Sat 1 Jun 19 Club Training – Nomansland Pre-event training for HH members

For more details on any of the above, contact Keith Marsden (

Training Plans – Autumn 2019

Our plans for the training of club members over the next 6 months are beginning to take shape so I thought it appropriate to provide an update.

There are many areas related to Orienteering that benefit from ‘class room’ education and our aim is to provide a variety of these over the coming months.  We believe that as with any subject the more you know about it the more likely you are to enjoy it and certainly Orienteering is no exception to that idea.

Most of the courses that we plan to put on will be presented by members of Happy Herts and so will be tuned to the way that the club operates. The one exception being the First Aid course which will be presented by a qualified practitioner, one who to my knowledge has been presenting First aid courses to orienteers for over 12 years and therefore understands our needs.

The list below represents where we are at the moment and will, we hope, be added to as time goes by.

Team Leaders and Organisers Course       (10 am – 3pm)

Planned for the 8th June based at Oxlease House, Hatfield. Provisional date 8th June.

HH is aiming to increase the number of people who are willing to take on the role of Team Leaders in various aspects of our events and maybe to become event organisers.

This course is aimed at telling you exactly what is involved and to answer any questions that concern you.

There will be no charge to HH members for this course.

Event Safety                          (7pm to 10pm)                        17th September

Along with event Controlling, Event Safety is one of the few courses that is mandated by British Orienteering as a prerequisite to taking on a major role in event organisation.

This course fits in well to the evening slot and will be based at the Highfield Park Visitors Centre, St Albans.

There will be no charge to HH members for this course.

Course Planning                    (10am -4pm)               28th September

Everyone wants to become a planner but what exactly is involved? If you have never planned or are thinking of moving up from planning a Level D Saturday Series event to a Level C or B then come along – you may decide that you could have a go.

The course will be based at Mardley near Welwyn Garden City, giving attendees the chance to try some practical exercises

First Aid                                 (1.30pm – 5.30 pm)    Provisional date 7th December

All events need First Aid qualified people. This course is a refresher for those who need to renew their First Aid certificate and for anyone who wishes to gain knowledge in how to treat a casualty.

Specifically aimed at treating casualties in the out doors.

Introduction to Orienteering  (3 hours)                   Provisional date  January 2020

We organised an ‘Introduction to Orienteering’ course in 2019 and it was well received. Therefore we shall be repeating it in the new year.

Once again we will be looking for a mix of those who know very little about the sport and those who have been taking part for some time but feel they need to know more about it. All are welcome.

So that’s the plan; so now it’s down to you if it’s going to happen.

If you want to reserve a place on any course let me know. (At this stage there is no commitment on your part – but I do need to judge the level of interest)

If you want more details or indeed any questions, please ask.

Keith (

Introduction to Orienteering (Mark 2)

The Highfield Park Visitor Centre was the venue for the newly formed ‘Introduction to Orienteering’ session on 20th January.
We welcomed 11 attendees – just able to comfortable fit into the hall and make use of the kitchen. The format of the course had been remodelled and being close to the Permanent Orienteering Course (POC) was also a bonus.
Helen began by showing the recently released video ‘What is Orienteering’ before explaining the basic structure of Orienteering in Great Britain, the classes, courses, event structure, disciplines and competitions. Of the 11 present 5 had some experience of orienteering and the remaining 6 were newcomers and had only recently joined the club. With this mix of experience, we decided to split into two groups and given the proximity of the POC Sue and Helen conducted the newcomers on a walk around the nearby area, pointing out the features and generally getting them used to handling a map.
Those with greater experience then went through a review of the Step System with Keith, discussing the differences between the main colour coded course white, yellow, orange, light green and green and relating the key orienteering techniques to successfully complete these courses.
Another hour had soon flown by and we were soon all back together again just in time to grab a swift cup of hot something.  Helen then lead the group in answering outstanding questions and, in a response to a question, Sue went into the details of Control Descriptions.
We then moved on to where they could next experience an orienteering event, and talked a little about upcoming HH events.
We finally concluded with the strong feeling that we would see all attendees again in the near future – at an event.
If any members or indeed non-members feel they would benefit from a similar course please get in touch. We do intend to hold one in the future – when will depend purely when we have sufficient people interested.
Do get in touch.

Keith (

Get Up To Speed Videos

South London Orienteers (SLOW) have produced a series of eight videos showing different techniques used in orienteering. The videos are presented by different athletes from the GB Orienteering team and filmed in different locations. The aim of the series is to help all levels of orienteer from beginners to the more experienced who wish to improve their technical skills.

The videos will be loaded on to Youtube progressively during January and February 2019.

To start the series there is a short Introductory Video and that is followed by

  • Charlotte Ward introduces ‘How to Orientate the Map’.
  • Hector Haines covers the topic of ‘Using the Compass’
  • Megan Carter-Davis teaches the use of ‘Attack Points’
  • Charlotte Watson presents the use of ‘Aiming Off’
  • Chris Smithard explains ‘Large Contour Features’.
  • Alice Leake looks at ‘Route Choice’.
  • Kris Jones explains ‘Intricate Contours’.
  • Ralph Street highlights ‘Simplification’.

To see all the videos or choose one out of the series click on the link below;

The Playlist (opens in a new tab)

Juniors trained in warm sunshine – yet again!

Phasel’s Wood Activity Centre, near Hemel Hempstead, was the venue for this year’s autumn half-term training for club juniors.

Because of some curious scheduling of half-term dates numbers were a bit down but we were lucky that being half term and, incidentally, the beginning of the winter season for camping we had the activity centre pretty much to ourselves. The weather was also kind to us and therefore the use of the Jubilee Hut was limited – although it did get used for refreshment breaks and a number of very interesting indoor training discussions.

A total of 9 juniors had been able to make it and so we split them into two groups, the older group being coached by Kevin and the younger ones by Susan and Gillian with support from Claire.

For the seniors, much of the day was focussed on identifying good attack points and clearly understanding the use of CARS (Control, Attack point, Route and Start)

After a brief discussion the athletes completed two short loops in the wooded area and were then back to the hut for a discussion on the various choice of attack points. This led on to a lively discussion about the choice of attack points on upcoming selection races, in the autumn, and into 2019 using maps. Kevin had provided maps of all the selection races, including JK2019 and the British Championships and the juniors were asked to identify suitable attack points for the controls on those maps.

Meanwhile the younger members of the group had been doing a recap, firstly on map symbols by the use of flash cards and then by doing a map walk around the centre and relating features to the map.

The pace moved up a bit by using the map symbol relay, which soon became a bit competitive.

After a short break we spent some time creating our own maps using a variety of line and point features before moving on to relating map features to pictorial Control Descriptions.

After more exercises outside ensuring that athletes were able to keep their map orientated, we retired for lunch and various games of Hide and seek.

After lunch the coaches had planned a number of courses to bring together the things that had been covered in the morning. The older ones being asked to do a longer course through the woods with younger ones staying mainly in the open areas in front of the hut. All the courses featured use of ‘butterfly’ planning in order to make sure that good map orientation was maintained. With a little time to spare two of the younger ones were able to successfully complete the more complicated course.

It was soon time to depart, so many thanks to all the athletes who took part and to the coaches who worked with them.

The sun was still shining as we departed after what had been a very enjoyable and successful day’s training.

We hope to see everyone again at the next HH training on 28th December in Northaw Great Wood.

For more information, please contact Keith Marsden.