Last year, Sport England awarded South London Orienteers £3,850 for a project to help teenagers develop the orienteering skills needed for more technical courses.
This is our “Get Up to Speed” project.
As part of this project, we have produced a series of eight short videos. The videos are presented by athletes from the GB Orienteering team and are filmed in different locations.
The videos aim is to help juniors deal with more technically demanding courses, but they can also be used by newcomers wanting to “get up to speed”. Each video focuses on a specific orienteering skill.
One video per week is launched each Friday at 5pm during January and February. The video release is linked to races and coaching sessions taking place across the South East: watch a film, focus on a technique and have a successful run.
All the videos were produced by SLOW Development Officer Sarah Brown, with editing by Katherine Bett of Southern Navigators.
We realised as the videos were made it would be good to have a video to inform and guide beginners on what to expect at their first orienteering race. SLOW decided to fund this and we were delighted that Graham Gristwood agreed to host – his enthusiasm and expertise add a lot. Filming took place near Stirling and we were very lucky with the weather for the time of year, with sunshine complicating and permitting some of the shots.
The film covers the orienteering map, courses, controls, equipment and what to wear, and ends with Graham linking to the series of Skills Videos so that once beginners have the guide they can easily see explanations of techniques to help them improve.
SLOW picked up another trophy at the 2017 Southeast Relay Championships on a scorching hot Sunday in June, with good performances across the four categories. The Handicap Trophy was won by SLOW’s Tom Davies, Pete Huzan and Don McKerrow, in a close competition that saw them less than 90 seconds clear of second place after 90 minutes of running.
SLOW also picked up podium finishes with both teams in the Men’s Open, and second place in the Women’s Open. SLOW’s junior team of Anja Lund, Olin Davies and Jemima Hayward-Bhika (pictured) picked up a creditable sixth place in the face of a very strong showing from Guildford Orienteers who fielded six teams. Notably SLOW junior Jamie Lund ran in the fourth Handicap team.
Southdowns Orienteers hosted the event at Capite Woods in West Sussex. Despite the compact area, the club set challenging courses with a good run in for finishers to be cheered on by those that were able to brave the heat in the full sun.
Nine SLOW juniors enjoyed the half term sunshine with a training session on Esher Common on Thursday 1 June. The session used three of the permanent courses that SLOW set up on Esher Common in collaboration with Elmbridge District Council.
The juniors aged 9 to 15 years all practised their technical orienteering skills – map orientation and route choice – on the Yellow course in the woods above West End Common to the west of the Portsmouth Road, before heading to Esher Common and running on the longer Orange and Light Green courses.
The weather was fantastic and everyone came away from the morning having improved their technique and more confident on the harder courses, ahead of the southeast relays on Sunday 18 June.
Many thanks to Paul Couldridge and Pete Huzan who gave up their time to coach, the juniors and of course their parents who came along for the morning.
Esher Scouts Orienteering Club, affiliated to South London Orienteers, has continued its run of form in 2016 by winning the Surrey Schools & Youth O-Festival. The competition was organised by Mole Valley Orienteering Club and held on Monday 27 June in Norbury Park, across the River Mole from Box Hill south of Leatherhead.
The two courses – Yellow and Orange – were more challenging than the team were used to and vegetation was particularly high after the recent rain. However that didn’t hold the team back.
William from Hinchley Wood won the Yellow course by 40 seconds, with Idris also from Hinchley Wood, in fourth place. Their younger siblings Cai & Bronwen and Harry & Nicholas finished as pairs in eighth and ninth place.
Oxshott Scouts and SLOW members Thomas, Benedict and Sofié secured fifth, sixth and eleventh places on Orange respectively.
Despite fielding a relatively small turnout, and with everyone still in their first year of orienteering, Esher Scouts took first place with 72 points ahead of George Abbott School with 65 points and Tormead and Boxgrove in joint third with 63.
Esher Scouts won the Southern Navigators’ 2015-16 Saturday Series earlier this year, and is looking forward to building on these good performances with the existing members and hopefully some newcomers in the coming season.
Esher Scouts Orienteering Club have won the Southern Navigators’ 2015-16 Junior League. This is the first time that the club – associated with South London Orienteers – has won in the thirty years of the series. The win is particularly notable as the trophy has been shared between two schools for 19 of the last 20 years!
The team of scouts from ten groups in the Elmbridge District of southwest London had wrapped up the competition ahead of the final round, but individual trophies were decided at the final event, with three going to orienteers in their first season.
Thomas – SLOW’s reigning junior champion – and Benedict from 1st Oxshott came second and third respectively in the B7 class for boys in year 7 and under. Thomas had led the competition for much of the series, but was narrowly beaten into second place by winner Hamish by only five points out of nearly 800.
Idris from 1st Hinchley Wood won the Alex Lane trophy for most improved runner during the series, and achieved fourth place in the B7 category, meaning ESOC took second, third and fourth places.
Special mention should go to William from 1st Claygate who missed out on third place in the B8/9 category by one point, to Nathan of 1st Oxshott who was competing for his school Claremont Fan Court rather than ESOC.
Over 30 scouts turned out during the course of the series. The scouts’ orienteering will continue with a set of one-off events through the summer and the Saturday series will resume in September.
Congratulations to Ralph Street on winning the British Schools Year 10 championships at Temple Newsam, Leeds on 20 November. Representing Tiffin School in Kingston, Ralph won by a cool six seconds.
Brother Greg was 20th in the Year 8 competition in which six other Tiffin School/SLOW members performed very well in a high quality field: Grant Hamilton 40th, Max Camara & Aaron Moran 44th, Nisha Vdayakumar 62nd, Robbie Ashley-Bach 77th and Bhavesh Patel 78th.