Junior Regional

Junior Regional
Orienteering Squads


Generic information about Deeside


The Deeside training camp is based at the Templar’s Park Scout Camp, Maryculter (http://www.templarspark.org.uk/ ). The site is only 8 miles from Aberdeen and is easily accessible from the A93.
The Deeside valley is rich in excellent orienteering areas such as Glen Feardar, Cambus O’May, Inchmarnoch, Creag Choinnich etc.


Accommodation is in two buildings, the George Smith centre and the White House. Both have a number of dormitories of various sizes and their own showers and toilets.
The tour chef prepares all the meals on site and specific dietary needs are catered for. Athletes will be expected to assist with minor chores during the camp.
The site is 45 acres in size so there is plenty of room for outdoor games.


2013 was the first year that this site has been used for an extended camp, previously having been used by ScotJOS (The Scottish Junior Squad) for weekend trainings.
Although this is the first time that this location has been used for this tour similar camps have taken place since the late 1990’s based at Glenmore Lodge, Badaguish and Lagganlia.
The move to Maryculter has been largely prompted by restricted land access caused by the presence of capercaillie and WOC 2015 in the Spey valley.


As indicated above there are many top class orienteering areas along the A93 from Braemar in the east to Aberdeen in the west. In addition to those mentioned above there are the areas of Bogendreip, Glen Dye, Scolty and Allt Cailleach all within easy reach of the centre.
These areas present different orienteering tests to the terrain in the Spey Valley and are seen as a suitable progression for the juniors.


The camp is aimed at M/W16’s who have achieved the required standard in the nominated selection races (See Deeside Selection criteria). It is expected that up to 16 M/W16’s will attend
In support of the camp there is a Tour Manager (TM) who has responsibility for such things as travel, accommodation, food etc.
The TM is supported by a chef and a Lead Coach. The Lead Coach has a team of up to 8 coaches, providing an ample coach: athlete ratio.

Virtual Deeside 2020 - Tour Report

Also available as a PDF download


An unprecedented year dominated by the global Covid-19 pandemic. Discussions between tour managers and JROS committee members took place throughout March-July to assess the suitability of tours given the rapidly evolving situation. Updates were shared via the JROS website and squad coordinators, and differences in opinion were voiced and considered. Although not flawless, I now believe that the actions taken were appropriate and reasonably timely. An important feature was to achieve consensus and co-movement between Lagganlia and Deeside tours (at least), and to ensure that all those involved were content with the decisions taken. Particular thanks must be given to Keith Marsden for his proactivity and reasoned thinking, to Steve Kimberley for his swift actions, and to Mark Saunders in his leadership whilst the JROS chairman Nev Myers was himself taken seriously Ill with Covid.

It was decided that both Deeside and Lagganlia would put on independent programmes but share and discuss ideas throughout the planning process. This collaboration was effective, both in terms of programme development and in wider planning such as risk assessments for dramatically different tour activities.

The Deeside Team:

Iain Embrey and Zoe Harding acted as joint tour managers, whilst Helen Ockenden and Paul Pruzina acted as lead coaches, supported by Matthew Vokes who is experienced in that role. These lead one each of the 5 main sessions of virtual deeside, and together with input from Jon and Kathy Marsden developed the programme of activities. Nick Lightfoot contributed greatly to our lunchtime catching-features sessions and also to the wider programme, and Dom Dakin made a substantial contribution to all tour activities. Support was also gratefully received from: Ben Windsor, Fay Walsh, Jenny Rickets, Annie Ockenden, John Ockenden, and Graham Gristwood.

The Deeside Programme:

The concept was to provide evening sessions (19:30-21:00 Monday-Friday) as the main focus of the tour, and to support these with a variety of fun and beneficial suggested activities each day. We settled on using google classroom as our tour forum, discussion, and dissemination centre, and google meet as our virtual meeting software. The technical and security capabilities of each were investigated before tour, and found to meet our needs, whilst the requirements to have accounts, download apps, etc were lower than for the other programmes considered. A particular feature of google classroom is the ability to send out editable documents, spreadsheets, and drawings to the athletes such that they all receive their own copy to edit and such that these are instantly updated within a drive accessible to all the staff. The technical aspects worked well, and the overall programme was well-received.








Evening session (19:30-21:00)

Intro/ice-breaker/?guest speaker

Route & methodology session

Stength & conditioning

Planning your physical training

Planning technical training


Lead person

Helen (Iain intro)






Highly recommended activity


Think about YOU orienteering (create template to facilitate this)

Follow-up from Tuesday:

Virtual tour champs

Reflect on your current training: strengths, areas to improve, goals

Follow-up from Thursday: Draft out training plan - then schedule 1-1 discussion with coach

Plan your own training session

Route choice of the day






List of many maps/legs:


Catching features of the day

(12:30 for c. 1hr)




Sprint Theme

Catching features tour champs (glen dye)


Virtual O-related fun of the day

Street-view O


Suggest a particular course

Contour interpretation challenge:


Map your garden/room/house - competition for the best map!

