IOA Development Officer Initiative
Earlier this year, Sport Ireland provided additional funding to the IOA to fund development work to increase participation and awareness of orienteering. As part of this initiative, Anton Hallor and Eileen Young are currently undertaking development work for the IOA in the Leinster region. The intention is to work with the Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs), further develop the Ready to Go programme for schools and to provide assistance to clubs in promoting events and welcoming newcomers. The objective of this initiative is to build on the work done by our unsung heroes, club volunteers, to increase the number of people orienteering regularly and joining our clubs and also continue the hard work of Andrew Cox who works in this capacity as a volunteer in the South East and beyond.
Introducing or reintroducing, Eileen Young !
Most regular Irish orienteers will know Eileen (Fingal Orienteers) who has been involved in orienteering in Ireland for many years. Eileen originally started orienteering as a university student and has won many Irish titles. More recently, she has trained as a coach and undertaken development work both in her own venture Orienteering Coaching Fingal and as part of the Ready to Go programme funded by the dormant accounts fund through Sport Ireland. Eileen is continuing her coaching training as she works towards the Coach Developer award. She has continued this work for the IOA development position forging and consolidating links in the Leinster region through schools orienteering and Sports partnerships whilst also assisting with Schools events across the country. Eileen’s passion is to assist beginners with their first foray into the sport, encouraging and developing young people in developing new skills and independence.
Introducing Anton Hallor
Anton has been involved in training the elite squad and more recently moved to Ireland to assist with development work. We asked him for a few words about himself for those of you who haven’t met him yet.
My name is Anton Hallor I am 27 years old, I am a professional trainer and orienteering developer from Sweden. I have orienteered since I could walk and I was privileged to be part of a club that trained me to become technically skilled at an early age. I was selected through a National selection process to attend an orienteering school when I was 15 and graduated three years later with a deep passion for training and orienteering. I felt the occupation was for me and decided to continue my education with a Bachelor degree in sports and science. During my time at Örebro University, apart from the research, study and exams, I worked part time as a test leader for a sport science project and as an assistant professor, teaching orienteering for the university. Following my graduation I have been working with development of athletes in both running, skiing and orienteering on international levels in different locations and countries. I flew straight from Australia to this assignment with the IOA having coached cross country ski athletes in Falls Creek during the Irish Summer.
I believe I have an understanding of Irish orienteering having got to know a lot of Irish runners during my trips back and forth to Ireland over the past year. I feel very honoured to take on this role as a Development Officer for IOA. I like to plan for future progression, with detailed preparation. My knowledge of the sport and experience from a former elite career, orienteering in 15 different countries and on four different continents helps me to have an understanding of the path Ireland should follow. My understanding and experience of different terrains and maps is also essential to becoming a really good orienteer, I consider this knowledge helpful when organising camps for both senior and junior squads.
My goal is to bring more people into the sport, make sure the ones who are already in it remain and develop those who wish to develop with training for performance. I am one month into the job and it’s very easy to work with the Irish orienteers . Everyone is incredibly helpful here and I would like to give back by helping to create a bigger and more developed community. If anyone would like to contact me, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Irish Orienteering Championships 2019
From a Swedes perspective…
As the Irish Senior Squad Trainer, an ambitious Nordic skier and adventurous runner, I decided to run IOC 2019 very early. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do any orienteering in preparation, but I predicted that Nordic ski training, in combination with mental preparations and a strong psychological mind-set would make me powerful enough.
When I studied the maps before the races, the terrain didn’t seem to be very interesting really. A lot of open areas, not very detailed terrain and relatively easy orienteering. But I was so wrong. The sprint forced me to rethink my orienteering expectations. I was taken by surprise. How could they even made a sprint course that hard in such simple area? After I finished the sprint which were ran in a beautiful area and held both technical difficulties and amazing views, I immediately started to prepare for the middle distance. I prepared in a different way than I had done before. I gave the map more respect, the terrain more deference and expected the course setter to fool me again. That might have been what caused me to run one of my best races for many years. When running the middle had I a great feeling. I wasn’t afraid of the course but I didn’t either disrespect it either. I ran with it. I was open minded about route choices on every leg, I ran fast where the map told me to and I went slowly in all other places. I didn’t make any mistakes. A clean race with high speed. A lovely course which held all the difficulties you may ( or may not) expect. Running into the finish with a majestic view and sharing public. Amazing!
Regarding the classic distance the next day, it was expected to be won in around 100min, but since my shape was good I didn’t mind the distance. I ran it harder than both the sprint and the middle. Enjoyable at its maximum, slow tricky forest combined with superfast running grass areas. How could you not love such a course? Demanding with a lot of good route choices. I didn’t make the 100min, but no shame on the course setter, without mistakes sub 100min would have been possible.
Last day was a relay, once again the terrain changed and this time the race was held in a smaller area which invited to high speed through the whole course. Lots of tracks ant paths, fast forest and deadly green areas.
Four days of running, four days with amazing organisation and demanding courses. After a weekend like this, you have a great possibility to evaluate your own results, your strengths and maybe more interesting also your weaknesses. When the races were so different from each other, both in length and technical level. I am sure you can evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses. Where you performing best on the relay and sprint? In the end of the long distance? In the forest in the middle? This is only possible when the variation is as high as it was on this weekend. Keep that up, I love it!
Overall and summarized a weekend including a short sprint, a fun middle, a long classic and a fast relay. Four days of fun. Exhausting of course, but that’s why I loved it. Since I came home have I been talking a lot to others about it. Not just because it was an amazing event, but that I can see a change. It was seven years since I first stepped off the plane at Dublin Airport, and I have been running a lot of training sessions and competitions in Ireland since that day. During these seven years I have seen the progress in Irish orienteering moving forward a lot. Today the standard of an event is high, professional and highly serious. Just as it should me in a championship.
I look forward to going over again soon, but when I fly over for the eighth time? I haven’t decided yet, but it´s probably going to be sooner or later. I can’t be without you guys more than a few months. I am deeply and honestly thankful for the IOC 2019 organisation. It was a pleasure to be a part of it and I have been telling everyone at home that you NEED to come visit Ireland. An Island having the absolutely best atmosphere for having a great time and always making you feeling heart-warming welcome. Thank you!
- 7th Place Sprint M21E
- 2nd Place Middle M21E
- 1st Place Long Distance M21E
Many thanks to Anton for giving us an insight into his IOC 2019 , we look forward to next years IOC2020 to be held in Kerry and West Cork. More information coming soon….