Hello everyone. Further into the summery season with the sun out (occasionally) for our Sunday morning informal park events. Perhaps because of everyone's thirst for orienteering, we've had very good junior turnouts at many of WAOC's Sunday morning Park-O series which have taken pace over the past few weeks.
Special congratulations go to Jamie Taylor who, after a short stab at the yellow course at one of the events, swiftly moved on to compete successfully at orange and later bravely facing the challenge of the Norwegian course, including one being done as a map memory. Similarly Lewis Hadler and Adam Smith who seem to have become very confident at Orange and Yellow respectively, not forgetting Simon Gardner who went for map memory soon after finding 'Norwegian with map' well within his ability.
What was perhaps the most pleasing was that many of the youngest juniors, Katrina and Duncan Taylor, Alice and Caitlin Campbell, Thomas Hemingway, Alex and Lucy Seymour, Katy Woods and Katrin Sengerova to mention just a few, all came to a number of the events, obviously enjoying the orienteering. This was especially clear after the big turnout we had for our junior training at the Fairlands Valley Park event (see special article for a report of how this went). (And of course there are a large number of other juniors who I perhaps didn't manage to fit into my introduction here ...)
What can you do to show your achievements at events other than nationals? How can you show other orienteers, especially other juniors perhaps, that you have achieved a certain standard in orienteering? Well, one of the possible ways is to apply for a colour-coded award or a badge award once you have completed three orienteering courses at a particular standard. Hopefully this summary should make the procedure of applying for badges clear, but if you need further advice do not hesitate to contact me to ask.
When you compete in any colour-coded course, the results will usually state a par time for such a course. Sometimes the results do not necessarily give the par time, but you can generally assume that it is 1.5 times the time of the winner: for instance if the winning time is 20 minutes, the par time will be about 30 minutes. If your time is less than this par time, you have completed the course so as to reach the standard for that particular colour, for instance yellow. To be able to claim a colour-coded award, you must complete three courses below the par time. When you have done this, you will be given (free of charge!) a fabric badge of your achieved colour, which can be sewn onto your O-top to show your improvement. White, Yellow and Orange badges can be obtained in pairs, with the more advanced colours having to be obtained as individual runners. If you think that your results at various colour coded events would be sufficient to allow you to get a colour-coded award, contact Cath Pennington (WAOC colour coded awards officer) who will send you your badge.
A similar scheme applies for badge events, where results will give par times for bronze, silver and gold standards for each specific class, depending on the overall performance on your course. Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron Badges (if running a B course, you will only be able to reach up to Silver standard) are awarded on the basis of performances in badge and national events competed in within a two year period (whilst you are in one age class). To apply you need to write to: Stan and Verena Johnston, [address removed from online edition.] supplying the following:
I have to say a big thank you to Adam Smith (M12) who provided this puzzle.
H A J Y I K J N Y L L U G O I J C O M P A S S L O O V L C M D L H P Z I B T O O S N D O P W L Q P R M E A R K T U M N N F I N I S H A R T M W E S T Q K A E T N A R T N E E R O O C Z R A A T W I B O H A F U U T G D S L S H N K C A R T T R E F N T G V I G Y G U T L H A M B A D G E S R V B R H B Q I A A H X M H T U D I B B E R O E R S F A T L P W C U A X D C R E D E P R E S S I O N G C P T X E F Y O Q S R D P K H B W S J K F E N C E E Z T H T A P N
Compass, Control, Map, Bearing, Pit, Depression, Contour, Stream, Lost, North, East, South, West, Dibber, Gully, Fence, Path, Track, Start, Finish, Whistle, Earthbank, Spur, Reentrant, Badge, Handrail
Everyone keeps saying this: orienteering can be enjoyed by everyone, but what do they mean? Well, I think that basically, even though you may not necessarily be up to British squad standards, you can enjoy the sport. And, after all, even being lost can be fun - sometimes. I'd very much like to get you to show this to your fellow club members.
So for the next issue ... I'd like to ask all of you juniors to think about your past events and tell the other juniors about your experiences. To make it slightly easier for you, I'd suggest that you write on the theme of 'My worst mistake' and try to get something out of that; any form of writing (poetry, prose) is welcome.