(Set a course for a family member)

1) Sprint route choice R/L- create a 'competition' for tour


2) Sprint running-wild challenge




Suggest a particular course


Recommended suggested physical session of the day

Dom's compass shape challenge, or GPS trace picture challenge

Make an OpenOrienteeringMap of where you live + auto controls to make a score!


S&C session +/- running drills

Map memory challenge

Intervals + map

Go orienteering :)

Logistics and operation:

Following an excellent suggestion by Keith Marsden, we decided to organise tour tops this year: advantages being the inclusion and motivation for the athletes. Lots of positive feedback was received from the athletes about this!

The mainstay of the programme was our daily briefing sheet which was sent out via the classroom and via email at 08:00 each morning. Zoe masterminded and compiled these, and also lead on the devising of the overall format and identification of fun and beneficial games and activities to recommend. These were truly excellent, and they can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15nrkAFYhLzuUtTb3GLmWb_nmOH0cQ2XPEjtS3H8jMHQ/edit?usp=sharing.

Google meets were set up by Iain by creating events in google calendar, and we soon discovered that the same links could be re-used for all days by duplicating these events. In general the link alone was shared, which means that iain generally had to admit athletes and coaches to each session. This proved challenging on the first day for breakout group meetings, because Iain had to enter each group and admit all participants manually, so thereafter breakout groups were scheduled with their members as invited participants, so that they could join automatically. In some cases, manual approval was still required where the email address used (eg. logged into the browser) was different to that provided to us, but this proved manageable. A few of the athletes seemed to be able to join in central meetings without approval, and I’m not quite sure why this was the case.

Feedback and reflections:

We gathered feedback from athletes, parents, and coaches here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MOm4744EqHCxfB5cHgDPHMKSSTxZPVrwVQDJWQAEUlw/edit?usp=sharing. This feedback was incredibly positive and demonstrates a strong appreciation for the hard work of the coaches that put the programme together and made it all happen.

Monday’s quiz by Helen was absolutely brilliant with a good variety of challenges that lent themselves to team discussion. After Iain’s welcome and housekeeping, the session started with a brief ‘hello’ from each athlete, which was important, and allowed most to figure out the technology etc. Unfortunately there were a couple of athletes who didn’t have microphones, which hampered their involvement in the week. Most coaches very much took a back seat and let the athletes interact and discuss (As was intended), although there was one coach who was accidentally omitted from circulation of this briefing note, which lead to a slightly less athlete-lead (although equally very fun) dynamic within that group.

Tuesday’s technique masterclass with GG was very well received, with lots of the athletes (and coaches) stating that they learned a lot from it. It was well-placed towards the start of the week as it allowed other activities and sessions to build on this foundation. The concept was to pick a selection of interesting courses from major competitions around the world, let Graham explain how to orienteer in that terrain and to describe his full approach, (where to go, what to see, and critically how to get there - ie. what techniques to use when etc), and then let pairs of athletes discuss a couple more legs in that terrain and feedback their thoughts to the group. The key idea is to go beyond route choice to emphasise methodology choice - what techniques will I use in what way at each stage of each leg. The session worked well and many participants found it very beneficial, although one coach noted that this format didn’t allow the same inspirational effect that elite athlete motivational talks can provide.

Wednesday’s S&C (motivation and practical) session by Zoe built on the strengths of previous Deeside S&C sessions. It was important that this happened before the ‘planning your physical training’ session, so that the athletes could understand what S&C is and why it matters. This message has been one of the key take-aways from Deeside tours for a while now, and we believe that it is an important learning point for this age group and stage of development. Many haven’t experienced such sessions before, certainly not orienteering-focussed, and so finding the balance between introductory and fun exercises and ‘correct’ form is key. To copy the feedback from an anonymous coach: “Zoe's S+C session was the best S+C session we've had on Deeside so far - it wasn't too advanced nor too basic, it emphasized well that quality is better than quantity.”

Thursday’s planning physical training session by Paul also found a very good balance between high-level refinement and introductory accessibility. Paul repeatedly emphasised that the key to a successful training season is that it should be ‘complete’, so to avoid injury and illness from overtraining or inappropriate training are key. Opportunities were also taken here to re-emphasise the importance of embedding some S&C from the previous night. To quote again from the feedback: “Paul's physical session also got it just right, emphasized how to train sensibly and that more volume isn't necessarily better, and that injury prevention is massively important (which lots of juniors don't realise).”

