info@orienteering.ie

Sprinting Through Dublin: A Weekend of Intensive Orienteering Training

Over the weekend, the national squad of Orienteering Ireland convened in Dublin for an intensive sprint camp aimed at sharpening their skills and refining their strategies. From Friday night through Sunday, the athletes immersed themselves in a series of challenging training sessions designed to mimic the intensity and precision required at the highest levels of competition.

Friday Night: Setting the Pace

The camp kicked off on Friday night with a burst of energy as the squad delved into a general orienteering sprint training session. Taking place in the picturesque setting of Castleknock, Dublin, athletes navigated through a course designed to replicate the format of the Orienteering World Championships. It was a chance for the team to shake off any rust and reacquaint themselves with the intricacies of sprint orienteering.

Under the guidance of their coach, the athletes tackled a variety of terrain, honing their map-reading skills and decision-making abilities under pressure. The atmosphere was charged with anticipation as the squad embraced the opportunity to push themselves to their limits right from the outset.

Saturday Morning: Precision and Technique

As the sun rose on Saturday morning, the focus shifted to the technical aspects of sprint orienteering. The squad gathered at the UCD grounds for four intensive training intervals, each designed to challenge their ability to make optimal route choices in fast-paced environments.

With a keen eye on efficiency and precision, athletes navigated through complex courses, constantly assessing the terrain and adjusting their strategies on the fly. Every decision mattered as they worked to minimize time lost and maximize speed.

Saturday Afternoon: Mastering Route Choices

In the afternoon, attention turned to perfecting route choices as the squad ventured to Applewood, Dublin for another round of training. With a focus on achieving a 90% success rate in route choices, athletes pushed themselves to the limit, pushing through fatigue and mental barriers to maintain focus and accuracy.

The training session served as a valuable opportunity for the team to fine-tune their decision-making processes, identifying strengths and weaknesses in their approach and implementing strategies for improvement.

Saturday Night: Analysis and Strategy

As the sun set on Saturday evening, the squad reconvened for a training analysis session and a knockout sprint runners choice exercise at the Sport Ireland campus. It was a chance for athletes to reflect on their performances throughout the day, identifying areas of progress and areas for further development.

Under the guidance of the coaching staff, the team dissected their routes and decision-making processes, seeking insights that would inform their strategies for the upcoming competitions. The knockout sprint exercise added an element of unpredictability, challenging athletes to think on their feet and adapt to changing circumstances.

Sunday: Putting It All Together

The final day of the camp saw the senior team put their skills to the test in a series of knockout sprint-style qualifications and finals simulations. Venturing to Skerries and Rush, Dublin, athletes faced off against each other in a high-stakes environment, pushing themselves to the limit in pursuit of victory.

With a focus on maximum speed and precise control, athletes navigated through challenging courses, drawing on their training and experience to make split-second decisions and execute flawless routes. It was a chance for the team to showcase their progress and readiness for the upcoming Irish championships.

Team Collaboration and Preparation

Throughout the weekend, the national squad demonstrated not only their individual talent but also their ability to work together as a cohesive unit. The involvement of the entire senior team in planning different courses, under the guidance of the High-Performance Manager, highlighted the collective effort and commitment to excellence that defines the squad.

This training camp was more than just an opportunity for individual athletes to improve their skills—it was a crucial step in the team’s preparation for the challenges ahead. With the Irish championships looming just three weeks away, the camp served as a vital opportunity for the national team to fine-tune their preparations and solidify their plans for success.

Looking Ahead

As the squad departs Dublin and returns to their respective training bases, they do so with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. The weekend’s intensive training camp has provided them with the tools and confidence they need to tackle the upcoming competitions head-on.

With their sights set on World Championship selection, the national squad of Orienteering Ireland remains focused and driven, ready to take on whatever challenges lie ahead. As they continue their journey towards excellence, one thing is certain: the spirit of determination and camaraderie that defines this team will carry them through to victory.

