Junior Squad Selection Policies 2023
The Junior selection team have met, and have agreed the team selection policies for the major junior International Competitions this year. They can all be found on the Juniors website at:
Thanks again to the selectors for their work on this – much appreciated!
JWOC 2021 – 5-10 September
JWOC – Intention Forms
Noting that the dates for JWOC have formally been changed to 5-10th September 2021 in Turkey we would like to ensure that all juniors eligible are given the opportunity to consider these new dates and revert with their interest in being considered for possible selection to an Irish team. A new form has been created to gauge the interest and intent of junior athletes wishing to be selected for JWOC 2021. Any eligible junior born in 2001/2002/2003 wishing to put themselves forward for selection must complete and submit his form by Friday, 4th June 2021.
(Please pass this link on to anyone that might be interested)
Interested athletes should also familiarise themselves with the IOF COVID bulletin and understand what will be required of them. We are currently waiting for JWOC Bulletin 3 to be published.
The organisation of any selection races will require Sport Ireland approval due to the timing of any such races, as will sending a team to WOC due to international travel advice. Our intention is to organise two selection races in July / August. Eligible juniors are also able to take part in the races being organised as WOC selection races in order to gain valuable racing experience. Only those juniors born in 2001, 2002 or 2003 are able to take part at this time due to guidance set out by Sport Ireland. The WOC long selection race will take place on 30th May. Details will be sent to those that have already declared intent – if you have not already declared intent for selection and are eligible to take part, please email for details (email@example.com)
Zoom talk with Kasper Fosser
Thursday, 3rd December at 8:00pm
With thanks to Ruairi Long, the IOA have the pleasure of hosting a chat with one of Norway’s top orienteers. Kasper Fosser has agreed to chat with our senior and junior squads sharing his insights into training, making the best of the current situation and his goals for the future. We would like to open this talk up to the wider orienteering community as well.
Kasper Fosser is a Norwegian orienteering competitor who represents the club IL Heming. He won a silver medal at the 2019 World Orienteering Championships in Østfold, and has won gold medals in both long distance, middle distance and relay in the Junior World Orienteering Championships.
If you would like to attend this talk by Kasper Fosser, please contact Darren (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain the zoom link. We look forward to seeing you there!
Virtual Junior Table Quiz
Thanks to the O’Brien clan we are still going to be able to host the annual Table Quiz normally held at the IOC – we will just host it virtually. The quiz will take place on Saturday, 2nd May at 8:30pm and will be hosted on Zoom and Kahoot. The fee per household is €10 and registration is taken as participants donate via the following link: http://www.idonate.ie/JuniorOrienteeringTableQuiz2020. The link to the quiz and further instructions will be sent by receipt email after the donation. All proceeds will go to the ISPCC Childline.
Junior Training Weekend Fun
We recently held a training weekend in Garvagh and Portstewart at the end of August.
With the JHI’s looming, both Stephanie Pruzina (My NIOA counterpart- and partner in crime) thought two days of training would be great to get the new minds focused, and sharpen the older Juniors into competition mode.
Of course, one of my cornerstone aims for ALL training weekends is to get the Juniors together. I know from experience of Junior Training weekends, for many years, that Junior orienteering is more than just the competition on the day. And those that come, train and stay with the Squad on these weekends benefit hugely.
As parents we get to mix, and help each other out with ideas and suggestions, and Juniors get to know those that they will be, hopefully, on teams with, someone to chat to on those long walks to the start.
We started the weekend by attending the event kindly run by the NWOC, and it was lovely to have tents and goodies after the run in the lovely forest. After a brief training exercise in the afternoon we retired to the hostel.
It was a great evening, the Juniors spent time chatting- and washing up, while the parents swapped stories and analysed maps! But it was great to meet new families and the squad members of the future.
Stephanie, Paul, Helen and Sophie were instrumental in putting together a fantastic set of short exercises that were technical but achievable for all levels. I won’t go into the details, as that’s not my area of expertise. But completely hats off to all those who attended the training as the weather was not quite as good as it could be. Testing those fair weather orienteers among us. The Juniors were so enthusiastic, and it was great to see all the happy faces coming back after the runs.
Many thanks to the Pruzina family, and to the parents who attended, shadowing, feeding and supporting the Juniors.
Any offers of help for the next weekend will be very welcome!
JHI 2018 Team Announcement
This year the Ward Junior Home International will be held in Scotland on the weekend 06/07 October. We have been kindly invited again by NIOA to run a team, and are delighted to do so.
