The Scottish Veteran Home International Team are travelling this weekend (30th/31st September) to the Forest of Dean to test their metal against the other home nations in the 2023 Veteran Home Internationals (VHIs).
Those competing for Scotland are as follows:-
Best of luck to the team! Here is hoping they get as good weather as last year and manage to wrestle the trophy back from England.
This week, starting from Monday 25th September, marks National Inclusion Week. National Inclusion Week aims to raise awareness of and celebrate inclusion in the workplace and also to celebrate the successes achieved through diversity and inclusion work. This year Scottish Orienteering have been working hard on our equality, diversity and inclusion projects to help widen access to the sport and increase participation.
A long-awaited Coach CPD day was held at Kinnoull Hill near Perth on Saturday. Ten coaches from 6 clubs spent a very productive day trying out exercises in the woods and exchanging ideas centred around maintaining interest at TD1 & 2. The ideas flowed thick and fast and we all learned a lot.
Congratulations to the following juniors who have been selected to represent Scotland at the forthcoming Junior Home Internationals (JHIs) and the Junior Inter Regional Competition (JIRCs).
Junior Inter Regionals (JIRCs)
The Junior Inter Regionals will be held in South Wales on the weekend of 23/24 September. This competition sees teams from the 12 British Orienteering regions compete against each other with individual races on the Saturday and relays on the Sunday.
W14 Anna Howard (MOR) Esme Kelly (FVO) Hazel Cload (INVOC) Lucy Ward (INT) Reserve: Eilidh Connor (FVO) W16 Emily Atkinson (ELO) Ruth Gooch (MAROC) Scarlett Kelly (FVO) Sophie Howard (MOR) Reserve: Iona Scott (INVOC) W18 Catriona Chapman (MAROC) Maya Robertson (ESOC) Iris MacMillan (ECKO) Isobel Howard (MOR) Reserve: Daisy McNamara (AYROC) Note: Reserves are non-travelling
M14 Alexander Hunt (FVO) Calum Robertson (ESOC) Douglas McDonald (INVOC) Henrik Borrowman (INVOC) Reserve: Toby Burton (INVOC) M16 Finlay McLuckie (MOR) Finn Duguid (TAY) Laurence Ward (INT) Yann Newey (MAROC) Reserve: Ranolph Whitehead(MAROC) M18 Adam Barrie (MAROC) Angus Laird (INVOC) James Hammond (FVO) Michael Bishenden (MOR) Reserve: Sam Hunt (FVO)
Junior Home Internationals (JHIs)
The Junior Inter Regionals will be held at Sutton Park in Birmingham on the weekend of 7th/8th October. This competition sees teams from the 4 home nations compete against each other with individual races on the Saturday and relays on the Sunday.
W14 Anna Howard (MOR) Eilidh Connor (FVO) Esme Kelly (FVO) Lucy Ward (INT) Reserve: Hazel Cload (INVOC) W16 Ellie Darlow (RR) Kate McLuckie (MOR) Ruth Gooch (MAROC) Scarlett Kelly (FVO) Reserve: Emily Atkinson (ELO) W18 Alice Kemsley (BASOC) Daisy McNamara (AYROC) Iris MacMillan (ECKO) Isobel Howard (MOR) Reserve: Catriona Chapman (MAROC) Note: Reserves are non-travelling
M14 Calum Robertson (ESOC) Douglas McDonald (INVOC) Finlay Cottier (ECKO) Matthew Inman (FVO) Reserve: Henrik Borrowman (INVOC) M16 Finlay McLuckie (MOR) Finn Duguid (TAY) Rory Black (INVOC) Ruari Cottier (ECKO) Reserve: Laurence Ward (INT) M18 Adam Barrie (MAROC) E wan Bennett (MAROC) James Hammond (FVO) Jonas Newey (MAROC) Reserve: Michael Bishenden(MOR)
Selections for the JIRCs and JHIs have undertaken to provide as many juniors as possible with the opportunity to race whilst also sending strong teams to both events.
The Scottish Score Championships were hosted by Inverness Orienteering Club at Anagach on the outskirts of Grantown on Sunday 10th September.
Anagach is a mature and mostly runnable (depending on the length of your legs!) coniferous forest with heather underfoot, intricate contour detail on fluvio-glacial ridges, a good path network and sizeable crossable marshes. 105 competitors took part on a very warm day.
This year the Senior Home International was held in South Wales, with the individual race on Merthyr Common and the relay on Clydach Terrace.
