The Royal Estate at Sandringham in Norfolk played host to this year’s British Schools Orienteering Championships and a large contingent of 53 Ulverston Victoria HS pupils, along with 13 adult supporters made the long coach journey to join around 600 youngsters from around the country.
The area was very different from our Lake District terrain with very few contours, crags or streams; and the Queens foresters had made things even more tricky by felling timber in some parts after the maps had been printed! Much of the area was covered with bracken or rhododendron and these factors made the orienteering difficult for the Ulverston pupils but nevertheless the group came home with a large haul of medals and trophies.
While there were no individual victories the team achieved four second places through Merryn (Yr 8), Jess (Yr 9), Harry (Yr 11) and Daisy (Yr 12). Lizzie (Yr 7) in her first year of orienteering, and Anna (Yr 11) both finished third.
It was in the Team competitions however, that Ulverston were outstanding, coming away with no less than six Gold Medals out of the 14 on offer. Lizzie, Charlie, Sarah (G 7), Merryn, Ellie, Lucy (G 8), Catherine, Megan, Tilly (G10), Anna, Fiona, Eilidh (G11), Daisy, Isobel and Anne (G12) all won Team Gold Medals for the Girls. Harry, Stewart, and Sam (B11) took Gold for the Boys.
The overall School competition was the closest ever and Ulverston lost out by a single point to Cockermouth School, with Torquay Grammar School a further point behind!
National & International Success
Last week two groups of pupils from Ulverston achieved success in national & international orienteering competitions.
On Saturday November 15th Miss Evans loaded 51 pupils from across years 7 to 13 (and a happy band of 14 coaches, parents and teachers) onto two coaches and headed across country to Leeds. Saturday afternoon was training at Golden Acre Park for the Year 7 and 8 orienteers, whilst years 9 and above faced the challenge of a qualifying race, through the open woodland of Adel Woods, for possible selection to represent England at the World Schools Orienteering Championships, to be held in Antalya, Turkey in Spring 2015 (still awaiting selectors decisions at time of print). This was followed by some time for fun on an inflatable obstacle course in the Harrogate Hydro swimming pool, a meal out at a local restaurant, then back to Bardsey School for team talks from team managers and ‘bed’ (on the floor!).
The British Schools Championships took place on Sunday 18th November 2012 and were held in Delamere Forest near Chester. After training hard for a year our students travelled in hope and returned with numerous trophies and medals. More importantly, after a two year gap they regained the Large School Trophy and returned with the title of ‘Best Orienteering School in Britain’.
Delamere Forest is well used for walking, biking and horse riding. It’s many paths and tracks could be very confusing and it was always important to keep the map orientated. The pressure to run fast sometimes produced silly mistakes. The vegetation ranged from open woodland to dense conifers and, much to the runners dismay, large areas of brambles. The high rainfall in recent weeks resulted in the marshes being much bigger and deeper than expected and some of the ditches were impassable. The runners had to make quick decisions about route choice in order to find the easiest and quickest way to the controls. Luckily the weather couldn’t have been better. After an early frost the sun shone all day which made participating very enjoyable.
The weekend of the British Schools Championships was also part of the selection process for the World Schools Championships to be held near Madrid, Spain in April 2009. Selection was based on the results from the championships on Sunday and a selection race held on the Saturday.
British Schools Orienteering Championships – North West Evening Mail
Orienteers at Ulverston Victoria travelled to Hampshire at the weekend to take part in the British Schools Orienteering Championships. In one of the closest competitions for some years they returned with some impressive results.