Acknowledgements and Thanks

As the national squad of Orienteering Ireland concludes their intensive training camp in Dublin, it’s important to extend heartfelt thanks to those who made it all possible. The success of the weekend would not have been possible without the dedication and expertise of the course planners, whose meticulous planning and thoughtful design ensured that athletes were challenged and inspired at every turn.

A special note of gratitude goes to Paul Pruzina, Jens Waechter, Kevin O’Boyle, and Conor Short for their invaluable contributions to the training camp. Their passion for the sport and commitment to excellence shone through in every aspect of the weekend’s activities, guiding athletes towards new heights of achievement.

Additionally, a big thank you is owed to Fingal Orienteers for graciously allowing the national squad to use their maps for the training sessions. Their generosity and support are deeply appreciated and played a vital role in the success of the camp.

Josh O’Sullivan-Hourihan deserves special recognition for his contributions in supplying pictures and videos throughout the training camp. His efforts in capturing the essence of the weekend’s activities not only provided valuable documentation but also served as a source of inspiration and motivation for the athletes.

Lastly, a word of thanks to High Performance Manager Jens Waechter for his tireless efforts in organizing and overseeing the training camp. His leadership and guidance were instrumental in ensuring that the weekend ran smoothly and that athletes had everything they needed to excel.

As the squad reflects on their experiences in Dublin and prepares to take on the challenges that lie ahead, they do so with a profound sense of gratitude for the support and expertise of those who helped make the training camp a resounding success.

Jens Waechter, High Performance Manager, Orienteering Ireland

Orienteering Mapping Course

Orienteering Ireland is running a 4-week online course on Introduction to Mapping using OCAD software. The course is aimed at the those new to mapping. Over a progressive series of four weekly online workshops participants will learn to:

1. Complete an urban sprint orienteering map that complies to international standards.

2. Complete an orienteering map of a park / school grounds.

3. Georeference and make small updates to any orienteering map.

Starting on Monday 2nd October 2023, for four consecutive Mondays, each workshop will last two hours from 19:30 – 21:30, and will take place via Zoom.

Monday 2nd October

Monday 9th October

Monday 16th October

Monday 23th October

Each participant will be given a temporary OCAD licence for 6 weeks from the beginning of the course.

Prerequisite:

– OCAD is a Windows Software – you will need Windows 8, 10 or 11

– 100 MB of free disk space for the installation

– Basic knowledge of file handling

Note for MAC users OCAD is a Windows software. Additional software like Virtual PC, Parallels Desktop, VMWare Fusion or Bootcamp must be installed on the MAC to use OCAD. For more information, see the OCAD Wiki – OCAD on Mac OS X page.

The course is open to members of Orienteering Ireland and its clubs. You can register here.

Senior Squad Sprint Camp – Dublin – Recipe

“Team cook” : Josh O’Sullivan-Hourihan

Ingredients:

  • Days: 4
  • Maps: 9
  • Controls: 162
  • Average kms: 80km – 92km
  • Helpers: 3
  • Course Planners: 8, 6 internationals
  • Photographers: 1
  • Juniors: 2, 1 international
  • Fun: to much to count

Day 1:

Day one saw 3 athletes on a training course designed by Anton from Sweden to kick off the training weekend. Great route choices kept the athletes thinking on their feet … pardon the pun.

Day 2:

Today the “cook” dished out a knock-out sprint simulation with different maps of different areas. It included correct time delays between qualification, quarter final, semi final and final. It was to mimic WOC sprint timing between knock-out events. Course Planner was Kevin O’Boyle for the quali and quarter final events who put a lot of thought into the planning with interesting route choices that encouraged great discussions.

The afternoon training block saw courses planned by one of Ukraine’s national team runners Olena for the semi final and final events. And boy were the stakes raised. Like in WOC and EOC races, the athletes had 20 seconds to look at route choices before the mass start.

Day 3:

After very intensive day 2 the team had a slightly “easier ” day. The morning saw a gaffled sprint interval training and the course at Dublin’s dockland was set this time by Warre, a Belgium national team runner.

The afternoon had the team training a line-O designed by Matthias, national team runner from Austria, before a fast sprint style training set by Kerstin, national team runner from Estonia.

