16th-25th August 2014
The ‘Gothenburg’ training camp is designed as a ‘self-help’ tour. Athletes attending will be expected to plan their own training. They will also be expected to be generally well organised, capable of preparing their own meals and self sufficient whilst being supervised by an experienced coach.
Managers report and articles by Mark Purkis & Natalie Beadle now available.
Generic information about Gothenburg
Introduction and background
The ‘Gothenburg’ tour is unique in that its purpose is to teach those about to leave the ranks of junior orienteers, ie M/W20’s, how to plan and undertake their own training within a Scandinavian environment.
Such a tour was conceived specifically as a ‘self-help’ tour led by a Senior Coach experienced in training in Scandinavian terrain and familiar with a specific location or orienteering club.
This style of tour was initially suggested and led by Mark Saunders in 2012.
Because of his knowledge and experience of orienteering in the Gothenburg area the camp that year was based in that city.
The location of future camps will therefore be decided by the Coach who is leading the tour, their experience and contacts.
Accommodation is dependent upon the location but is likely to be in an Orienteering Club hut.
It is therefore likely that sleeping will be on a floor but that showers and toilets will be close by.
All food will be bought and prepared by the attendees and therefore athletes will be expected to assist with chores during the camp.
It is anticipated that every effort will be made to make use of public transport throughout the course of the camp.
The camp is aimed at M/W20’s, and if room permits some M/W18’s.
It is likely that the camp will take place in August and recognising that the athletes may wish to return home at various times, for example for ‘A’ level results, attendance at the camp will be flexible allowing athletes to join and leave the camp at various times other than the planned start and finish.
Team Manager Report
Managed by Mark Saunders & Alice Bedwell, with help from before the camp by Doug Tullie.
Aidan Smith Adam Potter Katie Wright
Frances Brown Beth Hanson Mark Purkis
Frances Wright Ellie Stone Michael Adams
Alex McCann Dane Blomquist Julie Emmerson
Harry Butt Joe Woodley Olly Williams
Matt Elkington Phillip Vokes Natalie Beadle
Thanks to financial support from the Athlete Support fund and the generous anonymous benefactor of JROS, we were also able to invite 2 senior elite athletes – Ralph Street and Kris Jones – to train with us on the camp and in effect act as informal mentors to the younger athletes.
In addition Will Gardner also stayed and trained with us for a few days prior to attending Euromeeting. He paid his unsubsidised full cost.
Most of the Athletes stayed for the full 9 nights, but some came a day late and a couple of the athletes were only able to stay for about half of the tour. This did not cause any problems.
Some athletes did not realise the tour was applicable to them, so a bit of chasing up by Regional Coordinators was needed to get nominations. Selection was based on published selection policy, however not many athletes had 3 counting races, so the average of 2 races was also used. I suggest for the future using some more races to count. Special pleading - injury - was made by one athlete, advice was sought from the relevant Regional Coordinator and the athlete duly invited. Selections were published by middle of May to give time for Athletes to make their own travel arrangements. In practice, not many actually booked flights until later in the summer - so I would see no problems with also allowing the possibility of races up to the end of May to be considered.
All athletes made their own arrangements to get to Sweden. In Sweden Alice and I had hire cars, and travel was a mix of buses, supplemented by the cars – for example to provide a shuttle between nearest bus stop and training or competition centre. The cars also helped with shopping expeditions to cater for 20+ of us. Paying for buses was a bit complicated with no season ticket available which suited our needs – it is either 3 day tourist card or month plus season ticket. Instead we purchased a set of charge cards which we topped up as necessary – like Oyster cards. Rather than return these, and reclaim the deposit, we have kept the cards ready for next year.
This was in the Savedalens AIK club hut on the outskirts of Gothenburg, and was ideal for our needs. Plenty of forest right on the door step plus a nice lake for swimming etc. The club were very friendly and didn’t seem put out by the mess 20+ of us “camping” in their hut inevitably made – “it is normal…”. We joined them on one of the evening training runs and meal afterwards. It was also an absolute bargain – working out at less than £1.50 per person per day. Though it is also fair to say that we just about totally filled the hut to its absolute limit – 23 of us at peak. 20 would perhaps have been more comfortable.