I am delighted to announce the JHI 2018 Squad . The selectors have spent a considerable amount of time looking at results and discussing the performances of all individuals. The competition for the twenty-four spaces on the squad has been very strong and shows the increasing strength of the entire Irish Junior Squad. There have been several close and tough decisions made.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the selectors for their very hard work.
Best Wishes to the team selected, and to those not selected, please continue to enjoy our sport. Orienteering, although niche, is a great way to keep fit, keep the brain active, and spend time in the outdoors. Keep your eyes peeled for next years Selection Criteria.
|Non Travelling Reserve||Cathal||Lane|
|Non Travelling Reserve||Daniel||Earnshaw|
|Non Travelling Reserve||Sinead||Kearns|
Junior Tour 2018
Many thanks to Cliodhna Donaghy for her account of the Junior Trip. I would especially like to thank, on behalf of the Junior Squad, Toni O’Donovan and her family. Without whom this trip would not have happened, and who’s dedication to the cause went above and beyond the call of duty.
Junior Training trip to France
Saturday 21st July was the beginning of the 2018 O Tour, as around 30 juniors and their families (from all over Ireland) made their way to Les Plans d’Hotonnes, a tiny village located high up in the Jura mountains. We settled into our gites, and then the 60 or so of us met up for dinner at the largest gite. A few card games later we headed off to bed for the nine o’clock start in the morning.
EYOC 2018 Ireland Team Report
EYOC 2018 Ireland Team Report by Alan Elwood
Veliko Tărnovo Bulgaria
Ciara Silby W18
Cliodhna Donaghy W16
Aidan McCullough M18
Andrew Elwood M18
Dan McDonnell M18
Cathal Lane M18
Peter Reed M16
Liam Cotter M16
LEADERS – Edith Bridcut and Alan Elwood
EYOC Organisation and Competition Delivery
Although communications from the organisers prior to the event had been somewhat
patchy, their delivery of the competition and provision of all the requests made of them by
the Irish team was very eﬀective and eﬃcient. This included arranging the minibus to collect
the team from Soﬁa airport on arrival, the provision of the hotel from the day of arrival, the
allocation of training maps and advice on the use of the best training areas, excellent model
events and the minibus to take the team to Bucharest on the last day. During the
competition itself the leaders’ brieﬁngs (in which the organisers set out plans for the next
day and answered questions emailed in earlier or asked at time), allocation of transport
and provision of meals worked extremely well, with all days running more or less to the
timetable and without incident. The party and prize giving on June 30th Jun was an excellent
event with plenty of food and entertainment which the team really made the most of. The
courses were very well planned and delivered, being exactly as advertised in the bulletins.
The start and ﬁnish areas were well set out and delineated, with shops or food stalls
available as well as plenty of water. The only limitation was in terms shelter from rain, which
26 Jun 18 Departure Day
Having all met up at Dublin airport at 0645, some of us having been on a bus from Cork since 3 am, we took the obligatory photos before proceeding through security. Although the ﬂight was slightly delayed we arrived safe and sound in a cold and grey Soﬁa. The forecast indicated that it would soon start to rain and may not stop it seems until we departed! And all in the week Ireland had tropical weather. Not often you get oﬀ a plane from Dublin and arrive somewhere colder and wetter. On a positive note the minibus, which we had arranged through the organisers, was waiting for us at the airport and we made our way to the event centre (also our hotel) in good order, arriving by 1900 local time (2 hours ahead). The team went out for a quick run before grabbing some dinner, relaxing and, after a quick chat about the next day, heading to bed. The hotel was basic (class B) but suﬃcient, with rooms containing three beds and ensuite facilities. The food was also basic but plentiful and provided options for vegetarians, although it paid to be there on time or else other teams were likely to clear all the food provided.
On arrival the organisers had given us two sprint area maps but we had actually asked for one sprint and one forest map to train on for the next day, as our ﬂight times meant we arrived a day early. However, a quick chat with Gregor, from the Bulgarian Orienteering Federation and Secretary General of the Organising committee of EYOC, that evening and we had that all sorted; devising a plan to make the most of the Wednesday training opportunity before then taking part in the organised model events on the Thursday.
