Results for BSOC 2005, Temple Newsam, Leeds, 20/11/2005Comments: Organiser, Planner, Controller.
The weekend started with an excellent training event at Storthes Hall put on by EPOC, which also included the special selection race for World Schools' hopefuls. Challenging courses, and great racing in the sunshine combined with a lovely area made a good start.
Sunday was the main event for most schools. We tried hard to organise the event to make it as enjoyable as possible for all the children and spectators by adding all those extras which create a memorable event. Temple Newsam Estate went along with all our suggestions, and Tony Carlyle created good competitive courses out of a very ordinary area. What the area lacked in challenging navigation, we made up for in creating exciting competition. When it comes to schools orienteering, the actual area is not as important as how you use it, so next time you organise a schools event, think about how you can jazz it up to make it really attractive for the children. What about inter school competitions in local parks?
I am glad that those people who came to Temple Newsam on a foggy day in 1991 saw the estate as it really is. The glorious weather obviously helped.
We have to thank all the members of the Yorkshire clubs who helped over the weekend, the many clubs who loaned us SI equipment, Michael Napier and Ian Marsden who so efficiently managed the radio controls and computers, Mick Lucking on commentary and many others. It was a real pleasure to create the event and see so many excited children enjoying themselves. Bring them back again with their friends next year.
Peter and Sarah Haines (AIRE)
When I was asked to plan the British Schools Champs by Ian Marshall the event seemed a long way away. As I had previously controlled the event at Storthes Hall in 2000 and enjoyed it so much, I agreed to take on the job.
My first planning visit to the area was disappointing as areas that were once runnable woodland were now heavily brambled. This raised concern as to whether the area was actually suitable for the event, particularly how to fit in challenging courses for the older age groups suitable for a World Schools selection race.
Further visits last November and through the winter saw no retreat of the brambles and some legs which were good last autumn were no longer viable. So it was back to square one and try again with a new start. My aim was to keep to one start and have all courses visit the radio control at the Temple which was visible from the finish. The gruelling run in was a direct consequence of the request to have the finish in front of the house.
Having worked before with Ian McMillan as my controller, I was confident that as the courses took shape I would get good advice and that his calm thorough approach would mean that there would be no mistakes. I used the winning times table provided by Pauline to give me a baseline to work from, but it was evident from this data that I wouldn't get everything right, such is the nature of an event which pitches international juniors against novices.
Courses gradually evolved and numerous route choices became the key to add challenge for the more technical courses. Looking at the split times some of you must have taken the wrong paths. Having four white and four yellow courses to plan created its own problems, fortunately the path network helped to provide some variation. Overall winning times were at the top end of the range with the G5 and G6 being too long.
However the sun shone and everyone looked to be having a good time. Peters organisation was expertly planned and ensured a fault free day. My thanks to Ian and Peter and the many members of AIRE, EPOC and other clubs who used their expertise to ensure a good day for all.
Also thanks to members and parents of the Yorkshire and Humberside Junior Squad for organising the refreshments, particularly Ruth, Clare and Jim. The funds generated will be put to good use by the Squad so thank you all for your support.
Final thanks to Wendy, Becky, Jenny and Pete who all helped me get things ready for you on the day.
Tony Carlyle (AIRE)
I've never had so little to do after I'd finished checking the controls just after 9 a.m. Everything on the day appeared to me to work just as it should - great organisation by AIRE, EBOR & Michael Napier's results system. A marvellous setting, just as envisaged by Peter Haines, happy punters in general, no complaints or protests, a great atmosphere and, most important of all, a sunny day, so what more could a controller wish for?
Well, fewer brambles was top of my list. The damn things were still growing the week before the event. Anyone looking at the map sees the problem for the planner but Tony managed to make the most of the area available.
Going over to the area of rhodos near the Temple, it was interesting to see how competitors were tackling the orienteering. Some, running quite fast, arrive at a path junction and know exactly which way to go, route sorted out before they get to the junction and no time wasted. Others arrive at a junction, carefully orientate their maps (a few by laying their maps on the ground and turning it until they had orientated it) and then go on the right path to their next control. But a considerable number, perhaps caught up in the excitement of the day and constantly meeting runners going in every direction were obviously hooked on the maze tactic - see a path, run down it and if there is a control, check if it is yours, if it isn't, light off on any path randomly until you come to another control and so on. Sooner or later, you manage to get to all your controls though not necessarily in the order prescribed. The map for this group is a minor adjunct to the activity.
However, it doesn't do to be too bothered about whether the participants have got what they could out of the orienteering - I'm quite sure the whole weekend experience was well worth while for them all.
A thoroughly enjoyable day and a pleasure to work with Tony, Peter and everyone else involved.
Ian McMillan (EPOC)
Any queries, errors, or omissions should in the first instance be addressed to Michael Napier tel (0115) 928 9663, mobile 07771 660892,
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