Day 4:

And to finish the training camp, the team had two final task. At this point desert was served by the “cook” with a cherry on top. The team headed to Tempelbar & Grafton Quarter for another sprint style training and to leave everything “out there”. The course was set by Leo from Holper&Zapf course planning . The team delivered once again with some very fast foot speed.

And finally the afternoon was planned by the High Performance Manager Jens himself. This rounded up a very successful and first team sprint training.

Wrapping up:

My profound thanks goes to the “cook” for the training weekend Josh. The team piggy backed on his training, that he planned for himself.

I am also thankful to Donore Harriers to lend us their clubhouse for a team debrief and analysis evening. Josh is a member of that club and got permission.

I want to mention Ruairi ( currently injured ) who helped out and gave the team his insight on WOC this year, thank you. Not to forget Kevin, he not only planned courses but made himself available to train and support.

Finally, I can not wait to have many more of these trainings that are conceived & organised by other members of the senior squad.

Please help support our team and all the other internationals who planned and designed training for the team. It helps our national team to reach out and connect to other orienteering nations and their teams for future endeavours.

Jens | High Performance Manager | Orienteering Ireland

Instructor Training Course: Dublin 1st & 2nd April

The Level 1 Basic Orienteering Instructor Training course will take place in South County Dublin on 1st and 2nd April 2023. The course will also be preceded by a 1.5hr online evening session (date to be confirmed with participants).

The instructor training course is aimed at club orienteers, youth leaders and outdoor pursuits instructors, with basic knowledge of the sport including some event experience, and who are interested in introducing people to the sport of orienteering. This course is certified by Coaching Ireland.

During the instructor training course trainee instructors will:

  • Explore a range of activities suitable for the introduction of orienteering in the classroom, school grounds and in local parks and woods.
  • Plan and deliver sessions that develop basic understanding of orienteering skills & navigation techniques.
  • Be introduced to the Orienteering Ireland Orienteering Ability Awards as a progressive scheme for the advancement of skills in novice and beginner participants.
  • Become familiar with equipment and skills necessary to organise orienteering activities.
  • Learn to carry out risk assessments and use these in conjunction with the orienteering venue terrain guide.
  • Use course planning tools to organise simple orienteering activities in private grounds, parks and small woods.

For further information and registration please check the link below.

Registration is through Eventbrite

Poster for an orienteering instructor training course taking place in Dublin on first and second of April 2023.

Social Media Workshop for Orienteering Clubs.

In today’s world it is very important that clubs use social media to advertise and promote their orienteering activities.

For this purpose Orienteering Ireland is running a 1.5 hour social media workshop on:

Thursday 27th October 7:30pm – 9pm.

Mark Stephens will look at social media talk, covering posts, stories, reels, when best to use each feature, and their differences.

The workshop will also look at Canva, and how to put text together with images.

Clubs attending should have set up an Instagram account and Facebook page beforehand.

Ideally each club will have a minimum of one person attending, who will be happy to take on the role of the club’s social media accounts.

The registration form below gives you the opportunity to ask questions in advance of the workshop.


Fuelling & Hydration Webinar Registration

Oct 20th 7pm to 8pm

Jens Waechter has brilliantly set up a Webinar with Precision Hydration to have a chat about Fuelling and Hydration, this chat is aimed at the Elite Team but is open to everyone and we are sure there is something everyone can take away.

Precision hydration helps some of the best athletes to nail their fuelling and hydration. The team is made up of sports scientists developing a simple and effective way to help athletes understand and manage their individual hydration needs. 

It would be great if everyone could have at least 3 questions related to sport fuelling to help steer the conversation and tailor the webinar to individual needs.

Sign up below.

Intro to Orienteering – 6 Week Course

A 6-week structured coaching program that will give new participants the knowledge, skills and confidence to tackle any orienteering course.

Overview

This course will take place over a 6 week period, starting Sunday 4th September and running weekly (4th, 11th, 18th, 25th Sept and 2nd, 9th Oct). Each session will begin at 11am and run for approx. 2 hours

The course will contain a mix of 4 club events including coaching beforehand and 2 sessions of specific coaching to refine your skills!

