Tag: SHI

Initial selections made for the Scotland team at the 2024 Senior Home Internationals

As per the selection policy, the SOA has made some early selections for the team to represent Scotland at the 2024 Senior Home Internationals, which are being held 7/8th September in the Callander area. There have been some strong performances by Scottish athletes this spring, and that is reflected in the ability of the athletes already selected. The final selections will be made in August, after the Welsh 6 days.

Selected athletes:

W20 – Isobel Howard and Daisy McNamara

M20 – James Hammond and Adam Barrie

W21 – Helen Bridle, Niamh Hunter, Jo Shepherd

M21 – Josh Dudley, Matthew Gooch, Graham Gristwood

Senior and Veteran Home International opportunities for 2024

The selection opportunities for 2024 have been agreed by the selectors. With the Senior Home Internationals take place in Scotland this year on 7/8th September in the Stirling area and Veteran Home Internationals take place in Ireland on 5th/6th October in Ireland.

2023 Scottish VHI and SHI teams
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Team Scotland Sponsors – Thank You!

Scottish Orienteering, and all the members of the Senior Home International and Veteran Home International teams would like to say a big thank you to Ben Hartmann, and Janice Nisbet (through Fergusson Law) for sponsoring the team kit for the 2023 events. Their contributions meant that all members of both teams were provided with Scotland orienteering tops free of charge. The intention is that future team members will also get given a shirt as recognition for representing Scotland.

If you or your organisation is interested in sponsoring the Scottish team in future (kit or activities) then please get in touch.

Scotland take victory at 2023 Senior Home Internationals – just!

This year the Senior Home International was held in South Wales, with the individual race on Merthyr Common and the relay on Clydach Terrace.

Individual

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.

Relay

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.

Overall

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.

Senior Home International Team Selection

The following athletes have been selected to represent Scotland at the 2023 Senior Home International, which will be held in Wales on the 9/10th September. It is a strong team despite several top runners being unavailable, and we wish them the best of luck as they attempt to win for the first time in several years. Congratulations to Aidan Smith and Niamh Hunter representing Scotland for the first time.

M21

Graham Gristwood

Matt Gooch

Aidan Smith

James Ackland

Mark Nixon

Daniel Stansfield

M20

James Hammond

Adam Barrie

Frank Townley

W21

Niamh Hunter

Mairi Eades

Kirstin Maxwell

Kathryn Barr

Katrina McLeod

Kirsten Strain

W20

Isobel Howard

Daisy McNamara

Fiona Eades

2022 Senior Home Internationals (SHIs) – Find out more..

The Senior Home Internationals is the annual competition between teams from England, Ireland (Northern Ireland and Eire), Scotland, Wales – the home nations. It would normally involve 3 men and 3 women in the M/W 20 age category (aged 20 and under) and 6 senior men and 6 senior women (aged 21 years and over). It is an important event for offering international competition opportunity and experience to many up and coming British and Irish elite athletes.

This year’s competition had a number of challenges – the location near Southampton (almost as far as you can get for most of our athletes!), the November date (out of competition season for the top runners), and the clashes with various other competitions (such as JWOC and cross country races) and life events (university open days) – all of which made selecting a competitive team very difficult. Despite asking a number of athletes, we were unable to fill the team in M21 or W21, but fortunately Alex Carcas took a day trip out from working in London, and Lorna Eades kindly stepped up from helper role to make sure that we at least had 3 full relay teams for men and women.

Two of the 2022 SHI relay teams:
Top: Mairi Eades, Fiona Eades and Kirsten Strain, Bottom: James Hammond, Graham Gristwood and Alasdair McLeod
Photo Credit: Murray Strain
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