Club Training – a fresh perspective


You may have noticed that in the past all the reports of club training have been written by one of the coaches.

So following the club training day at Burnham (14th July if you missed it),  I caught up with Stuart Ellis and his daughter Iorwen and they kindly agreed to put together some words following their first attendance at a training day:

My daughter (age 13) and I have been club members for a couple of years now and have enjoyed the Saturday Series of events whenever we have been able to make it. My orienteering experience came from my days at school, when we were just given a map a compass and told not to get lost, which needless to say was easier said than done.

We have been running as a pair, with me stepping in when needed and have I thought been getting on pretty well, the biggest handicap being a general lack of fitness.

We were not sure what to expect from the training day and turned up hoping for a bit of fun. We were not disappointed; two courses had been set up with points positioned to best develop very different skills. 

The map for the first included the usual symbols and the course was designed to develop an Attack Route strategy to allow rapid travel to an easily found place from which more care and time could be taken to find the point. Both my daughter and I (separated) found this approach new and very useful. 

The second map showed the points and the contours and navigation seemed to test even the experienced runners. I look forward to having a go myself next time.

Thank you Happy Herts for a memorable and very useful day out at Burnham Beeches.
Stuart and Iorwen Ellis

As you can tell from Stuart’s comments, the training is about doing your own thing (with advice from the coaches); you can do as many exercises as you like and at whatever speed suits you.

As well as the exercises Stuart mentions we had on offer a Route Choice exercise and a Corridor exercise.

And as the weather was so gorgeous (ie hot) we even ended up with a relay designed to be as much fun as it was ‘educational’. Anyway the three teams taking part enjoyed it and the interest was maintained right to the end when all three teams finished within a minute of each other.

All that was left after that was to retire to the café and enjoy an ice-cream and chat over what had been a very ‘useful’, ‘enjoyable’ and ‘thought provoking’ day.

You don’t have to be experienced to turn up and learn something new so why don’t you join us next time we organise a training day.  And we don’t exclude those with more experience because we believe that we can help to improve the orienteering of all attendees.

You never know you may enjoy it – although I can’t guarantee the weather next time!

Keith Marsden (

PS; if you need more information or wish to ask a question please don’t hesitate to contact me!