunteer and Club Award Winners
Winner: Holly Stodgell of Walton Chasers
Holly has started up an after-school orienteering club at her school and is leading the training sessions, providing motivation to the group and setting the training schedule. She has coordinated a group of adults to take on the coaching and getting the group from nothing to light green/green standard is a huge achievement.
It is great to see the next generation of volunteers so committed to the sport.
As part of our Year of the Volunteer, we launched this new award to recognise those volunteers committed to orienteering.
Winner: Alan Honey of Bristol Orienteering Klub
In 2018 Alan has been Chairman of Bristol Orienteering Klub (BOK), organised the British Sprint Championships at Bath University, initiated the successful Track to Terrain project, started a training course for new coaches and volunteered numerous club events and activities. Alan put huge amounts of personal time and effort into these projects and, together with the team he leads has been responsible for BOK’s continuing successes.
The commitment shown by all volunteers to the sport is a fantastic example of some of the work going on to deliver and develop orienteering across the UK. Congratulations to Alan Honey who this year is announced as Volunteer of the Year 2018.
Winner: Loughborough University Orienteering Club is University Club of the Year 2018.
After the club was revived in 2014 following a long period of being dormant, LUOC has gradually increased membership, participation orienteering activities at the university to become one of the UK’s most active student orienteering clubs. The club has a busy training schedule with sessions on most weekday evenings and regular competition on weekends with much support for local club events from LEI, DVO, NOC and OD. Regular coaching for beginners means many have progressed to competiting on m/w21 elite courses. The club works closely with the University to support volunteers in a range of training provision for coaches and volunteers.
It is fantastic to see such strong University Clubs and we can only hope that we see more University Clubs developing this strength in the future.
Winner: South Yorkshire Orienteers is Club of the Year 2018.
South Yorkshire Orienteers
In 2018 SYO has continued to grow and develop through offering a wide-ranging program of events, club nights, socials and monthly coaching sessions. Club Nights are a recent addition initially funded by Sport England they are now self-sustaining with 60-70 participants per week during term time. The clubs Volunteer Coordinator ensures that the club's program is well supported and run regular training opportunities for members. In 2018 the club introduced a point scheme similar to parkrun where participants and volunteers get points towards a club t-shirt for their participation. SYO have strong links with community organisations across Sheffield and this has led to a diverse participant and member demographic.
Winner: Jason Falconer of Wessex Orienteering
Jason is Head Coach of Wessex Orienteering and regularly delivers the Tuesday evening club training for all members. In addition, Jason works closely with Active Dorset to promote Orienteering, delivering a series of coached sessions over 6 weeks (half a term) to groups of Key Stage 2 children. The sessions progress through all skills of the sport and include a competition finale using S.I. kit; often off-site on one of WSX permanent courses. In Autumn of 2018 Jason worked closely with Beat the Street to link families in the Poole area to the club.
SILVA Award winner 2018 is John Warren (Wimborne Orienteers).
John has been an active member of Wimborne Orienteers since 1976 and in the years following has been involved in all aspects of orienteering. John took on the assistant organiser role for the JK in 1979 just 3 years after starting in the sport and didn’t look back organising, planning and controlling events at all levels over the past 42 years including organising the World Orienteering Championships Relays at Avielochan in 1999. Yet John has a particular passion in working with newcomers, helping introduce them to the sport and he is always on hand to offer skills advice and encouragement. He works closely with the local council to deliver Activate events and acting as lead coach for club activities on permanent courses he helped map, plan and install.
British Orienteering would like to again take this opportunity to say a massive 'THANK YOU' to all this year's award winners as well as to everyone who makes orienteering happen across the country every week.
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