2013 Junior Captains are
Ben and Amber Scott
The HIP HOC RAP (click if you dare...)
Nearly all events have courses suitable for juniors of all ages and experience. See the fixtures page for a full listing.
In September we were at Lickey, and welcomed Chairman Leeson for the first time... I suspect that he had been worried by the reports which emerged from our Callow Hill extravaganza, and had come to make sure that we weren't infringing the UN Charter for Children, the British Orienteering ClubMark Policy, or the International Rules of the Pipe-Cleaner Treasure Battles Association. Of course, he went away convinced of all three, and has asked if he can be invited again...
As usual we had a wide range of ages and abilities, from beginner to experienced, so with lots of adult help we split into groups, and practised suitable skills. Choose from Orientating the Map, Recognising Map Symbols, Following Line Features, Interpreting Contours, Choosing Attack-Points, Aiming-Off, and Taking Accurate Bearings. Back near to the Visitor Centre, the afternoon finished with games; the Animal Hunt is another regular favourite.
On 29th November the Welsh Squad were using Hawkbatch, and invited us along. This was great for us; we could concentrate on the younger orienteers, and the more experienced could be coached along with the Welsh Juniors. I was personally grateful for the help of Judith Taylor and Tom Baker; this meant that Penny Hemsted and Ruth Lockley could have the day off!
Juniors attending one or both days were Ben and Amber Scott, Alex, Sebastian and Arthur Mitchell, James and Craig Thompson, Catherine Bailey and her friend, Kieran Baker, Idie Biniam Fray and Rose Taylor.
Junior Coaching Day, Lickey Hills, Saturday 7th September
The next day of fun is now being organised (see below for a report on the last one). Invitations will be sent out to all on the Junior Mailing List once Andy and Penny get back from Scotland.
Other juniors will be very welcome; if you're interested, and you don't think that you're on the mailing list, then you'll get more information by phoning 0121 382 6168 or by sending us an email via the membership secretary.
Andy and Penny Hemsted
02 Jun 2013: Junior Coaching Day, Callow Hill, Saturday April 27th
What have all these got in common:
Colouring Streams onto a Contour-only Map,
A Diesel Train made from Wood,
A Gibbon hitting an Orangutan,
Hiding in a Hide,
Identifying Map Symbols,
A Lost Compass,
An Orange Course,
Orientating a Map,
Round or Through Route-choice,
Sheltering under Trees,
A Star Exercise,
And A Zip-Wire?
As you'll have correctly guessed, these were the ingredients of a most successful day, enjoyed by eight-and-a-half HOC Juniors, and by six so-called 'adults'. Well, actually one of the list was made up by me; can you work out which one?
As usual, our aim was to pop in lots of bits of instruction whilst having oodles of fun, and to make sure that Catherine Bailey, Alex, Sebastian and Arthur Mitchell, Ben and Amber Scott, Kieran Baker, James Thompson, …..and four-year-old Craig Thompson….. got to know each other a bit better. Thanks to the reasonable weather, a dry forest, and plenty of help, everyone went away a bit wiser and a lot more exhausted.
Thanks to Ruth Lockley, Penny Hemsted, Tom Baker, Simon and Karen Thompson for help on the day, and to Alison Sloman for the map.
The odd one out? Obviously NOT the gibbon hitting an orangutan, which happened on numerous occasions in our 'Animal-Hunt' game, but in fact 'An Orange Course'; we'll leave such things to proper events.
28 Sep 2012:
Yvette Baker Qualifying Round - Ashorne, M40 J13 - Sunday 21 October
Calling all HOC juniors – your club needs you. This year’s qualifying round is being organised by OD in a mixture of park and woodland near Junction 13 on the M40. We need at least 9 of you, spread across the classes, to be there to give us a good chance of qualifying.
Courses are Yellow, Orange, Light Green and Green, and anyone up to and including M/W18 can take part. The rules on who can run which course are based on age and previous results and are a little complicated, so we really need to know in advance that you are coming so we can make sure everyone is entered on the right course.
If you are available to run can you please confirm by emailing your name and year of birth to John Embrey here
Should we qualify for the Final (as we did last year) this time it is on 9 December at Ludgershall, south of Marlborough, in Wiltshire.
26 May 2012 - Junior Coaching Day
6 Harlequin Juniors joined up with about 15 Welsh Juniors for a day of training at Dudmaston, with activities planned by Andy Hemsted. The weather was perfect, as long as you were in the shade of the forest!
We started off with a Name-Learning game, and then went on to practise using the compass to orientate the map, and to set off from the Start in the right direction.
Penny Hemsted worked with the 'Yellow' group: Alex and Arthur Mitchell, Amber Scott, Natasha Knight, Catherine Bailey, plus Tom from Wales. They played the Map Symbols game, then went for a short walk to try relocating at path junctions.
James Howell, along with three Welsh Juniors, practised 'Orange' skills, taking bearings through the forest. The Welsh coaches looked after a 'Light Green' group.
After lunch there was a longer Yellow course which included a couple of slightly-harder off-path controls, while the Orange group revised their knowledge of contours and then did a line course, which again needed contour bearings through the forest as well as some contour interpretation.
After the exercises and a look at old Brown Clee maps, it was time for relaxation and fun! The Welsh didn't seem accustomed to HOC-type madness, but we soon had them charging round the forest with us, either attacking or defending a rope circle and Ruth Lockley's well-used set of pipe-cleaners!
Soon it was time for departure, but friendships had been made, skills improved, everyone had enjoyed the day, and hopefully future performances will show the benefits.