The temperature for the individual race reached about 30 degrees, and there was absolutely no shade on the open hillside. Winning times were long, partly due to the high temperatures, with leading times over 90 minutes for W21 and 100 minutes for M21. Scotland managed to win M21 (with Graham Gristwood and Matt Gooch coming 1st and 2nd) and W20 (with Isobel Howard, Daisy May MacNamara, and Fiona Eades taking the top 3 positions), and come second in W21 and M20 (with a silver medal for James Hammond) which resulted in a tie between Scotland and England on points (top 4 out of 6 seniors and top 2 out of 3 juniors count towards the scoring). To decide the winner of the individual day the outcome was decided on countback, with firstly the relative positions of 5th place seniors and 3rd place juniors considered (also a tie), and then finally the relative positions of 6th place seniors – which Scotland marginally won! This means that all 18 members of the team had crucial contributions to the victory.
Clydach Terrace was used for the JK middle race in 2022, so almost all of the team had a good idea of what to expect. There were big swings in the women’s race, with Scotland having a commanding position going into the last leg, but unfortunately the leading England team passed the first Scottish team towards the end to take the victory, with the team of Kirstin Maxwell, Isobel Howard and Niamh Hunter taking the silver. The second Scotland team of Kirsten Strain, Katrina McLeod and Fiona Eades were also in the fight for second place going out into the last leg, and were narrowly beaten by the 2nd England team, meaning that England had 1st and 3rd scoring teams, and Scotland 2nd and 4th. The men’s race was a much tighter battle, with 4 teams starting within a few seconds on last leg, and 3 teams finishing within 8 seconds at the end, with Graham Gristwood (in a team with Mark Nixon and James Hammond) winning the sprint, and Matthew Gooch in 3rd (in a team with Adam Barrie and Aidan Smith) close behind. But it was also a controversial affair as it became apparent that the 2nd and 3rd placed teams, as well as 2 other teams, had mispunched on controls which were sited too close to each other (well within the allowed 30m). With the best England team, 2 Scottish teams, and a Welsh team disqualified, there was a lot of discussion about what should be done between the controller and the team managers. Options were to leave the results as they stood (which would have lead to protests from the disqualified teams and likely voiding of the day), void only the men’s race (in which case England would win overall), void both the relays (in which case Scotland would win overall), or (as the controller suggested) reinstate the 4 runners who were disqualified on these too close controls. There was no good solution, but the 4 team managers all agreed that the least bad option was reinstatement in order to at least get a result from the day. Of course this option was not universally well received, but it meant that there could at least be some relay results and an overall winner. As it happened, this meant that the relay day was also tied, with England and Scotland each having one 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place! However, taking into account the 3rd teams, England were ahead in both relays and took the win on countback.
With a tie on points in the individual (Scotland winning on countback), and a tie on points in the relay (England winning on countback), nobody really had any idea what the overall result would be, and the England and Scotland management both consulted the rules to see what the final outcome should be.
In the event of an overall tie, first, the team with the most class wins (individual and relay combined) wins – but England and Scotland won 3 each. Secondly, the team with the most individual wins takes it, but that was a tie too. Thirdly, team second places are considered – which was a tie, and then finally individual second places broke the deadlock, with Scotland taking 3 out of the 4 individual silver medals! It really couldn’t have been much closer, with all 18 runners having crucial contributions both days.
Of course the drama of the disputed relay results might taint the result slightly, but nonetheless this was a great team effort from all the runners, and a fun weekend organised by the Welsh.
Having established that we need to find a way to retain and grow the key demographic of 20-39, the SOA Board have appointed Graham Gristwood as Scottish Orienteering Performance Manager working 2 days a month from 1st September.
Graham brings both his experience as GB athlete and that of a level 3 licensed coach who has worked in a variety of coaching roles for both clubs and at a personal level. His role is one aimed at both the support of elite athletes as well as helping to encourage retention of orienteers in the sport between 20 and 39. To address any conflict of interest regarding WOC 2024 ( as Graham was one of the WOC mappers, and previously was Technical Director before COVID delays), Graham will only be working on forest based support until after WOC 2024.
In order to develop orienteers aged between 20 -39, he will aim to work not only with Scotjos leavers but any athletes in the age group who are running at TD 5 and based in Scotland. The aim is to encourage these athletes to remain in the sport through coaching trips and social elements as well as helping high level coaching development in Scotland.
At the elite level, Graham will help prepare Scottish based athletes when they either represent Scotland at the Senior Home Internationals or are selected to represent GB. Athletes and their coaches will be engaged on a one to one level with Graham developing a regular program through the year to provide not just training but coordination of transport to event. The hope is to develop a team feel where people are proud to represent Scotland.
If any athletes would like to be included on mailing list or if any licensed coaches are interested in working with the programme please get in touch with Graham directly on email@example.com