The course will be at a different location each week, including Newbridge House, Ardgillan Demesne, Malahide Castle, Poppintree Park, Bray Head and St Anne’s Park.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for first time and beginner orienteers looking to build confidence and navigation skills. This course is suitable for walkers, joggers, or competitive runners.

Note: this course is for Over 18s only

What will I learn?

By attending this 6 week program you will learn all the skills necessary to be able to comfortably complete an orienteering course by yourself. These skills include:

  • Orientating the map.
  • Recognising and identifying features on an orienteering map.
  • Recognising simple contour features.
  • Understanding the colour system used on orienteering maps.
  • Understanding scale and distance between features on the map.
  • How to use the MapRun app and orienteer in your own time.

As well as many other skills to enable you to successfully navigate a cross-country orienteering course.

Fee

The fee for the course is €79 and covers experienced coaching from qualified instructors, entry to 4 orienteering events, gear rental and maps.

Book your spot here!

If you know anyone that may be interested please share the link!

Email markstephens@orienteering.ie with any questions.

June 18th/19th: Orienteering Instructor Level 1

Dates for the next Level 1 Instructor Course are 18th – 19th June (Saturday and Sunday)

Upon completion of the training course, candidates will be required to log teaching hours and complete a practical teaching assessment to qualify as an Orienteering Ireland Level 1 Orienteering Instructor.

Prerequisites

Candidates should have a basic knowledge of the sport, including some event experience, ideally this should consist of a minimum of three public events on Orange or Red courses.

Course Overview

  • Explore a range of activities suitable for the introduction of orienteering in the classroom, school grounds and in local parks and woods.
  • Plan and deliver sessions that develop basic understanding of orienteering skills & navigation techniques.
  • Be introduced to the Orienteering Ireland Orienteering Ability Awards as a progressive scheme for the advancement of skills in novice and beginner participants.
  • Become familiar with equipment and skills necessary to organise orienteering activities.
  • Learn to carry out risk assessments and use these in conjunction with the orienteering venue terrain guide.
  • Use course planning tools to organise simple orienteering activities in private grounds, parks and small woods.

Book your place

Here is the link for the instructor training course on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/320714173727

More info can be found on the Orienteering Education page here: https://www.orienteering.ie/orienteering-education-resource/education-courses/

JWOC training camp -Portugal

On the weekend of the 11-14th March, 3 prospective JWOC athletes, Darragh Hoare, Liam Cotter and Aoife O’Sullivan (all BOC) travelled to Portugal under the leadership of Jens Waechter (BOC) to get some orienteering experience in relevant terrain in advance of Junior World Orienteering Championships in July. Over the weekend, we squeezed in 7 maps, covered approximately 45km and got about 10 hours of quality orienteering in the Portuguese forests and cobble-stoned towns.

After an early start on Friday morning, we flew from Dublin to Porto and then drove a further 2 hours to our accommodation. After checking in and having some lunch, we put on our O-kit and headed to nearby Aguiar da Beira village for some sprint training. This hilly medieval village was filled with narrow cobble-stoned streets, many stairs, some rough open areas and offered plenty of route choice. After a quick debrief, we headed back to our accommodation to make dinner and further discuss our various routes. Jens spoke to us about the importance of recovery. We winded down with some mindfulness and then headed to bed for an early night.

In order to somewhat replicate what we’ll experience on race day, we decided to leave the house early each morning, this also allowed us plenty of time to come back to the house for a longer recovery period during lunch. Each map was conveniently located within max 20 minutes driving of our accommodation. On Day 2, we focused our attention on the middle distance discipline. Now before anyone gets the impression we went to Portugal to escape the Irish weather, Day 2 tells a different story. With average temperatures of about 4-6 °C and constant rain which only got heavier as the day progressed, it was certainly not a sun holiday. However, that’s not what we were in Portugal for, we were here to train and that’s certainly what we did. 