On Sunday 13th May, a number of WAOC's younger juniors had a chance to attend a training session organised by WAOC. It was absolutely lovely on the Sunday, one of the first few really summery days this year, so the session was hopefully made more enjoyable to the juniors and the waiting around for the parents.
The youngest juniors who came along to practice map reading, thumbing and other skills associated with running the white course made up a group of six (Jenny Watts, Caitlin Campbell, Jordan and Adam Taylor, Thomas Hemingway and Duncan Taylor) and were coached by Anne Duncumb and myself (Blanka Sengerova). To start with we practised map reading with a simple map represented on the ground by boxes and tins of tomatoes, which gave lots of scope for following a route on the map, orientating the map, locating specific places and marking them with a token, which had to be collected by the second person of a pair. This, although some of the juniors suggested something about being 'easy peasy', proved very helpful in recognising the importance of orientating the map correctly and being able to thumb along it, following the route taken, which we practised on a real course later on in the session. Next we went down to the lake, starting a type of star relay exercise at a central path junction location. This then allowed each of the pairs to take one map showing one of four controls put out in four different directions from this path junctions, following the type of route that would be appropriate for a white course (along paths, with the control being marked at the first decision point). We found that it was most important to put the map the right way round (orientate it), which makes it easier to start running in the right direction. We finished the session by walking around the white course, allowing each of the youngsters to lead the groups for a couple of course legs, meanwhile learning to recognise map features surrounding us throughout this exercise. Well done, all of you, I hope you've enjoyed the training.
Lewis Hadler, Adam Smith, Philip Humphries and Jamie Taylor came along to the 'beyond yellow' training. I was assisted by Ian Smith. This was a great group with a spread of talent, who took to some of the more advanced skills of the sport very well. We started by calibrating our pace counting. 200m on the map gave from 50 to 80 double paces. We then went together on a line course hunting for controls. This demonstrated some other skills such as aiming off, rough direction checking from the compass and the sun and finally a recheck of our pace counting. Jamie won the pace counting competition, being only 2 or 3 metres from the relevant feature when he had done his paces. All of this group should race easily round a yellow and some could even tackle a light green course. Next time we should revise the pace counting and add use of attack features and compass work. We could also do a line course individually.
|Katrin, Alice and Catrina, enjoying junior training at its best
Ursula Oxburgh was working with the 'white juniors moving on to yellow'.
Alice Campbell, Katrin Sengerova and Catrina Taylor are all pretty confident on White courses so they formed the very enthusiastic 'White to Yellow' training group. Robert Campbell very kindly came along to help. Katy Woods hoped to get there but she was doing the Sawston Fun Run in the morning - well done, Katy.
We were amazingly fortunate with the weather and with our lovely bit of Fairlands Valley, in the South West corner, where the bluebells were truly spectacular; the drawback on this occasion was a group of teenage boys riding a motorised scooter along the paths, but we didn't let them spoil things for us.
On a White course you are supposed to find a control at each path junction, whereas on a Yellow one you have to be able to decide what to do when you come to a path junction. This means that you need to know at all times where you are on the map as well as on the ground, so we spend some time practising thumbing the map and moving round the map when you change direction. Then we did what I call a control picking exercise. This involved following a course marked on a map where there were more controls on the ground than on the map, and you had to decide which ones were your controls. This was no problem for anyone although it was just as well that we were using the new cheap paper controls, as the score was scooter riders -2, WAOC juniors +6.
While White courses are all on paths, Yellow ones often use other line features as well, so we spent quite a lot of time finding good examples of these, both on the ground and on the map - the fences were very easy to spot but we got pretty good at earthbanks and ditches, which are not always so straightforward (but we even finished off by recovering one of the previously used controls on an earthbank, absolutely smothered in bluebells!).
Well, Alice, Katrin and Catrina, thank you for being such fun and working so hard. I hope you enjoyed the training as much as I did and that you will come back to the next WAOC junior training. Above all, keep those thumbs working and keep on running!
Photo and text by Blanka Sengerova, 24/5/01