This was done by the athletes themselves which worked well without any dramas. Interestingly it was the one area where we exceeded the budget I had worked out beforehand. On reflection this was obvious - I had based budget on experience with WJS trips to Sweden where we have had experienced parents organising the catering and doing the shopping. On this tour we very much let the youngsters plan and shop etc.
Plenty of good training in the forests around – 3 we were able to run to/from the actual hut. Others a bus trip away. We saved costs by making use of the “Hittaut Nu” ( a Swedish public health initiative) Orienteering maps that we were able to pick up free from local libraries- see for example http://www.hittaut.nu/landvetter-molnlycke/map . We were also helped by Doug Tullie providing electronic copies of some of the maps. This enabled Matthew Elkington to plan some nice exercises for us all in the immediate vicinity of the hut before we got there. Doug also provided some training exercises he had done with his Swedish club, and the JWOC middle race when it was held in Gothenburg a few years back. One of the training areas was a Sprint around a local university which added some variety.
It took some of the athletes a while to get used to the fact that they had to do their own planning, control hanging etc. Alice and I tried to just let them get on with it – limiting ourselves to the odd suggestion here and there. Other athletes were a bit more together and perhaps more used to organising their own training. As the week progressed this rubbed off on the others. Having Kris and Ralph along also helped in this regard and I think was appreciated by the athletes.
On the second weekend we attended the Gothenburg O Meeting which ran alongside Euromeeting. This included a middle race, Sprint and Classic race and provided a nice focus to the end of the tour.
Cars, fuel, parking £704.98
Training Maps £13.20
Competition Entry £878.18
Ralph and Kris’s Travel Expenses £254.16
Grant from JROS £1505.00
Contributions received £2102.22
Which meant that most of the youngsters paid just over £100 on top of their flight costs (which would have been in the order of £150-200).
As one of the parents put it – “incredibly cheap for a week in Sweden” This was helped by Nick Barrable arranging some of the pre costs – and so getting a very favourable exchange rate and by Doug Tullie finding a very cheap hut for us to stay in. I suspect things won’t be quite so cheap next year – but still very affordable.
As well as some nice notes of thanks, I have seen a couple of articles produced by the athletes which I include at the end of this report.
Alice and I won’t be available to run the actual camp itself – Welsh Junior Scandinavian Tour next August. However I am prepared to organise up front – or at least coordinate the organisation ; The idea is that I will seek 2 or 3 volunteers from the youngsters that went this year to do some of the organisational tasks before the camp. And then I will seek volunteers in the form of a couple of adults who can drive, and are happy to sleep on the floor and live like a student for 10 days or so!
Ralph and Kris both suggested that they might be available to help, and I have approached Axel Blomquist and Don Mckerrow, as possible “grandfather figures”. Both were reasonably up for it – Axel more so than Don. Any other ideas of possible to approach would be much appreciated.
The two or three youngsters from this year would in effect be pre-selected. The tasks I would look to them to do with pointers from me would be ;
- Researching where they can train, arranging maps, understanding locations, how to get there by public transport etc. Ditto plans for competition(s) doing entries etc.
- Liaising with selected athletes, Collating travel details, working out plans for airport pick ups and/or providing public transport details for how to get to the hut
- Keeping track of the finances when they are there, acting as banker, keeping receipts etc
- Collating results of published selection races to make the actual selection process easier.
It would probably be safest to keep the task of liaising with the local club over the use of the hut with an adult.
In this way, I can perhaps reduce the work load on me, and reinforce the self help nature of the camp – making it more self sustaining for the future.
Having a couple of senior athletes along I think worked well this year. So it would be good to try to arrange again next year.