27 Jun 18 Training Day
After a good breakfast the team headed out to undertake some urban sprint training in a local village about 3 km away using one of the maps provided. The ﬁrst challenge was to get there. This entailed a jog along a steep uphill section, for 1 km, through a thick forest before a 1 km downhill trot on a path that ran alongside a road. All this had to be done in visibility below 30 m and oﬀ any map we had! Great for waking us all up. Still we made it from the hotel to the village green in good order. The team then undertook a series of exercises, commencing with relocation drills, moving to attack points at speed and ﬁnishing with a steady pace route selection challenge. After a quick pastry (thanks to Edith) we headed back the way we had come, admiring the views now that the mist had cleared, and arrived at the hotel in time for lunch. After a ﬁlling meal and a couple of hours oﬀ we then undertook a forest O training session with the aim of just understanding how the map related to the ground and ﬁnding out how runnable the terrain was in reality. The team did this in pairs, undertaking a talk O as they progressed round a 3.5 km course. This proved to be a very useful session and helped people get their heads into the mapping and the tough ground. After a gentle forest walk to cool down we retired to the hotel for dinner and rest.
28 Jun Model Day
In the morning, following breakfast for all, we caught taxis into Veliko Tărnovo to do a bit of sight seeing and buy some gifts. We were prevented from visiting the major (perhaps only real) tourist attraction, the medieval fortress of Tsaravets, as this was the location for the sprint race the next day and hence embargoed. Instead we had to settle for a trip into the tourist shopping area. This proved to be very quiet at 0900, so we had it all to ourselves. After some short wandering about the leaders found themselves quite by accident sitting down to coﬀee, Bulgarian pastries and a chat while the team explored. We met up again back at the tourist information oﬃce for 1200 before heading back to the hotel for lunch for all, less Alan who had just eaten 3 kg of Bulgarian cheese bread. The accreditation of the team then accomplished the oﬃcial athlete passes and goodies (EYOC headbands and towels) were handed out, along with the SI air cards.
The team then headed back into town to take part in the sprint model event. This was a useful opportunity for us, only somewhat tempered by the thunderstorm and downpour that caught us just as we started. After the team returned from their runs on the model and training maps, totally drenched, we grabbed the next bus back to the hotel, changed into forest O gear and headed out on the long distance and relay model event. This found us back in the same bit of forest we had trained in the day before but it was really helpful to have a chance to go back over the ground and map. Although it stayed dry by now it was very humid and the ground was extremely heavy and slippy, with clay like mud ﬁlling up the gaps between your studs. Given the very steep nature of the course this was not helpful and not without its hazards on downhill
Following a shower (very welcome by now) and some downtime the team met for dinner, after which the leaders updated everyone from the brieﬁng that had taken place for team leaders just prior to evening meal (and Edith handed out surprise biscuits she had bought to boost morale). Start times and bus information imparted, next on the agenda would be race day.
Race day morning had ﬁnally arrived. The team, following a quick visual kit check to ensure we had everything, set oﬀ in two groups to the quarantine area, one group departing at 0800 and the other at 0900. Quarantine turned out to be in an outdoor AstroTurf pitch with some cover for rain if you were one of the larger teams that got there ﬁrst. We were not. Fortunately it stayed dry for the morning, with just the odd threat of rain now and again. It was warm however and this, combined with the steepness of the course and complexity of the Tsarevets Fortress map, made for a testing race.
Once our ﬁrst runner was out Edith stayed in quarantine to ensure everyone got away and Alan headed to the ﬁnish to cheer the team on as they passed the spectator control, running down the long approach ramp into the fort, and to meet the runners coming in to the ﬁnish. Everyone made it round the course in good order and ﬁnished strongly in the sprint in. The uniqueness of the sprint location and the complexity of the map had necessitated a cautious approach to avoid a MP and had also required relocation skills to be employed by most at least once (good job we had practiced those) but everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and worked hard for their nation. We even all made it to the ﬁnish before the rain arrived again. As might have been expected teams like the Swedes, Finns, British, Hungarians, Austrians, and Czechs ﬁnished at the top of the rankings (no doubt they have no shortage of mapped medieval fortress on steep rocky outcrops to practice on). Perhaps surprisingly the M18 winner was an Australian, a country somewhat lacking in medieval historical monuments.
Shows you what can be achieved with the right investment perhaps.
The buses took us back to the hotel following the ﬂower ceremony at the sprint ﬁnish and the team had a shower, we submitted the entries for the next day, grabbed some lunch and then headed back out again to the opening ceremony in Veliko Tărnovo. In the evening the usual team leaders meeting took place prior to evening meal, after which the team prepared for the long distance race the next day.