The first area we went to was described as being very relevant for both the JWOC middle qualification and final. Runability was very good in this area however, I found I was very cautious of the bare rocks and feared slipping in the wet conditions. I thoroughly enjoyed this intricate area and was excited to see the other terrains Aguiar da Beira had to offer. Our next session of the day took us to an area just next to the middle embargo on a map made by JWOC mappers, Janne Weckman and Timo Joensuu. This area was very technical and rather slow going with rough conditions underfoot. I learned the hard way that it can be very difficult to relocate in this complex terrain. The rain had really set in at this stage so we headed back to the house to shower, refuel and take some time to recover. During this down time we uploaded our gps tracks to quickroute to discuss route choice and learn from our mistakes.

Our final session of the day brought us to another middle relevant area mapped by the JWOC mappers. Putting back on our wet kit that afternoon and facing into pouring rain was difficult and I certainly needed some extra motivation. Darragh’s wise words gave me the extra boost I needed to hop out of the car; ‘Aoife just think about it, in an hour and a half’s time you’ll be even more prepared for JWOC and you’ll be warming up in a hot shower.’ We set off on another middle distance length course and I quickly learned the rain isn’t that bad once you’re out in it. I clocked in over 17k and plenty of climb by the end of day 2 and was looking forward to getting some dinner into me and then another early night. We also had access to a pool/jacuzzi at our accommodation that served as a nice recovery tool.

On our last day in Portugal we shifted our focus to the Long Distance and the 1:15,000 scale. Thankfully the weather had dried up, although it was still cold the sun was shining so we couldn’t complain. The first area we tackled was a 6.6k course focusing on long legs planned by the JWOC long distance course setter, Diogo Miguel. One of the biggest things I took from this training was that the vegetation can be brutal and I was very grateful for the elephant tracks that had been previously bashed through the dark green areas. 

Our next session was some O-intervals. Both mental and physical fatigue was setting in at this stage and I found I was making silly mistakes so I cut this session short to save myself for our final area. We ate our lunch in the lovely village square where we had parked the car, after having first bathed our feet in the ice-cold water of the fountain.

We ended the camp on a high with a final session in a contour, green and rock only map. I felt revived after having napped during our extended lunch break. I enjoyed being able to really focus on the contour details without any excess clutter on the map. It was a small but brilliant area and although I plodded around the course very slowly, I did so with a big beaming smile on my face. 

We certainly squeezed a lot into this short weekend and got a great taste of the terrain Portugal has to offer. I left feeling hungry for more and can’t wait to get back into this luscious terrain in a few months time. 

Thanks so much to Mike Long, Dave Masterson and Jens Waechter for organising all the logistics behind the training camp and to Jens for accompanying us on the trip, serving as chauffeur, coach and mentor. Thanks also to anyone and everyone who has supported the junior squad who helped part fund this trip. 

Aoife O’Sullivan W20, UCDO/BOC

Upcoming Level 1 Basic Instructor Course

Dates for the next Level 1 Instructor Course are 18th – 19th June (Saturday and Sunday)

Upon completion of the training course, candidates will be required to log teaching hours and complete a practical teaching assessment to qualify as an Orienteering Ireland Level 1 Orienteering Instructor.

Prerequisites

Candidates should have a basic knowledge of the sport, including some event experience, ideally this should consist of a minimum of three public events on Orange or Red courses.

Course Overview

  • Explore a range of activities suitable for the introduction of orienteering in the classroom, school grounds and in local parks and woods.
  • Plan and deliver sessions that develop basic understanding of orienteering skills & navigation techniques.
  • Be introduced to the Orienteering Ireland Orienteering Ability Awards as a progressive scheme for the advancement of skills in novice and beginner participants.
  • Become familiar with equipment and skills necessary to organise orienteering activities.
  • Learn to carry out risk assessments and use these in conjunction with the orienteering venue terrain guide.
  • Use course planning tools to organise simple orienteering activities in private grounds, parks and small woods.

Book your place

Here is the link for the instructor training course on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/320714173727

More info can be found on the Orienteering Education page here: https://www.orienteering.ie/orienteering-education-resource/education-courses/

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