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Tweet Thursday 19th September 2019

The British Orienteering Sprint Championships 2019

By Bob Haskins, Leicestershire Orienteering Club (LEI)

Saturday 14 September 2019 turned out to be a warm and sunny early Autumn day.  It couldn’t have been better for holding the British Sprint Championships at Loughborough University. 

There were 800 entrants who were able to enjoy a day of fast, and at times complex, sprint orienteering.  The Event Centre was at one of the University’s main facilities buildings, thanks to holding the event out of term time, and had plenty of capacity for enquiries, starts and results displays, and download.  Loughborough University is the premier sporting campus in the UK, and the University authorities were very accommodating, as they had been when the event was held here previously in 2013.  It is also the largest single campus site in the country and we still have about one third of the campus which has not been used for a Championship event.  It is also a quickly changing environment, and our mapper, Peter Hornsby was making changes up until just a few days prior to the event.

As the available area is so large, it enables the heats and finals to be on adjoining areas, but with no overlap.  This makes life more difficult for the

Planner, Iain Phillips, of course, who effectively plans two separate large events for use on one day with 40+ separate courses and 150+ control sites.  However, this makes for a much more interesting event for the competitors, with the most complex areas being used for the Finals.

From an organisational point of view, having good facilities makes putting on the event a bit less challenging.  There is a 630-space multi-storey car park available, so no muddy fields for us.  The arena area seemed to work well and it was possible to look down over the finish run-in from the grass banks or the hard standing next to the event centre.

The biggest challenge of the Sprints is the timetable for the day.  We started all the morning heats over one hour, setting off 20 competitors at a time in full minutes.  This was thanks to our 18-member start team and some pre-event practices and much thinking.  The big pressure then comes to process the heats into the start lists for the Finals, and we were very thankful that this was contracted out by us to SIEntries.  The printout I have of the finals start lists shows a time of 12:38 pm, ready for the first finals starts at 1:30 pm.  The Finals were over a larger window, and therefore a bit more relaxed. 

The Open class Final was also a World Ranking Event which necessitated a variation from normal practice, in that all the three finals were the same course.  Only an A Finalist could be British Champion, but any of the finalists could win the WE race.  As it turned out it was the British Champions who won this race as well.  For the first time at the British Sprints, there were also separate class medals for M/W 18 and 20.  We also altered the usual ordering of the Finals, so that we had a stream of A Final winners coming in at regular intervals, culminating in the Open Class finalists at the end of the afternoon with most competitors back and watching this exciting finale and listening to the excellent commentary.

Juniors competing.   Photo credit: Phil Conway (GO)
Kris Jones.  Photo credit: Phil Conway (GO)
The University grounds

Kris Jones started strongly in the morning sprint qualifying race, winning his heat by over a minute. He followed this up with a superb run in the afternoon final, winning in 12.27 over 3km, 47 seconds clear of Peter Hodkinson in 2nd place and Jonny Crickmore in 3rd.

Megan Carter-Davies also won both her heat and final, finishing the final in 11.44 for 2.3km, ahead of Alice Leake (2nd) and Cecile Andersen (3rd).  

Megan commented:
“I was chuffed to take this win, my first British Sprints medal in senior”. 

 

 

 

Medals ready to be presented
Megan Carter Davies and Kris Jones take GOLD

Photo credits:  Bob Haskins (LEI)

Full results are available here.

Congratulations go to all the British champions! 

British Orienteering would like to thank Bob Haskins (LEI) and all members from the organising clubs for an excellent day of Sprint racing.

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Tweet Wednesday 18th September 2019

Caddihoe Chase 2019, Dartmoor – entries close on 22 September!

DAY 1:
Saturday 28 September 2019

South-West Championship event - Classic Distance (National level).

DAY 2:
Sunday 29 September 2019

Chasing start times will be computed on the basis of Day 1 running times, with a base-time of 10.00.

The terrain is typical Dartmoor, mixed woodland and moorland. The moorland is generally runnable with rocky tor outcrops. The profusion of pits and gullies, which add considerably to the technical challenge, is the unintended legacy of the former tin-miners.  

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Event Organiser, Alan Simpson from Devon Orienteering Club, says: "The Caddihoe Chase is an annual event in the South West. It was invented by Devon Orienteering Club, and we host the event alternate years, with other South West clubs taking their turn in between. We look forward to you joining us for a weekend of quality orienteering at the Caddihoe Chase, on the 28th and 29th September in what is a stunning location of south west Dartmoor."
 

Age-class Caddihoe trophies will be awarded on the Sunday, based on the two-day result.

The unique feature of the Chase is that, in every age class, the first runner across the finishing line is the Caddihoe Winner.

Caddihoe Chase - have you entered yet?

There is still time to enter!  On-line entry is via www.fabian4.co.uk, on or before 22 September 2019.

Late entries/Entries On Day may be available, but strictly subject to map availability.

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Officials:
Event Planner: Nicholas Maxwell, Devon Orienteering Club (DEVON)
Controller: Graham Pring, Cornwall Orienteering Club (KERNO)
Organiser: Alan Simpson, Devon Orienteering Club (DEVON)

Many thanks to the landowners SW Lakes Trust and Dartmoor National Park Authority for the use of their land for this event.  

Further event details are available on the Devon Orienteering Club website – here.