30 Jun Long Distance Race
It was an early start with alarms going oﬀ at 0600 to get ready, have breakfast and be on the bus at 0700, following the obligatory team kit check. There then followed a 90 min bus journey along winding roads that passed through steep sided mountain valleys, over some suspect bridges and some daunting ridges. Finally, we arrived at the quarantine and were nicely surprised to ﬁnd it was a school, s ll in use as a residential English summer school for local primary school children. This aﬀorded not only plenty of cover should it rain (which it was to do) but also seats, tables, porcelain toilets and beds (for the Swiss Team who grabbed them that is). It even had a tuck shop and a kitchen serving up what can only be described as ﬂat doughnuts – only for the team coaches to sample of course. No self respecting athlete would be seen ea ting those. The local kids then ran about collecting the autographs of all the athletes – the trials of being a sports star. We had a long wait of close to four hours between arriving and our last runner going out, by which me the rain had arrived once more. This oﬀered a good chance to chat to other teams, such as those from New Zealand, Australia and GB, to see what way they approach EYOC and how they prepare for it. As some are from countries of equal size to Ireland there may be some parallels here to learn from, particularly as they are achieving good results with their youth.
The ﬁnish was on the side of a wooded hill, approached along a mud track that had something of the ‘Somme’ about it. There may even still be a few people missing in it. The set up provided a down hill run in from the forest, allowing the runners to appear as if from nowhere and race ﬂat out for the line, with lots of cheering to encourage them along. The courses were as was to be expected, physical and technical. Those nations with strong runners used to terrain and hill running and familiar with navigation in forest terrain did very well. This included of course Norway, Finland, Switzerland, France, Russia and Hungary. Each member of our team had sections on their course where they had to work hard to retain or regain map contact but, having remembered all their training, all did so and ﬁnished their courses. No easy feat. This was one of those events were a steady approach that focused on applying the right techniques in a disciplined manner to each leg saves time; as opposed to trying to go quicker and losing time to mistakes.
Lunch was brought up to the ﬁnish and was welcomed by our team as each member came in, even if by then the chicken was cold! The weather was not much better and although a few gazebo style tents had been set up to provide cover these were just about adequate for everyone at a squeeze, which occurred every time the drizzle turned to a torrent at 20 mins intervals. Good job we brought the rain coats.
Having checked all our team back in we a ended the ﬂower ceremony and headed for the buses and the hotel to get a shower and get ready for the party. Before that however there was the matter of the relay teams to sort. Basing this on the long distance race results for the four M18 runners it was Andrew, Aidan and Cathal. As we only had two M16 runners and one W16 we entered Peter, Liam and Cliodhna as a M16 team. That left Dan (M18) and Ciara (W18) so we made an Israeli (W16), who needed a team, an Irish M16 for the day and entered a third mixed team.
Having returned to the hotel and freshened up the team got dressed for the world famous EYOC party. This was held in a faux Byzantium palace on the hill up by the area we had carried out sprint training on when we had arrived. There was an abundance of colour in the dress people wore, no end of team interpretation of National stereotypes and a bewildering variety of meat products to be eaten, a supply that vastly outstripped even the voracious demand of 500 hungry teenagers. The meal was followed by the prize giving and continuous repetitions of the Finnish national anthem as they had won gold in every category, only being forced to share it with Norway for the M18 category due to identical ﬁnish times.
There then followed a boisterous and very loud (if you’re a 48 year old) disco (is it still called
that?) which everyone got fully engaged with, dancing and jumping about in a massive scrum in the middle of the dance ﬂoor. Like penguins in the Artic those in the middle where at about 40 degrees C and had to come out now and again just to cool oﬀ. Like David Attenborough, the coaches were able to observe all of this from the safe distance of the balcony seating. At 2230 the music abruptly stopped, without the slow song those of us that grew up in the 80s had come to expect, and the lights came on. We boarded the buses after a great night and headed for the hotel and bed.
1 Jul Relay Day
The relay event was centred about 10 mins away from our hotel by bus. The assembly area was in a clearing between two wood lines and with plenty of space, given the sunshine that which had at last returned, to spread out our kit and let it dry oﬀ prior to the race starting. There was also plenty of time to prepare by checking out the start, map collection area, spectator control and ﬁnish. The organisers also provided a demonstration of the handover procedure which was extremely useful. The ﬁrst mass start for M18s, and our ﬁrst team, was at 1000, followed by the M16 at 1005 and our second team. Our third team, mixed with an Israeli runner, went oﬀ at 1020.
