2023 Junior Inter Area Weekend is a great opportunity for socialising

The Junior Inter Areas brings together the juniors of all ages to compete for their regions, East, North and West, over a weekend. The weekend begins with a relay competition, where juniors of all ages work together to grab the trophy, followed by an overnight stay for everyone who wishes and then each member of the team works to help their region get the individual event trophy for their region before the points from both events are tallied to see which region takes the overall prize.

This year the event was organised by East Region. The relay event took place at Tulliallan with the help of Forth Valley Orienteers, followed by an overnight stay at Stirling Youth Hostel, and then the individual event took place as part of the last Scottish Orienteering League event of the 2023 hosted by Kingdom of Fife Orienteers at Devilla.

The relay involved some exciting courses and there was lots of team spirit on show . The M14s and W14s went out as first leg runners in the relay followed by the M/W12 age group on second leg and then the M/W 16 and18 age group bringing in the final leg. The top places were shared amongst the regions but West Area came out on top to take the Inter Area Relay Trophy.

After the excitements of the relays everyone transferred to the Stirling Youth Hostel where the juniors had the opportunity to meet others their age, get settled in and explore the hostel before dinner and then they had the chance to provide their feedback to the SOA Team on how we can retain juniors and improve communication, make events more sociable, anything suggestions that would make area training better and their thoughts on the Young Leader programme. Juniors of all ages worked as teams to provide feedback with the support of adults staying. After the feedback session and dinner had been tidied up, the Ward family tested everyone with general knowledge quiz.

Despite the rain meaning that the courses round Devilla had to be adapted to avoid some larger than normal watercourses it was again tight for points between the regions as they vied for the Individual Inter Area trophy. West area with their younger contingent took the trophy, with North Area in second place and East Area in third with a very respectful tally of points – Roger Goddard their team manager took to the stage to hoist the trophy.

All points for the weekend were then added together with West Area sharing the chocolate prize for the weekend win.

Well done to all involved and thanks go to Forth Valley Orienteers and Kingdom of Fife Orienteers for letting the Inter Areas being part of their events, East Area for all their organisation efforts and in particular Claire Ward and her family.