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 Wednesday April 8th a small band of children and adults descended on Gleaston village green for the biennial Duck Race. The purpose of this was to raise money to send seven pupils to compete at the World Schools Orienteering Championships in Anatalya, Turkey on April 18th – 24th. Many thanks to everyone who bought a ticket as we raised an impressive £785. The winners were:
- 1st prize: Ticket number 679 Becks Hodgson sold by Tilly
- 2nd prize: Ticket number 507 Sophie Wilson sold by Fiona
- 3rd prize: Ticket number 863 Mike Cunningham sold by Ms Lomas
- and the Last Duck Home prize was ticket number 468 Margaret Lawrence sold by Miss Evans
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 World Schools Orienteering Championships took place around Primiero, Trentino – in the Dolomite area of Italy in May. The junior boys team from Ulverston Victoria HS was selected to represent England and they have returned with a trophy, medals and certificates.
Sun, sand and sea – this event had it all. Ulverston O club organised the event (on behalf of the local club – LOC) as a fundraiser. Parents and pupils ran everything – planning the courses, running registration and start, putting out controls and manning the BBQ and cake stall. It was a lot of work, but nearly 200 people took part and it was a great success.
There could not have been a greater contrast between the last two weekends. After the sunshine and warmth at Formby the Ulverston orienteering club travelled to Keswick on Sunday to be met by low cloud and steady rain. Aiken skyline is situated on the hills north west of Whinlatter Forest and includes a small area of forest and a large area of open fell.
Ulverston pupils travelled to Formby on Sunday to represent Lakeland Orienteering Club (LOC) in the Compass Sport Cup. This is a competition where runners of all ages compete against neighbouring clubs with the winning club progressing to the National Final.
Nathan 2010 Club Champ
The school orienteering year always starts with our own championships. These are run on a handicap basis so everyone has a chance of winning. Taking all results from last year, time and distances are used to find a runners average minutes / kilometre. Start times are allocated (to the second) so that, in theory, everyone will finish at 6pm. The school champion is the runner who finishes first, thereby beating their handicap by the greatest margin.