The courses were middle distance in length but with a lot of climb and once more in complex forest. The ﬁrst few controls were particularly tricky with a lot of short but very steep ascents, descents and countering. Again this was reported as a physical challenge by our team as they came in but they all had worked hard and completed each course. In the M18 our last runner, Andrew, managed to catch a couple of runners who had entered the spectator control before him, meaning the team ﬁnished two oﬀ the bottom. The M16 Team had a solid run across all three athletes and ended up with 6 teams below them. Once we were all in we hung around the ﬁnish to cheer in the Israeli who had joined our mixed team, learning the Hebrew for ‘go’ so we could encourage her appropriately. Then it was a quick visit to the chip wagon for some (no doubt the Finns were feasting on wild berries) before making our way to the prize giving. Once the closing ceremony had ﬁnished, a somewhat protracted aﬀair held in a nearby ‘band stand’ area, we jumped on the bus and headed for the hotel. A quick bite of lunch and shower later and we were on the minibus we had arranged through the organisers and heading to Bucharest. This turned out to be a slightly longer journey than expected, although uneventful, and we arrived at the hotel around 2000 hrs. Luckily, near the hotel was a great steakhouse and the tucked into a well deserved burger or half a chicken with chips, cheesy fries and roast vegetables (no doubt the Finns were on nuts and seeds by now). Then it was oﬀ to bed in the knowledge that no one needed to get up early as the next deadline to be met was the taxi to the airport at 1045.
2 Jul Travel Home
We all awoke feeling well rested, had breakfast together in the hotel and headed to the airport in plenty of time, having been warned of long passport queues. We were right to do so. Those of us able to check in online made it through security and passport control easily enough, and before the queues built up. However, a longer wait ensued to see which check in gate was to be used to get Ryan Air boarding passes for the younger athletes that had to be linked to Alan’s ticket. A lucky guess meant we made it to the top of this queue when the check in desk ﬁnally came up, otherwise it may have been fight. That said we all arrived at the departure gate with enough time to grab some food and our ﬂight was late in leaving anyway!
EYOC 2019 will be held in Belarus from the 27 June 2019 – 30 June 2019.
As we welcome back our EYOC athletes, we are waving goodbye and Good Luck to our JWOC athletes.
The team that will be representing Ireland at the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Hungary from the 8th to the 14th July are:
Zac O’Sullivan Hourihan
Arguably one of the toughest Orienteering competitions out there, JWOC sees the best Juniors in the world compete on tough courses designed to test every physical and mental ability the athletes have.
Many, many thanks to Paul O’Sullivan Hourihan who is the Team Manager travelling with the team, without whom the team could not go! And to Mike Long for his invaluable assistance and guidance.
07. 07. 2018 SATURDAY
08. 07. 2018 SUNDAY
Opening ceremony, Model event (sprint, long distance)
09. 07. 2018 MONDAY
Long distance competition
10. 07. 2018 TUESDAY
11. 07. 2018 WEDNESDAY
Rest day, Model event (middle, relay), Excursion
12. 07. 2018 THURSDAY
Middle distance qualification
13. 07. 2018 FRIDAY
Middle distance final
14. 07. 2018 SATURDAY
Relay, Closing ceremony
15. 07. 2018 SUNDAY
Best of Luck!!
Best of Luck to the Team going to EYOC 2018
I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Irish Team heading to EYOC 2018 next week the VERY best of luck.
They have trained hard, and are ready and able for the challenge ahead.
I would also like to sincerely thank for all their hard work- to come and to date;
Alan Elwood & Edith Bridcut, for taking on the challenge of managing the trip.
Without Alan and Edith, we would not be able to send our athletes, and this would be a pity.
I would also like to thank and acknowledge those who have helped with fund raising these past few moths, to enable this, and other Junior Trips to go ahead.
WATO- who donated the takings from the Urban Sprint in Dungarvan to the Junior Squad
A donation was also received, and we are very grateful.
All those at the Irish Champs who bought cakes, baked cakes, minded the stall, and generally got the fund raising up and active- especially Edith, Debbie and Sally!
And finally- for now- Ruairi Long et famille who organised the brilliantly entertaining Quiz at the Irish Champs also.
These trips cost alot of money, and the insurance/ kit/ transport etc is all very expensive, so THANK YOU to all who help with this, although I am the Junior Rep, I cannot do my job without everyones help.