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Share  Tweet Friday 12th April 2024

BOC 2024: Final details

This weekend, the British Orienteering Championships 2024 take place in Whitby, Yorkshire! 

Starting tomorrow, Saturday 13 April, orienteers will descend on Mulgrave Woods where the Long Distance Race will take place. The race will be an IOF World Ranking Event for M/W21E classes and a UK Orienteering League Event. 

Elite class prizes will kindly be sponsored by VJ shoes

The event will also be a selection race for the Ward Junior Home Internationals (England team) and the European Championships selection race for the GBR team. 

On Sunday 14 April, the 50th full-scale British Relay Championships will take place at Hutton Mulgrave and Skelder Woods. 

Final event details

Start lists have now been published and are available via the BOC 2024 website alongside the most up to date version of the event programme. 

More information regarding logistics for the Long Race can also be found here. Details on the Relays can be found via this link

We want to take this opportunity to wish all who are taking part in this year's British Orienteering Championships the very best of luck!

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Share  Tweet Wednesday 10th April 2024

Event Spotlight: JK 2024

The annual Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering took place from 29 March – 1 April 2024 in the heart of the East Midlands. In this blog, we reflect on the incredible efforts of the volunteers who hosted this year’s event and share some of the key moments from each day.

Day 1 – Sprint Race and Pre-O at Loughborough University

The event kicked off at Loughborough University, where the atmosphere quickly became eclectic the more participants arrived at the venue. Alongside the sprint race and World Ranking Event, a Pre-O course was also made available courtesy of British Trail Orienteering. Participants also had the opportunity to take part in Biathlon Orienteering, which returned to the event after taking place at JK 2018.

All images are credited to Rob Lines and Wendy Carlyle.

Aside of a few unforgiving downpours, the weather held for the majority of the day, giving participants the opportunity to navigate the map area (1:4,000 2.0m contour interval to ISSOM 2007, updated in 2023 by Peter Hornsby).

As the final runners made their way across the course, it was soon time for the awards ceremonies to take place.

First up the WRE flower and award ceremonies took place, after which it was time for the British Orienteering Annual Awards! British Orienteering’s CEO Peter Hart presented the awards to winners of the Club, Coach, Volunteer and Mapping Awards 2023. If you missed out on who won the awards, please visit this link. Next the UK Urban League 2023 Awards took place, followed by the JK Sprint Race medals. Well done to everyone who received an award and was recognised for their efforts over the past year.

Results

The results from Day 1 are available here. Congratulations to the winners of all age categories including:

M18E

James Hammond (FVO)

W18E

Rachel Baker (CLOK)

M20E

Euan Tryner (EUOC)

W20E

Imogen Pieters (SYO)

M21E

Peter Hodgkinson (INT)

W21E

Laura Robertson (SYO)

Trail O PreO results

Access the results from the TrailO PreO course here. Well done to the winners!

Elite PreO, Timed Section

Ben Kyd (MDOC)

Standard PreO

Jacob Stevens (CHIG)

Day 2 – Middle Race at Beaudesert

Day’s 2 and 3 of JK 2024 moved to Beaudesert where participants of the Long and Middle Race navigated the forested area with streams and marshes, and intricate contouring and the famous bell-pits (deep holes with raised edges) proliferating.

Glorious blue skies greeted everyone on arrival and throughout the day as everyone embarked on the challenges of Beaudesert. The wet weather of recent months ensured a muddier and wetter challenge than usual in the area, but this didn’t stop over 2,000 people pushing themselves

W21E and M21E courses

There was a couple of controls that were misplaced (as in placed in the wrong place not lost) which impacted W21E and M21E courses.

Following some protests to the organiser and controller a judgement was made in that the W21E course was made VOID and the M21E course results were “truncated”.

Results

The results from Day 2 are available here. Congratulations to the winners!

Day 3 – Long Race at Beaudesert

It was a misty start for participants back at Beaudesert for the Long Race on Day 3 of JK 2024. Orienteers made their way into the forested area, exploring the much wider forest and challenges compared to the previous day.

Results

The results from Day 3 are available here. Congratulations to the winners!

Day 4 – Relay Race at Stanton Moor

The event closed with the Relay Race which headed into the Peak District at Stanton Moor.

As the relay teams battled the elements to win the JK trophy and it was the FVO Flyers who took first place, followed by Interlopers N and Interlopers S in third place.

In the junior relay, it was SYO Buzzy BEEs (SYO) who took the win, with ‘WE Cambridge, we saw, we conquered’ (WOAC) coming in second place, and ‘NOR wreaking HAVOC’ (HAVOC/NOR) finishing in third! Well done to all.

Results

The results from Day 4 are available here. Congratulations to the winners!

JK Trophy

FVO Flyers (FVO)

Junior Relay (M/W40-)

SYO Buzzy BEEs (SYO)

A link to overall results from JK 2024 is available here.