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Tweet Wednesday 18th September 2019

£30 off Butlin’s Live Music Weekends!

Enjoy the best of Butlin's Live Music Weekend with £30 off plus our best offers!

Promotion Dates: 1st September to 31st October 2019.

£s off are per booking discounts and apply to new bookings only for Butlin’s Live Music Weekends booked between 1st September and 31st October.

Butlin’s Live Music Weekends provide you and your friends a great getaway to relax, have fun and enjoy good music and good times. Butlin’s three seaside resorts; Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness play host to a range of 3-night weekenders that cater for all musical tastes as well as headline tours and sporting events.

So, whether you enjoy anything from Pop to Disco to smooth Soul or even if you’re looking for a specialist weekend featuring great headline acts performing live, a Butlin’s Live Music Weekend could be the perfect getaway.

Groups:  Planning a get-together? Some great offers for groups of 20 or more.
Get an extra 5% discount on group bookings.

Terms and conditions apply.

To find out more and to access the discount code unique to British Orienteering members - just 'Log in' to the member's section of the British Orienteering website on the top right of the homepage: www.britishorienteering.org.uk

£30 off Butlin’s Live Music Weekends!

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Not yet a British Orienteering member? 

To join British Orienteering and gain access to a range of orienteering events and activities - including saving £s on a range of partner discounts and brands - find out more here.  

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Tweet Wednesday 22nd May 2019

Swansea Bay Orienteering Club Coaching Series 2019

If you are part of a small club, you are probably dealing with some of the same problems as us at SBOC;

  • reliance on a small team of very busy people doing a lot of organising and planning,
  • worrying about where the next generation of orienteering champions is going to come from.

In order to try to solve some of these issues for the future, we are trialling some beginner-focused coaching sessions this spring as a way of getting more people signed up for events and spreading the love for this amazing sport. If this sounds like something that you are/would consider for your club, read on.

Firstly, the idea came out of discussions by the club committee.  We have always done our best to break people into the sport gently by giving a bit of help on their first event, however, this often means a 2min lesson in how to orientate the map then showing them how the dibber works before sending them on their first course.  Some of these people have returned for a second event but some probably haven’t. A bit of more formal coaching, we thought, might encourage more of them to stick at it and get some success.

Mass start on the Score Course (session 2) at Pembrey Country Park

A plan was duly hatched and a programme of sessions was together with help from some of the committee sorting out maps, funding, incentives and access etc.  The original plan was to book people onto four consecutive sessions which would follow a series of logical progressive skills based on the ‘step system’, each including a short practise competition and culminating in an introductory event using SI punching in a relatively friendly area that would hopefully give people the confidence to enter events such as our summer league events.  As an incentive, we planned to offer free membership for a year and a free copy of Carol McNeil’s book for people booking onto the full series.  To promote the sessions we spent about £20 on Facebook advertising and put an Ad in the local ‘What’s on’ publication. Of the two, Facebook gave the best results, possibly as social media makes it easy to click on details and booking forms and also encourages sharing with friends.  50% funding support from the Welsh Orienteering Association helped to run the programme, incentives and advertising and make it affordable for the club.

Locations are a key factor in providing an enjoyable event and even more so for getting beginners hooked. We opted for Pembrey Country Park, Clyne Valley and Clyne Gardens, all easily accessed from the Swansea/Llanelli area and with reasonably non-intimidating, safe terrain with good path networks. Having some open areas where it is easy to keep an eye on the junior beginners was also useful.

Each session basically consisted of a map walk with coaches helping out beginners, some coaching exercises followed by a small event using old school control cards for the first few then SI punching on the final session. Club members helped out with the coaching so we could work with groups of 3-5 beginners for most exercises.  Getting buy-in from the more experienced club members is essential to get the programme to work and we are fortunate at SBOC to have some very enthusiastic and capable orienteers who are happy to pass on their expertise. 

New Juniors having completed their first Yellow course with SI timing

Learning points: 

  • A lot of the participants are not going to be available for all the events so you will probably end up with people paying for individual sessions, not the whole series. Families that are interested in trying orienteering are also likely to be involved in other sporting activities so think about the timing of sessions to avoid clashes with junior football, gymnastics or other events in the area.
  • Following on from this, people will miss session one or other sessions so the carefully planned sequence of coaching is likely to need adjustment.  Every session, therefore, needs to have the capability of looking after complete beginners as well as people who have done the basics already.
  • Some of your participants will have done some orienteering before, others will have no idea what the symbols are or how to use a compass, therefore you need a range of options.  If possible, it is good to combine the introductory coaching with something suitable for club juniors so that new families can meet your club members and see the range of ages involved in the sport. We also got the Welsh junior squad coaches to help out with the final session so that new juniors could get an idea of the progression opportunities.
  • For successful sessions, you will need support from the rest of the club. One of the main factors that will impact on whether new-comers come back is if they feel welcome and enjoy the company of the club members. 
  • Venues need to be beginner-friendly; not too steep, sheltered from the worst of the weather and with a good path network. It also helps if you have easy parking, toilets close by and not too much mud. Bear in mind that most participants will not have specialist O shoes so it’s good if the terrain is Ok to run in trainers.
  • Facebook advertising worked really well for this and was certainly better value for money than printed publications.
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