ScotJOS update, Summer 2014

As previously reported, the Scottish Junior Squad received sponsorship from Apache at the start of this year.  We decided to spend this money on a Squad training Camp in Sweden incorporating the prestigious O-Ringen competition.

We hoped that the challenges involved in training and competing in the difficult Swedish terrain would be an excellent way to help improve the performance of some of Scotland’s best Junior orienteers.

So on 14th July the Squad accompanied by their adult minders (31 juniors plus 7 adults) duly arrived at Edinburgh Airport for the first leg of their journey, the flight to Denmark.  In Copenhagen  we picked up 4 x 9-seater minibuses plus one car and headed off across the Oresund Bridge towards Malmo and onwards to the destination of the first part of our tour, the Eksjo club hut in the Province of Smaland.  Lead coach Bill Stevenson had sourced the accommodation and had also managed to acquire ocad files of the local areas.  Being able to plan and print all our own training maps was a big improvement on tours in the past which had involved hand-drawing courses on maps provided by the local club.  So every evening our coaching team of Fiona Berrow, Josh Dudley, Ross McLennan, Jessica Orr, and Jo Stevenson (who had joined us from her home in Sodertajle) worked hard planning a range of training exercises suitable for the range of ages and abilities of our squad and printing off the required number of maps. The other very important member of our team was Liz Orr, who shopped every day for the massive amount of food required for this number of hungry athletes and kept us all well fed, with help from the juniors themselves who had been organised into duty groups. Supervised by Liz, the teams all worked hard and learned a range of other skills in addition to orienteering in Swedish forests.  Each evening the juniors went over the day’s exercises with help from the coaches. In the warm, sunny weather which persisted for the whole of the tour, the juniors also enjoyed themselves socialising and playing football as well as swimming in local lakes.  Another enjoyable social event was Evie Mason’s 18th birthday party.

On the Saturday, our group left Eksjo and transferred to the Kristianstad area of Skane in south Sweden for the competition phase of our tour. The AXA Junior Relay - for Nordic district teams and "national teams" for non-Nordic youth - always takes place on the Saturday evening before the start of the O-Ringen. Team Scotland was represented by Emma Wilson (leg 1, W16), Jake Chapman (leg 2, M14), Grace Molloy (leg 3, W14) and Alex Carcas (leg 4, M16).  60 teams in total had entered this competition which took place in Tivoli Park in Kristianstad. The legs were all gaffled and were approximately 1.5 -2k or 8-12 mins in length.  This proved to be very noisy and exciting.  Emma held her own in the mass start handing over safely in 15th place to Jake who overtook a number of second leg runners and came back in 12th place.   Grace returned in 10th position and handed over to Alex for the glory leg; Alex did not disappoint and after a storming run brought the team back in 7th place – 7th out of 60 teams representing the Nordic Regions and other nations! A study of the splits at download showed no problems, so we were all disappointed to find that the team had been disqualified for a mispunch (no explanation provided). Nevertheless this was an excellent performance from what could arguably have been a GB select team and we were all very proud of them.
Our accommodation for the second week was the Venestad IFK club hut which came complete with a full-size football pitch much to great excitement from the boys (and some of the girls).  However, we were here to orienteer! Each day we met up at the event assembly – where our meeting place was made visible by our new ScotJOS feather banner – then raced round our various courses. Each evening we ate Liz’s superb cooking (outside in the fine weather), went over our day’s courses in age-class groups, and then some played football...

There were some great results!  In summary, the following achieved top 30 places overall (total no. in age class and best top 20 day result in brackets): H18L (106): 6th Andrew Barr (3rd on Day 3), 12th Thomas Wilson, 20th Callum White (Daniel Stansfield 1st, Matthew Galloway 11th on Day 5); D18L(87): Jenny Ricketts 3rd (2nd on Day 1);
D14 (190): 13th Grace Molloy (5th Days 3 and 5); D15 (190): 21st Emma Wilson (5th Day 2); 25th Abi Mason (19th Day 3); H14 (194): Jake Chapman 28th, H15 (117):29th Alex Carcas.  (Full results at: http://www.oringenonline.com/oringenresults/Ola2014 )

Scottish Juniors have also been taking part in other training camps and competitions over the summer:
Sasha Chepelin was unable to take part in the ScotJOS training camp due to the clash with the Junior World Championships in Bulgaria where his best individual result was 17th in the Middle Distance Final. Well Done Sasha!
At the JROS training camp for 14’s at Lagganlia, Scotland were represented by: Jake Chapman, Jura McMillan, Grace Molloy, Ben Parkinson and Joe Wright.

No less than 13 Scottish Juniors took part in the JROS camp for 16’s in the Trossachs: James Ackland, Kathryn Barr, Callum Hunter, Roanne Lilley, Tom Lines, Abi Mason, Ewan McMillan, Ross McMurtrie, Megan Ricketts, Lindsay Robertson, Clare Stansfield, Finlay Todd and  Rowan White.
Also, the following have been selected to the British Orienteering Talent Development Camp in the Lake District: Andrew Barr, Alex Carcas, Matthew Galloway, Samuel Galloway, Daniel Stansfield, Emma Wilson, Thomas Wilson, Callum White.  Kathryn Barr and Ross McMurtrie were also selected but unable to take part.

The next ScotJOS activity will be the Junior Home Internationals which take place in Scotland at the end of August.

Photo of authorLast edited: 05th Aug 14
by Maureen Brown - ScotJos Squad Manager -2015

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ScotJOS AXA Relay team, Credit:Maureen Brown

ScotJOS AXA Relay team

ScotJOS in Sweden, Credit:Maureen Brown

ScotJOS in Sweden

O-Ringen Assembly, Credit:Maureen Brown

O-Ringen Assembly

Tam's team in the kitchen, Credit:Maureen Brown

Tam's team in the kitchen