Juniors Return to Play

Sarum wins grant for coaching project

Sarum Orienteers has been awarded a grant from Sport England under its Return to Play initiative. The aim of the scheme is to encourage people to return to sports that they may have lost contact with over the period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sarum’s project was built around encouraging local orienteers, in particular our juniors, to re-engage with the club and our sport by organising a series of refresher training events using touch free controls and dibbers. As the club had no such equipment, the main funding sought was to acquire sufficient touch-free SI equipment to be able to put on small events for up to 30 people. Over the coming months and years we will seek to increase our stock of touch-free equipment. In the meantime we should be able to borrow equipment from our near neighbours to allow us to run bigger touch-free events.

We have now started delivering the first part of our project through a short series of refresher coaching events. The first of these took place in Churchill Gardens with Des Dickenson as planner and leader. Despite a rather dreary, drizzly evening we had a good turnout of 12 juniors, 5 parents and a small group of damp but committed volunteer helpers.

Des took us back to basics with a series of exercises based on pacing – calibrating our pacing, using pacing to estimate distance and applying this to finding controls. Des also set up a short course which helped put the learning into practice. The juniors all enjoyed themselves, despite the weather and seemed very happy to be getting the chance to refresh their orienteering skills.

Four more coaching evenings are planned so please look out for further information from Liz.