View from a Junior Orienteering Planner

As a sport, it’s vital that we get young people involved in helping to plan and organise orienteering events. Here’s the views of Faith Kenyon’s (W14, MOR), first taste of ‘proper’ event planning.

“Ben Coutts (M14) and I were asked to plan the courses for our event at Findhorn on Saturday. I had done a little planning before but not a ‘proper’ event.

Faith Kenyon

“Interestingly I found the yellow course the hardest to do. This was because I had to think about every decision point, the placing of controls so they were all on paths, or visible from them. Also, the children may not be very tall, or the paths very clear for them.

“The orange course was really good fun to plan. It had to be different from the yellow, and I did not want to rely on paths for the control sites. I was really pleased that only one control was directly on a path; I used I hills, depressions, thickets, distinctive trees and even a re-entrant. So, well done to everybody who got around the orange course!

“We tried to make the light green course different from previous courses at Findhorn and use different control sites. We planned to use some technical control sites, direction changes and some slightly longer legs.

Orange course planned by Faith and Ben

“Thanks to Allan Halliday’s course on the use of Condes, because it made the job of planning it on the computer so much easier and I picked up lots of tips. I’ll now be able to help my mum with the Roseisle North planning, so don’t worry guys!

“It was great working with other club members because we all pulled together when it was too windy for the tent. We saved it from blowing away by having registration and download in our vans. (I think Ian and Rosie actually enjoyed having comfy seats for once!)

“I have learned lots by planning this event. It’s so important to visit the area a few times because one site we wanted to use had a load of dumped oil drums overgrown with grass by it. Another site we wanted to use was by a building, but when we checked the building wasn’t there anymore.

“I really enjoyed this planning, everybody in the club is so helpful and I was grateful for the feedback on the courses. I can highly recommend planning.”

Moravian Orienteers has a strong nucleus of juniors who are bursting with enthusiasm. Several have now completed the SOA Young Leaders course and subsequently supported the introduction of orienteering at after-school clubs in the region, and many have also completed Planning/Condes courses and Event Safety Workshops.

This is the third year Moravian has held a Saturday/Schools league events with the officials and volunteer roles primarily filled by juniors, whilst appropriately supervised at all times. This really helps build the confidence and wider sense of responsibility of the juniors.

We are looking forward to hosting the Scottish Night Champs at Findhorn on Sunday the 15th of February, followed by the first SOL of the year in Darnaway the following day.

Roo Hornby, Moravian Orienteers