Victoria Park and Five Rivers

The end of half term saw the junior club back in action. With the longer evenings it was good to start again with some outdoor action. 19th Feb saw the juniors visiting Victoria Park for the first time where they were re-introduced to FORT – Fold, Orientate, Route, Thumb – or how to get used to holding and using an orienteering map on the go.

12 children, including Guy’s brother Art who no longer has a clash with swimming, tried out the technique of folding a map to make it easier to handle and orientation with the landscape. Phil had planned two courses round the park, short and long, aimed at the younger and older groups. In the end most had a go at both courses, forwards and backwards, plus trying out map memory which the older ones managed very quickly.

The following week was scheduled to take place in the grounds of the Arts Centre but the Siberian winds of the Beast from the East drove everyone back indoors at Five Rivers. Here 14 children, with newcomer Jacob, enjoyed a map and course building relay race. For this the Great Ridge map (being used for this year’s Sarum Saunter) had a Black course marked up on it. In teams, the juniors had to take it in turns to memorise the position of each control site then run up and mark the next control on a blank map so gradually building up the complete course. Many of the youngsters were very good at spotting the control sites, some using nearby features to work out the correct location. This was a good exercise to build skills for reading a map on the move and using features to correctly locate controls.

Fingers are crossed for warmer weather next week and the chance to get outside again.

Shane’s photos below show how much fun everyone had at these two sessions. Don’t they all look great in their club shirts?

Weather permitting some of our juniors will be competing in the Sarum Saunter on Sunday March 4th as well as helping with the String Course. Hope to see you there.