Thank you to all involved in this year’s event

Special thanks must go to the army of volunteers who helped put the event together this year. From those manning the general enquiries stalls, to recording the results, tending to the sponsors stalls, and of course our planners, mappers and controllers  especially in the face of unprecedented weather conditions in the lead up to this year's event.

A special thanks must go the clubs that organsied each day:

LEI, WCH and DVO.

We would also like to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to the four fantastic Day sponsors for the JK 2024:

Day 1: Altra / Shokz

Days 2/3: Revive / Instinct Trail

Day 4: Inov8

Whether it was trying the Altra shoes for yourself at the Sprint, testing the Revive supplements which are driving our GB athletes to the WOC, utilising the great trail packs from Instinct for the long JK event or grabbing some fantastic inov8 gear, we hope you enjoyed having them at the event! All competitors will have received an email packed full of discount codes from our sponsors too!

Final word from our CEO Peter Hart

“The Jan Kjellström as always was a large and complex event, was nothing short of spectacular, and it truly exemplified the dedication and passion you all have for our sport.

Every aspect of the event was executed well, and It was evident that meticulous planning and hard work went into making it a memorable experience for all the participants.

Beyond just this event, I want to express our appreciation for the ongoing contribution you make to the sport. Your unwavering commitment to creating opportunities for athletes of all ages and abilities is truly commendable. Events like these not only showcase the talent within the sport but also inspire future generations.”
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Images from the event can be found via Rob Lines or Wendy Carlyle’s Flickr accounts. With huge thanks to them both for volunteering to take photos of the event. You can also read an interview with coordinator of this year's event, Andy Yeates via this link

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Share  Tweet Wednesday 10th April 2024

JK 2024 through the eyes of the organiser Andy Yeates

We caught up with Andy Yeates at Day 1 of JK 2024 and after the event to chat about the planning process for this year’s event, how the team overcame obstacles and what his highlights were from the weekend!

How did you find the overall planning process of JK 2024?

Happily, the overall planning process came together fairly easily. Once we had the areas sorted out, it became clear that a single organiser, planner and controller for the two Beaudesert days would work best. Fortunately, the people I approached to take it on were agreeable. LEI were happy to take on Day 1 and DVO were happy to take on Day 4. Then it was a case of sorting out which clubs would take on significant roles for Days 2 and 3 alongside WCH. With OD and HOC out of the question as they were heavily involved in the British Sprints, we worked together with WRE and POTOC.

There was a shift of assembly area/car parks for Days 2, 3 and 4 from our preferred first choice. The Activity Centre on Beaudesert did not want us to cross their new fences in any way, so that made it too difficult to plan to get in and out of the Centre. The Stanton Moor field we wanted was being sown for crop, so the landowner didn’t want us in there. Fortunately, we found alternatives, both new sites.

Can you give us an overview of how each day unfolded from your perspective?

I felt a great expectation for the weekend. When you have lived with the event for 2-3 years, the weekend itself flies past very quickly and I tend to flit around the various sections making sure there is nothing wrong. The only problem with Day 1 was the failure of the remote microphone and having to carry the speakers across the grass towards the prize giving. The organisational team were magnificent.

I was really worried about the parking situation on Days 2 and 3, and not just because of the last-minute road closure. If it rained on Day 2 especially, then we could have been in trouble despite the 750m of track matting. However, the sun came out, the ground slowly dried up and the Day 2 team carried on the benchmark set by Day 1.

Day 3 started foggy, but most importantly, no rain. I had to remind myself to stop and look around during the day to soak in the atmosphere and see people enjoying themselves. The JK is truly a special event.

Finally, Day 4 arrived and so did the rain. This didn’t put any dampeners on the event, and it all went like clockwork. I was relieved and very proud of what the teams of volunteers had achieved – a thoroughly professional job.

Was there anything that you would do differently looking back?

Not really. I had coordinated two previous JK’s – 2018, and 2022 – so I mostly knew what to expect. Maybe delegated a bit more.

Are there any recommendations you would give to those who are looking to plan future major events?

I act as the major events consultant, and I am available to assist as much or as little as you want. If you want advice, just ask.

What were your highlights from the weekend?

Seeing how well everything worked on each day. There were issues that needed sorting out, but the teams rose to the challenge without any fuss.

Finding out that the landowners were very happy with the way orienteers behaved on their land was also a huge bonus to help maintain that relationship for future events. So, I thank the teams of volunteers for all their hard work, and the competitors for making it the best experience we could wish for. I especially appreciate the notes of thanks received from so many of you. Thank you all.

Andy Yeates
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Share  Tweet Tuesday 2nd April 2024

Club of the Year Award Winner 2023: South Yorkshire Orienteers

British Orienteering are delighted to announce that the Club of the Year Award Winner 2023 is South Yorkshire Orienteers!

The Club of the Year Award has been designed to recognise Clubs that:

  • Provide opportunities for everyone to experience high-quality activities at all levels.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the development of participants, coaches, and volunteers.
  • Take an innovative approach to the promotion of orienteering activity throughout the wider community.

