Army competitors claimed podium places at the British Sprint and the Middle Distance Orienteering Championships over the weekend of Sat 14 and Sun 15 Sep 19. Congratulations to double Silver medallist Maj Rob Ashton (M35) and Bronze Medallists, SSgt Vicky McCreadie (W35) in the Sprint and Lt Col Rich Mawer (M45) in the Middle distance. Commiserations to Maj Rich Barrett (M45) who was on route to a medal in the Sprint before injury struck. The stand-out British Army Orienteering Club (BAOC) competitor running for her local club Southern Navigators, was Maj (Retd) Sarah Rollins (W40) winning double Gold.
The Sprint Orienteering Championship competition took place on Sat 14 Sep 19 at a warm and sunny Loughborough University with Heats in the morning to sort the A finalists for the afternoon. Also qualifying for the A final in the W40 class was Maj Sally Calland who finished in 5th place. See results and maps via this link https://www.leioc.routegadget.co.uk/rg2/#238
The British Middle Distance Orienteering Championship competition on Sun 15 Sep 19 took place in initially wet and very misty conditions (for early starters) at Chinley Churn in the Peak District. Also competing were Lt Col (Retd) Axel Blomquist (M65) in 7th and Maj Lyndsey Jones (W35) in 11th place. After the early starters headed out into the mist (less than 50 m of visibility), the cloud lifted and conditions became super-fast on the moor after a short section of technical navigation across a well contoured and craggy hillside. The full results and maps are at this link: http://www.derwentvalleyorienteers.org.uk/results/rg2/#158
Further information on Orienteering in the British Army can be found at http://baoc.info/; service organised league competitions and championship events are available; classed as individual military training (see link). Orienteering can be used to develop many of the qualities that are essential in a good soldier. At its most demanding, orienteering provides the challenge of navigating over complex and rough terrain whilst running at speed; combining navigational skill and aerobic fitness. To be competitive at this level, an orienteer must train regularly, not only to build up physical speed and stamina, but also to improve their ‘mental’ skill. The skills required of a good soldier are very similar to that of an orienteer: the use of a compass, the ability to estimate distance and interpret the ground, whilst continually making multiple decisions.
During an orienteering event a soldier must be confident in their ability, maintain concentration, make decisions under pressure, and sustain a single-minded determination to overcome any setbacks and mistakes. Soldiers taking part in orienteering benefit from:
An improved cardiovascular fitness and stamina;
An increased self-confidence and self-awareness;
An improved ability to make rapid decisions whilst under physical duress;
Superior map reading skill: learning to ‘read’ the terrain and ‘feel’ their movement through it;
And a further developed sense of team cohesion.
Please encourage soldiers to take part. The Inter Unit Orienteering Champs for 2020 will take place in May and will be funded centrally to enable maximum participation whilst league events are available throughout the year. Training courses also take place regularly at Longmoor.