Friday’s planning technical training session by Matthew was an excellent round-up to the week. It started with an interactive reflection on the technical aspects of orienteering, partitioning techniques into Plan-Direction-Picture, and thinking about how each technique could be trained effectively, in the forest or elsewhere. The second part of the session sought to empower all the athletes to get started in planning their own training session. Considerable thought went into this aspect prior to tour, partly because of the current dearth of orienteering possibilities. Athletes were encouraged to contact their local club for access to maps/areas for personal training, and to get themselves set up with a computer and planning software, and then they were supported by a coach in smaller groups to use what they had leared to start planning their own session to develop a skill of their choice. We made efforts to encourage them to finish this planning and to go and try out their session with their family and with each other after tour. We had initially considered organising pairs/groups to plan for each other, but later decided that this added many more moving parts and that the main objective should be to enable each athlete individually as a starting point, and to then encourage them to build interdependence on top of this.

All of the above were supported by daily suggested physical, electronic, route-choice, and catching-features sessions. Zoe and Iain encouraged and fed-back on these activities through posts in the classroom, and Nick Lighfoot and Paul Pruzina organised an excellent, fun, and useful set of catching features events, including several in newly (and brilliantly) converted Deeside areas. These activities typically had between 10-15 of the 18 participants on any given day, and many of them were praised in feedback from the athletes.

Lessons to carry forward: (in addition to some operational points mentioned above)

1. Many of the sessions and activities that we used worked very well. Some remote sessions could therefore be incorporated into more normal times. Most of the consulted parties opine that virtual sessions would be better post-tour, once the athletes (and staff) know each other. Advantages could be to free-up time on tour, and to maintain motivation and learning. Disadvantages are largely volunteer-time. I, for one, am typically ready for a break after organising all the tour reports and other post-tour jobs, and often have other commitments coming up thereafter.

2. Zoe and I reflected again on the volume of physical load required on the athletes during a normal tour, in comparison with their typical training week. This further supports the effective 2019 tour direction of travel in reducing the length of days in the forest and in having Wednesday as a theory, S&C, and fun recovery day.

3. A lot of valuable theory learning (eg. route and critically methodology choice) can be done ‘in the arm-chair’, in some cases more time-effectively than in the forest, however the key contributions of the forest are: 1. To put theory into practice, 2. To generate experience in the terrain to learn/relate to future contexts, 3. For the coach to observe and identify areas for improvement. Normal tours could possibly benefit from a session along the lines of our Tuesday masterclass with GG session somewhere relatively early in the week.


Libby Barber LEI
Ffion Bricknell SAX
Sam Crawshaw SYO
Fiona Eades INT
Will Garnett SYO
Florence Lunn OD
Alex Matthew SROC
Max Mobus SYO
Matthew Morris SYO
Oscar Shepherd INVOC
Troy Southall SO
Barney Steventon-Barnes SUFFOC
Emma Crawford WCOC
Hannah Kingham MOR
Daisy May MacNamara AYROC
Ellie Mills-Hicks GO
Jonas Newey MAROC
Wilf Teasdale WCOC
William Thomas Devon

Selection Policy

Selection Addendum

We ask for nominations of athletes from Regions by 18th May 2020 on the form provided. This form to be submitted by the Regional Coordinator to the JROS Secretary (see below)

The selectors will at their discretion consider;

 -  previous performances in races covered by the 2019 selection policy and other major races up until the above nomination date. (For example; JIRC; Area Championships, Interland etc)

The selectors further request that Squad Coordinators, if they have more than one athlete being nominated from their Region, list their nominations in order.

Please note that athletes selected for the British Orienteering talent camp will not be considered for this camp.

If a further update to the policy is required, then this will be communicated as soon as feasible, in order to give athletes the best chance to plan and prepare.

Please note that no nominations received after 18th May 2020 will be considered.

Download a proforma for nominations here.

Nominations should be sent to;

Secretary to JROS; Steve Kimberley ()


The camp is for M/W16’s born in 2004 and M/W15s born in 2005


The camp will be for around 18 athletes, the final number being determined by the Selectors and the Team Manager.


Athletes wishing to be selected will have achieved the standards set out below in the following races;

British Long Distance Championships 2020, 21st March

JK Day 1 Sprint 2020, 10th April

JK Day 2 2020, 11th April

JK Day 3 2020, 12th April

Blakeholme Middle Distance 2020, 25th April

Windermere Sprint 2020, 26th April

Standard for selection

Athletes will be selected based upon their average percentage of time behind the winner. Their best three results will be considered.

The selectors may choose not to fill all available places.
Please note that any athlete may count ONLY one sprint race as one of their best three results.

The tour selectors

The tour athletes will be selected by Susan Marsden (Chair), Pauline Olivant and Sue Roome.

Illness or injury

All cases of illness or injury which may affect an athlete’s ability to compete in one or more of the above selection races should be notified in writing to the athletes Regional Squad coordinator prior to the running of that race, clearly explaining the reasons for their failure to compete. The Regional Squad Coordinator will make the Selectors aware of such notifications.


Please note that athletes selected for the British Orienteering talent camp will not be considered for this camp.