Note in 2016 WOC is going to be held quite close to Gothenburg, so I would expect a reasonable amount of interest from the seniors . Ideally we would have a female as well as male athlete.
Article written by Mark Purkis
After just going on my first junior international tour here is a brief description of what we did and my experience. This year JROS (Junior Regional Orienteering Squads) ran 4 junior tours/camps, each camp for a different age group. The Gothenburg camp was for upper year MW18s and lower year MW20s. There were 18 juniors in total from all over Britain.
The Gothenburg tour is different from all the others as it is a “self-help” tour. This means that we weren’t split up into groups and assigned coaches to follow us around the forest, and talk us through what we were doing. All of the planning, actual training, and de-briefing/analysis was done by us. The tour was 10 days long: 6 days of training, 3 days of racing at the Gothenburg O-meeting, and 1 rest day. We were staying on the floor of the club hut belonging to Sävedalens AIK: the local orienteering club. “A club hut” I hear you enquire… Well unlike here where you have to travel to an area to go orienteering; the whole area around Gothenburg has been mapped for a public health project called ‘Hittaut’, so you just pick up one of these free maps and go wherever you please. This makes a club hut far more economically viable than here in Kent! After running out from the hut for 3 days and exhausting the adjacent areas; we began to use public transport to get to other excellent areas. We would spend the whole day on one area doing all our pre planned exercises with or without controls (more often without as it saves putting them out!), eat our packed lunches and then go swimming in one of the numerous Lakes.
The Gothenburg O-meeting was a level B size event with about 1000 competitors competing over the 3 days. It also played host to Euro-meeting where many of Europe’s Top elites raced to be the champion of the weekend. As a group we only managed one medal (3rd on the W20E), but then again podiums are hard to get against the Swedish on their own terrain!
All expenses for the entire week were a mere £224.49, which for 10 days in a country that’s more expensive than the UK is simply unbelievable. If you were tempted before to go to Scandinavia to do some orienteering don’t hesitate, this shows it can be done on a fairly low budget and the orienteering experience gain and have will be phenomenal.
By the end of the tour friendships had been made/strengthened (and hopefully not broken!) with just as many stories (if not more) coming from the time spent not orienteering. I had such a fantastic time, and if any of you juniors think that getting on a tour is beyond your wildest dreams, it most certainly is not.
Article written by Natalie Beadle
Goteborg 2014 was very different to any of the other tours I’ve been on, principally because it was a “self-help” tour. This basically meant that we had free reign over our training, timetable and the kitchen, giving us the freedom to vary training types and quantities over the course of the 7 non-competition days, while still benefitting from the wisdom of several elite athletes participating in (most certainly definitely not coaching on) the tour. I personally found this to be a great improvement, as it left me to practice compass work and continuity through the terrain – things I had identified during the competition season as needing practice – for the entirety of the tour. Participating in Goteborg O-Meeting (alongside EuroMeeting) during the last three days provided an opportunity to put our improved skills to the test, and experience some form of international competition, as well as see some of the international finest play their game.
The tour as a whole has been a wonderful experience; the SalvedoransAIK club hut is situated in the perfect location amid beautiful terrain, bus stops and diving boards, all of which were well used and thoroughly enjoyed. Leisure time enabled us to recover from training in the lake and sauna, experience the fierce competition of card games, and brush up on our diving skills. I think we all went away feeling improved in our forest technique, as well as refreshed and motivated for the year’s training. If anyone has the chance to attend this tour or similar ever in their life, I would utterly recommend it, as the bridge between supervised and independent, self-initiated training, and as an amazing 10 days.
