Contours training at home with our Junior Orienteers!

Since the start of lockdown all of our Irish juniors from M/W10 up to M/W20 have been engaged in orienteering activities and training on Zoom.  We have had a great response from seniors, coaches and older juniors to host these sessions and this initiative has been incredibly successful.  A massive thank you to all of these mentors!! 

On 16th May the juniors were treated to an engaging zoom presentation on contours by Steven Linton.  We are incredibly thankful to Steven for sharing his time and experience in such a fantastic presentation.  This particular zoom meeting was for juniors from M/W10 to M/W16.  Straight away the juniors were practically involved by circling hills, re-entrants, spurs and depressions on their screens.  Steven helped everyone visualise the map terrain by adding 3D videos and detailed illustrations.  All of the juniors learned a great deal and to help them assimilate this knowledge they were all set a challenge at the end of the presentation. 

The 10/12 age groups were tasked with creating their own set of contours in a tray using sand, clay or soil and whatever added details they wished.  The challenge for the 14/16s was made a bit more difficult as Steven gave them a specific section of map that they were to recreate in 3D (See the map section below).  All the juniors were given instructions as to how they might add in their contours.  This was an incredibly informative presentation.  

In order for all models to be judged fairly, Steven came up with a marking scheme for each challenge.  The 10/12s were marked out of 5 for terrain quality, marked out of 5 for contours and marked out of 3 for imagination to give them a total score out of 13.  The 14/16 group were marked out of 5 for accuracy on plan, marked out of 5 for ground shape and marked out of 3 for overall presentation to give them a total score out of 13.  We had some incredible entries and were delighted with all the results.  

Top Marks in each category were as follows:
M/W10:  Deirbhile Hassett
M/W12:  Fionnuala Rowe
M/W 14-16:  Eve Buckley

We do hope everyone had a great time making their models.  Rebecca Linton has created two collages of all the entries we received.  All participants received a little box of treats and the winners each earned themselves a voucher to choose their own special treat.  Well done to everyone and huge thanks to Steven and Rebecca for their time and expertise.

Director of Junior Representative Orienteering

We are delighted to announce that Colleen Robinson has kindly taken on the voluntary role as Director of Junior Representative orienteering and her appointment has been unanimously sanctioned by the IOA committee.

Many of you will know Colleen from orienteering events where she and her family compete regularly for Setanta orienteers, Colleen has kindly given us a little of her background as she adds another role to her busy family life!

“I am a physical therapist with a special interest in physical conditioning and injury prevention.  I studied Athletic Therapy in Canada working with dancers, track and field athletes and rugby players before moving to Ireland in 2003.  A former top level competitive and then professional touring Irish dancer, I took up orienteering on a club level after arriving in Ireland and joined Setanta Orienteers.  I am a  past club secretary for Setanta.  In the last number of years I have had the pleasure of competing on three VHI teams.  As a parent of three very young orienteers, just discovering the love of orienteering, I feel privileged to take on the role of Director of Junior Representative Orienteering.  I look forward to putting my organisational and communication skills to use in the further development of junior orienteering as a whole with the IOA, aiding the progression of our young juniors with the organisation of regular focused training activities, and particularly playing my part on the team to provide for the needs of our high performance juniors training to compete at international level – coordinating the goal oriented training opportunities, equipment and competition logistics to allow these talented young athletes to achieve their full potential and have fun while they do it!
I may not necessarily have the greatest technical knowledge of orienteering, however in a former life I was a Canadian, North American, All-Ireland and World medal holder in Irish dance.  I am very acutely aware of the forces behind me that enabled to me achieve these wins.  Then as a professional dancer on tour with some of the best dancers in the world I was also in charge of training and planning tours for a junior arts company so again I am fairly experienced in planning training workshops and tours for juniors.”

On behalf of the wider orienteering community in Ireland we welcome Colleen onto the IOA team and wish her every success in her role, I am sure  the wider orienteering community will gather forces to support her in her role.

Orienteering in Ireland
Orienteering Ireland, Irish Sport HQ, Blanchardstown
D15 DY62, Ireland