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Training with Tess

Summer 2016 coaching

Castle Neroche Top

Castle Neroche Top

Published: Sat 10 Sep 2016

Light summer evenings have seen various QO members enjoying coaching provided by Tess Stone from Devon orienteering club. Initially we were dodging the dog walkers at Longrun Meadows and latterly we’ve been startling the deer at Castle Neroche.

Sessions have consisted of Tess setting exercises focussing on certain skills. We started at Longrun Meadows by establishing our running and walking pace-counts over various terrains, estimating distances and working to a bearing. Longrun also provided a mix of urban and meadowland for working on our map symbols. One exercise involved using the descriptions alone to find control cones.

The symbol theme continued at Castle Neroche * where we followed a line-course noting the IOF symbols of features as we encountered them. We all found this particularly tricky as great accuracy was required in keeping to the line.

Refreshments in column H- sadly underutilised!

Refreshments in column H- sadly underutilised!

The last few sessions involved working from a large scale map in the upper part of Neroche, honing our brown feature recognition and getting to grips with the complex maze of knolls and depressions. After a couple of sessions working here, including relay exercises and setting courses for each other, what at first seemed impossible to navigate by the end seemed much more manageable. Bring on those sand dunes!

These coaching sessions have been a fun way to spend a summer’s evening and to prepare for the season ahead. Tess catered for all; walkers and sprinters, young and not so young, experienced and less so. We now see more on a map and relate it to the landscape and have more techniques to use including taking note of all sections of the control description. The refreshment section in column H is underutilised!

Thank you to Tess, and Roger & Judy for organising these sessions.

Sarah Hasler

As read by Sarah at our 2016 AGM

* possession of the map via this link does not imply the right to access the area