Michael Adams SYO
Dane Blomquist BAOC
Harry Butt SARUM
Matt Elkington OD
Alex McCann MDOC
Craig Nolan ESOC
Adam Potter BOK
Mark Purkis SAX
Aidan Smith SYO
Philip Vokes DEE
Olly Williams DEE
Joe Woodley AIRE
Natalie Beadle LOC
Frances Brown FVO
Julie Emmerson OD
Beth Hanson HH
Katrina Hemingway WCOC
Ellie Stone DEVON
Frances Wright MAROC
Katie Wright LOC
This tour is for second year 18s and first year 20s. Like the Stockholm tour it aims to provide experience of training and competing in Scandinavian terrain. Compared to that tour however it has a much greater emphasis on “Self Help”. The tour managers are Mark Saunders and Alice Bedwell who have experience from organising various overseas training camps – but they will act mainly as facilitators with attendees expected to be involved in all aspects – planning training, control hanging, collecting controls, catering, cleaning etc. We are also fortunate this year to have some help from GB team members Doug Tullie and Bex Harding both currently based in Gothenburg.
This year the Gothenburg training camp is based at the club hut of Savadalens AIK (SAIK) one of the orienteering clubs based around Gothenburg
This is by one of Gothenburg’s Eastern suburbs with ready access to good orienteering forest by foot and by Public Transport.
The participants will sleep on the floor in one of the rooms in the building. The hut is equipped with a good kitchen, toilets, showers and Sauna.
There is no tour chef – participants are expected to help with the whole group, catering, shopping, cleaning etc.
Participants will be responsible for arranging and booking their own flights to/from Sweden. Ryanair fly to Gothenburg City airport and British Airways, SAS and others fly to Gothenburg Landvetter
To keep costs as affordable as possible, most travel within Sweden will be on the extensive public transport system within Gothenburg Region, supplemented on occasion by shuttle journeys by hire cars driven by the tour managers.
As you would expect there is an abundance of top class orienteering terrain within easy access of the hut.
On the second weekend of the camp we will take part in the Goteborg O Meeting – Middle/Sprint/Classic . This year this is being held alongside Euromeeting so the standard of the races should be very good. http://goteborg-o-meeting.se/
Our programme will be something like;
Saturday Travel - maybe train pm depending on timings
Sun - train am and pm
Mon - train am and pm
Tues - train half a day
Weds - train am and pm
Thurs perhaps full rest day
Fri - O Meeting Middle Race
Sat – O Meeting Sprint
Sun – O Meeting classic
Mon – Travel home
There will be some flexibility in this – certainly extra rest if necessary.
It is also realised that some people will not necessarily be able to attend the whole camp – for example A Level results day is on Thursday 14th. Whilst it is hoped that most people will be able to attend the whole camp, missing some of the days at one or other ends of the camp can be accommodated.
The Tour is basically self financing. Excluding the cost of flights, which each participant will need to sort for themselves. The budgeted cost is about £165 per person for the 9 nights, this includes accommodation, food, travel within Gothenburg, training maps and competition entry.
Currently (Apr 2014) it is possible to get return flights for £125 from Stansted or £140 from Heathrow. Both including baggage. There are various options from other regional airports.
Selection policy for attendance at the Gothenburg Training camp (2014).
Download the selection policy as a PDF
The camp will run from 16th-25th August 2014
The Camp is predominantly for M/W20’s born in 1995 and top M/W18’s born in 1996.
The camp will be for of the order of 20 athletes, the final number being determined by the Team Manager and the Chairman of JROS.
Athletes wishing to be selected will have achieved the standards set out below in the following races;
|Southern Championships||26th January 2014|
|JK Day 2||19th April 2014|
|JK Day 3||20th April 2014|
|Northern Championships||4th May 2014|
Standard for selection
Athletes wishing to be selected will have achieved 125% or less of the winner’s time as averaged over three of the above races.
If there are more than the maximum number for the camp who have achieved the required standard then those with the lowest averages will be selected.
The selector may choose not to fill all available places if there are insufficient qualified athletes.
The tour selectors
The tour athletes will be selected by Mark Saunders (BOK) and the selections will be reviewed by the Chairman of Junior Regional Orienteering Squads (JROS).
Illness or Injury
All cases of illness or injury which may affect an athlete’s ability to compete in one of the above selection races should be notified in writing to the athlete’s 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 prior to the race.