In this issue: Senior Home International preview … Leinster orienteering … Scottish O-video … Sorlandsgaloppen in Southern Norway …
Senior Home International – Scotland
Scotland provides the best orienteering in the UK – don’t just take my word for it: the World Championships will be in Scotland for the third time in 2015. This weekend the Irish team is taking on the Welsh at Craig a Barns (Realy – Saturday) near Birnam (remember Macbeth) and at Errochty, near Pitlochry (Individual – Sunday). As an aside, the Sassenachs are taking on the Scots at the same time. Both areas have been used for major competitions before: Craig a Barns most recently for one of the Individual days at JK2012. Errochty was used for a Veteran Home International a few years ago.
Allan Bogle, recently returned from some years running orienteering in the Canaries, is leading the Irish team. The team consists of range of orienteers from all over the island and age classes from 18 to 40. The turnout should be good this year – we have suffered in the past from having incomplete teams, but there are still some injury worries which may mean that the full complement of runners is slightly short.
It’s a bad time of year for the event for students: many of them are just back or just staring in college and can’t afford to take a weekend out.
Some 18’s are running up in the 20 class (Niamh Corbett and Cliona McCullough in W20, Eoin McCullough in M20) but these all have extensive international experience as juniors, including European Youth Championships. At the other end of the scale, the likes of Marcus Pinker and Ruth Lynam bring great experience of elite-level competition with them in M and W 21. Read the Senior Squad bloghere.
The team as selected is:
Allan Bogle (NWOC)Darren Burke (CorkO)
Hugh Cashell (CNOC)
Marcus Pinker (CorkO)
Kieran Rocks (LVO)Ruairi Short (CNOC)
Eoin McCullough (3ROC)
Josh O’Sullivan-Hourihan (BOC)
Conor Short (CNOC)
Olivia Baxter (LVO)
Rosalind Hussey (DUO)
Regina Kelly (CNOC)
Ciara Largey (FermO)
Ruth Lynam (CNOC)
Toni O’Donovan (CorkO)
Niamh Corbett (CorkO)
Áine McCann (LVO)
Cliona McCullough (3ROC)
Update: Scotland win with 55 points, retaining the title from last year, England 44, Wales 28, Ireland 22. See the individual resultshere, courses & routes here. Relay results here. The 2013 event will be in Ireland.
I was surprised to learn a while ago that the Leinster Orienteering Council was no more. The situation in the province looked like “Business as usual” but that’s not always the way to have it. If you look at the IOA Constitution (seehere) you will see that the Regional Councils are expected to exist and, not alone that, to fulfil a range of functions deemed necessary for the promotion and growth of orienteering.
That Leinster has survived so long without a Regional Council is not an indicator that Councils are unnecessary – it’s more a testament to the individuals who have taken on a range of responsibilities despite the absence of an “official” umbrella body.
Who do I mean? The likes of Mary Healy who runs Schools orienteering in Leinster, Sean Hassett (Fixtures), or Val Jones (League prizes). These are doing a great job, doubly so as they don’t have the official support of the clubs and individual orienteers in Leinster.
I don’t believe that orienteering in Leinster is in a healthy state: where are the junious coming into the sport? Where is the coaching, the promotion, the development?
We have almost two million people in the Greater Dublin area, not counting the rest of Leinster; we have forests and mountains, sand dunes and parks, towns and cities which could be mapped, but where are the orienteers?
The responsibilities of a regional council include fixtures coordination, collection of event levies to run the region and the national association, generation of funds for regional use, coaching coordination, development of schools and juniors, club development, PR and promotion, and maintenance of technical standards. How many of these are being done? How many are being neglected?
I am well aware that orienteering exists purely on volunteers and that everyone has many demands on their time, but the next generation’s orienteers are relying on us to keep the sport alive and prospering.
The technology of orienteering has developed enormously from the minority sport it was when it started back in the late ’60’s to the minority sport it is today, but the levels of participation, the income from events, the development of the other aspects of the sport have not kept pace. No matter how good the technology (for mapping, event organisation, information), the core of the sport is the people.
We need Leinster Leaders.
Watch this short fun orienteering/freerunning film from Scotlandhere.
Thoughts on the Sørlandsgallopen Sprint – Pat Mc C.
Next time: SHI report, London City Race, Leinster Champs, MTBO and more …