Junior Club #32

A Fine End to a Year-long Adventure

The last Junior Club session under the current Sport England funded programme took place at Churchill Gardens where it all started back in September last year with just six keen youngsters, four of whom came to nearly all of the sessions.

We started with six…
…and grew!

Since then nearly 50 children have come along to the sessions, fortunately not all at once though we have often had over 20 attend many of the sessions. Phil’s experience in developing a junior club showed with an inspiring programme that captured the children’s imagination and enthusiasm as well as developing their fitness, confidence and orienteering skills. Thanks to the Sarum volunteers and the parents who have helped out we have managed to keep the juniors busy, happy and more or less in control.

The very last session comprised a complex relay race. Seven teams of three children of differing age and experience were tasked with visiting all 20 control sites between them. They then had to repeat the process without anyone visiting the same controls twice. To help with the planning each team had a manager, either a parent of a Sarum volunteer. It was very satisfying to see how confident all the children were in using the map, finding controls and running flat out. All the children really enjoyed the race and everyone was cheered home. After results had been worked out all the team members were presented with a commemorative medal by Club Coach Liz Yeadon.

The evening then wound down with a picnic with many of the regular families staying to enjoy the warm summer evening. Phil and all the Sarum volunteers were delighted when many of the children ran around shouting Thank you; a lovely end to the first stage of increasing junior participation.

Shane was unable to be there to take his usual super photos so you’ll have to make do with some from Ian and Peter. A selection is in the gallery below but there are more available here until September.

We hope to continue with the junior development programme starting in the autumn though this will not be as a regular Monday after school club. Evening training will be less frequent but we will be encouraging children to develop further through participation in local weekend orienteering events. Do keep checking the Sarum website for information on this programme.