South Yorkshire Orienteers

Over the past year, South Yorkshire Orienteers have continued to provide an extensive range of activities for not only it’s members, but also to attract prospective newcomers to the sport. From their popular weekly club nights, to harnessing the talent of their juniors, and really valuing the work of their volunteers, here we explore about why they are truly worthy winners of this year’s Club of the Year Award.

Using events to introduce newcomers to the sport

South Yorkshire Orienteering Club run an extensive programme of events. Their popular Saturday Series events are particularly successful at introducing newcomers to the sport. Their monthly Wednesday evening events are also very popular – for example they recently had 155 participants at a rainy mid-week night event!

“Perhaps our most successful initiative is our weekly club night.  We have around 80 participants each week ranging from complete beginners to GB squad members. We have been particularly successful at encouraging the parents of our young juniors to join, creating a thriving adult beginners’ group! Club night activities range from intervals, circuits, race prep & analysis, map games, all types of technique coaching and all disciplines of orienteering.”

The Club also work really hard to encourage members to compete on behalf of the club at relays, junior competitions and the Compass Sport Cup (CSC)! This paid dividends in 2023 as they won the Yvette Baker Trophy, the Peter Palmers Joan George Trophy, the Compass Sport Cup Final and numerous relay titles!

Coaching opportunities and developing juniors

The Club offers more traditional coaching sessions at weekends, where they venture to areas further afield to focus on orienteering technique training. Recently they hosted their first coaching weekend away in the Lakes, which sold out in a matter of days!

Their members play a key role in the Yorkshire and Humberside Orienteering Association’s (YHOA) Junior Squad and the Northern Talent Squad, which facilitates a good performance pathway for juniors.

Nine of South Yorkshire Orienteer’s juniors represented England at the Junior Home Internationals (JHIs) in 2023. In addition, 12 juniors and two senior members of the Club are in the current GB squads, which is a reflection of their fabulous junior coaching programme.

“The social aspect of our club is very important. Our Wednesday events often have a post event social. We also hold an annual Christmas lunch, where we present our club awards and an annual summer BBQ event. We have WhatsApp groups to facilitate lifts to events and to arrange social runs.”

Harnessing volunteer engagement

South Yorkshire Orienteers really value their volunteers. On the club committee is the post of Volunteer Coordinator, thereby ensuring that they treat volunteer management as a key issue in club decisions. Helpers receive a free-runs at events and key officials receive vouchers, a personal thank you note and a lottery scratch card. They celebrate the contribution of volunteers in their newsletter and at their annual awards ceremony.

Coaches' children attend club night for free and the coaches get free entry to Wednesday evening events. The club also offer regular workshops on organising, planning, using condes, SI etc and offer mentoring. Juniors are really encouraged our to take on volunteering roles, including planning events.

Developing local partnerships and encouraging newcomers to the sport

The Club works with a number of local partners to support the development of orienteering by offering a wide variety of orienteering activities to schools and the local community. These include the Sheffield Federation for School Sports, the 4 Sheffield School Sports Partnerships, Cliffhanger, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, the Festival of the Outdoors and a wide variety of local community groups.

Saturday Series events are held in disadvantaged areas of the city and the Club offers free entries to local schools. Working closely with Sheffield University Orienteering Club (ShUOC), the Club also supports the development of student orienteering in the city.

Looking ahead they are particularly keen to increase participation from ethnic minorities and improve the ethnic diversity of the club. They have recently signed up to the Find Your Way Project and intend to use this as a vehicle for developing orienteering in disadvantaged areas of Rotherham.

We would like to once again congratulate South Yorkshire Orienteers on winning their award.

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It’s important to us, to recognise the other clubs who were nominated for the Club of the Year Award 2023. Here they are, alongside some of the comments regarding their contributions over the past year.

Nominees for the Club of the Year Award

Lagan Valley Orienteers

In May, LVO hosted the 2023 British Sprint, Middle and TrailO Championships. On top of an already busy calendar, this major event was a massive undertaking for the club, so it was very encouraging to gain high praise from participants, including those in the British squads and previous major event organisers.

Even with all this activity, LVO managed to take a step back and reflect, carrying out a Strategic Review. The outcomes from this review have now formed the clubs 5-year Strategy. Fruits of this work are already being seen in the likes of the implementation of social, coaching ‘Club Meets’, which has attracted a real range of participants including non and new members.

Swansea Bay Orienteering Club
“This club is a wonderfully welcoming club to belong to. Everyone is so friendly. I have come to orienteering rather late in life (74) and they have encouraged me to become fully immersed in the club, which has given me a whole new perspective. I have started running again which I thought I would never do again. All of the members ranging from beginners to a world champion are so approachable and helpful.”

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Next up, we will be sharing details of our University Club of the Year Award Winner 2023! Check our website or social media daily for the latest updates.

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