15 Nov 2011 - HOC qualify for YBT final
A team of 15 HOC juniors finished second in the local Yvette Baker trophy round at the Lickey Hills on 12th November. Octavian Droobers won the competition with a score of 898 from their nine counters and HOC finished on 879, with a 9 point lead over Walton Chasers.
HOC fielded runners on all four courses, with our 7 contestants on yellow contributing 294 points and also holding down the points scored by the young Chasers team. Chasers picked up the maximum 100 boys' points on yellow, with Jonah Pickering scoring 98 for HOC. His younger brother Oscar(+dad) made this into a close-run family competition, outside of the YBT, by finishing the course just 44 seconds faster. For the HOC girls, Natasha Knight (W12) scored 99 points, just 11seconds behind a W14 scoring the 100 points for OD. Alexander Mitchell was HOC's 3rd scorer on yellow with 97 points, and was also the fastest M10 on that course. Catherine Bailey was the youngest HOC finisher on yellow. Well done to Yellow course HOC competitors Rosie Creber, Amber Scott and Nicholas Chauhan too.
M10 James Howell led home a strong HOC contingent on orange, pulling in 99 points, just a minute behind Jeremy Knott, (M16) from OD. Next in for HOC was Matthew Chauhan with 98 points and Ben Scott with 97, bringing in another 294 points for the team
OD packed out the light green course, taking the top three places for the boys and 3 of the four top places for the girls. But HOC's David Creber slid in to break up the OD domination and score 97 points, backed up by his brother Tom and by Bethany Evans for the girls
Chasers fielded no runners on the green and OD snatched the top 3 places for both boys and girls, beating all the adult competitors on green in the process. Jamie MacKenzie came in as 4th YBT finisher to score a cool 97 points for HOC. Ali Wilkinson, HOC's green heroine of the day for running with a bad cold and chest infection, also scored 97 on green to contribute a total of 194 points from the green course to the final score.
The team should be very proud of this effort. It was harsh last year to miss out on a place in the final because we only had 8 runners in the YBT round. Because OD won the final last year (again), HOC win a place in the final this year.
Now the challenge is on to find 9 juniors to run on December 4th at the final in Mausoleum Woods in South Humberside. Sounds a tad spooky, but this is the premier English and Welsh junior club competition of the year, so it's bound to be a great experience. Competitors don't have to have competed in the round to go to the final. Contact Ruth Lockley as soon as possible if you are able to compete. All families with junior members should have received an e mail already.
For those who don't know, the Harvester Trophy is an annual night/day relay event. This year it took place on the incredibly technical terrain of Merthyr Common on 21-22 June. Although this year's team couldn't manage to repeat the triumph of 2007 (see below), they finished 3rd Junior team and 18th overall on the B course.
Four-fifths of the 2009 team (photo John Embrey)
The triumphant 2007 team - yes, the trophy is what the name of the event suggests! (photo Nick Barrable)
We arrived at our hotel, Hotel Alcala Plaza, on the outskirts of Alcala de Henares, a large town, possibly now within the urban sprawl of Madrid and after initial exploration, it appeared to be a very nice place. Our first opportunity to see the forest we'd be running in was at the so-called "model event" where there was a planned out course with which you could do whatever you chose to. We used it as a chance to adjust to the mapping style and have a look at the best ways to plan legs and generally experience what it was like. We thought the best idea would be to use the completely runnable forest. In English white-mapped forest we are used to being prepared for bits of sticks, branches and maybe a few brambles, but in these forests, there is nothing whatsoever on the floor except for a thin layer of dead pine needles.
The first event on the social side of things was the opening ceremony in the town centre of Alcala de Henares. We began by walking along the streets in a large train in our separate delegations for about half an hour to get to the main square - in full England team kit of course - which must have been an interesting sight for the locals.
The following day was our long distance race. My course was about 5.3km with 295m of climb, so we knew from the outset that we were in for some hills, either lots of them or very big ones. The answer was both. Lots of very large, very steep hills covering the map! This made route choice on some of the longer legs quite an important factor, as the go-around route was sometimes considerably further, though there was very little point in going around just to avoid some forest since it was so open. I didn't have a particularly good run, mainly dur to forgetting to check the out of bounds areas on the blank map before the start so not knowing I could cut across one particular field on the way to #1. Overall I finished 46th out of 54, but on the whole had enjoyed my first experience of running for England.
Saturday morning brought the middle distance race, and for me a 3.2km course with 225m of climb. We were also psyched up to do well because we were in the running for a team medal, lying in 3rd after the long race behind Spain and the Swedes, with a two minute lead on the Slovakians. I had a good mistake-free run and thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially since I was pleasantly surprised at how little I had to go uphill. I then realised why this was... as the last few hundred metres of the course contained 75m of climb! I was more than pleased with my time, since my target had merely been to count towards the overall team time and I had achieved this, being the 2nd English runner on my course. We were counting on Jonathan Crickmore to post a fast time to secure a bronze medal in the team event. Then, as time was running out, we spotted him heading up the path towards the finish, though by now we were not sure if we had done enough to keep ahead. However, after much scrutiny of the results and mental arithmetic, we worked out we had beaten Slovakia by just over a minute.
We started our final full day in Spain with the traditional friendship team event, in which we were put in a team of three with people from different countries. The aim of the event was to collect all the controls on the map between us, much like in a score event, except the idea is that it is easy to get them all within the time limit. This was followed by the closing ceremony and team prizegiving where we were rewarded with glorious sunshine and our bronze medal for finishing 3rd overall in the team event!
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