It has been an exciting few weeks for the University Orienteering Clubs as the academic year begins. The academic year kicks off with freshers week and each institution hosts a freshers fair for clubs and societies to gain new members. Freshers week provides students the opportunity to find their feet and try out new sports and activities before the grind of the semester begins. This is a fantastic opportunity to engage people in orienteering.
We currently have four Scottish University Clubs; Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling. This is a particularly exciting time as both Glasgow and Stirling clubs are relaunching for the first time since the pandemic. Lets see what our University Clubs have been up to.
The JIRCs see teams of juniors from the 12 British Orienteering regions go to battle, with individual championships on the Saturday and relays on the Sunday. Each team can consist of 4 juniors in each category of M/W 14,16 and 18.
Scottish orienteers were successful at the IOFs World Masters Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships in Targovistje Bulgaria with a record haul of medals for Team GB. Over thirty nations competed and AYROC’s Bob Cherry clinched a fantastic three Golds and a Silver and clinched a Gold overall in the World Masters Series in M65. Karena Hanley of ESOC clinched a World Series win with four 4th places adding to her earlier run of victories in the Series. Arnis Saltums of STAG, representing Latvia, also won Gold in the World Masters Series.
During the Inter-areas weekend, with over 90 Juniors present from 14 out of 18 clubs from across Scotland and Juniors aged from 10 – 18 years old – it was the perfect opportunity to hear from our Juniors.
We asked them what would keep them engaged in orienteering. The answer: we need to make orienteering more social for Juniors.
Judy Bell and Suzanne were delighted to read this personal testament from a Karena of ESOC a recent learner on the Coaching Foundation course. The tutor team developed the online version of the course over lockdown and, needless to say, we are delighted with the positive reaction from Karena and many others.
I have almost completed the orienteering coaching foundation course which has kindly been sponsored by the club. The course consists of three, hour and a half, evening sessions, delivered virtually, and a face-to-face practical session.
After the success of the last series of online planners’ workshops, we are happy to announce that these will be repeated albeit in a slightly different format. Junior planners workshops will be repeated in the Spring.
This time we are running a linked series of workshops for those who are starting out on their planning career. It is expected that learners will attend all the workshops and there will be a planning exercise to complete between each workshop which you will get a chance to reflect on with your trainer and other learners. You will require access to either Condes or Purple Pen on a computer (tablets / phones are unsuitable for this).
We would to introduce you to Heidi Ross who has joined the SOA Staff team as our new Development Officer. We are delighted to have Heidi on board as we seek to progress our areas of development in line with our strategy. Heidi comes to us with experience of being Aberdeen University Orienteering Club President and a level 1 coach. She has recently relocated to Edinburgh joining ESOC having completed her Masters in Aberdeen.
Come join our team and help us truly capitalise on the unique opportunity that hosting the World Orienteering Championships in Edinburgh in 2024 presents. We are looking for a self-motivated professional to lead on a 6month scoping project to create a project plan which outlines what could be accomplished and reflects the aspirations of the sport in creating an exciting development plan linked to WOC 2024. Join us as our WOC2024 Project Manager!
The VHI races this year will take place in Wales on the weekend of 1st and 2nd of October. We are excited to announce those selected to represent Scotland at the event. Thank you to the team selectors, congratulations to those selected and good luck in October!