There is a regular introductory series of events usually on the first Saturday in each month.
In October, November, December, February and March this incorporates the school league which is open to any school or youth group that wants to take part. The courses on offer are normally yellow, orange and light green or score. At the end of the season trophies are awarded to the most successful school and the one with the highest number of participants. Medals are also awarded to everyone who competes in at least three events.
All club juniors are invited to attend the free junior training sessions held about 6 times per year. Non-members are also welcome to come and try out the training, on payment of a small fee for expenses. They are usually held in local venues such as commons or parks where there is a classroom or hall available in case the weather is bad.
The training sessions are usually during school holidays, and have a full day of activities, with groups of juniors at different levels from Light green/orange standard to complete beginners. Each group will be accompanied by one or more coaches from HH who will plan and lead the activities. There is no lower age limit, but parents of children under 8 are asked to stay with them.
From club training, the more experienced will move on to the South East Junior Squad which also runs regular training at more challenging venues. The club’s juniors represent HH in national junior competitions such as The Yvette Baker Trophy and the Peter Palmer Relays, as well as making a big contribution to the club’s score in the South East League.
Juniors can also take part in the Explorer Challenge, a national scheme which gives awards based on the number of controls found. They can also gain colour awards if they reach a specific standard on a colour coded course.
There is a junior newsletter, posted on the website, which contains articles and photos of interest to the juniors, and encouragement to join in with further activities and competitions. Contributions from juniors are always welcome.
As well as the activities specifically for juniors, juniors and their families (if they are members) are welcome to take part in all the activities of the club. This could include helping run events, either by doing a job on the day of the event itself, or in a more major way by planning the courses for an event or undertaking other roles. The club also participates in the major national orienteering competitions and relays and juniors are encouraged to take part, either on courses specifically for juniors, or if appropriate on courses also for adults.
The Yvette Baker Trophy
The Yvette Baker Trophy is an inter-club competition for juniors. All orienteering clubs in England and Wales are eligible to take part.
Because of the number of clubs, the competition is made up of two rounds; a preliminary round which is organised on a Regional basis, and from which the best clubs are invited to compete in the final.
The final moves to a different region each year (HH hosted in 2017) and usually involves travelling and an overnight stay for those clubs good enough to reach the final. Over the years HH has been successful in winning its way through to the final in most years and although competition at that level is very strong, it is usually in the top 6 junior clubs in the country.
A little about the competition; as you would expect the course designations will be familiar to you, being the usual yellow, orange, light green and green. In general you will run the colour associated with your age group although if you have not achieved a standard in the event in previous years you are allowed to run a lower course. You are, of course, always able to run up! Scoring is 100 (for the winner in each class), 99, 98 etc. The highest 9 juniors score for their club across the range of courses but all team members can help the team by pushing rivals down the scores.
Representing your club is an exciting way of extending your orienteering experience and skill as well as a great day out, mixing with your club mates and meeting rivals from the other clubs.
Incidentally the trophy is named after Yvette Hague who won the World Middle Distance race at the World Championships in 1999 and is the only female British competitor to win a World Championships gold medal.