SA and Vic Junior Training Camp

Shane JenkinsFeatured News, High Performance News, News

An idea that came from the OA Coaching Conference in January has been a great success. A combined junior training camp in preparation for the Australian Orienteering Championships Carnival in Ballarat later in the year. “A great success and something they certainly want to do again”. Read this report on the camp from Bridget Anderson the SA Junior Squad/Schools Coach- an elite giving something back to the sport. Well done to everybody who was involved in organising and planning this camp.

Bridget’s Report

South Australian and Victorian Juniors Orienteering camp 8th-12th July.

A combined training camp in the Ballarat goldfields in preparation for the Australian Champs carnival.

While most of the Australian Orienteering community had their eyes on JWOC during the beginning of July, the South Australian and Victorian juniors had their eyes set towards the Australian Champs carnival. The juniors spent a week in Ballarat preparing themselves for orienteering in technical gold mining terrain. For some of the South Australian’s this was their first time orienteering in gold mining and many found it a difficult but rewarding challenge.

The idea for the combined training camp came about after the coaching conference in January where it was discussed about the benefits of combined state training camps. After much discussion with the Victorian and South Australian coaching co-ordinators, the camp got the green light to go ahead and the planning began. It was agreed that the Victorian managers would organise the accommodation and the South Australian’s would organise the training with the help of local Vic orienteers.


On the Wednesday the 8th the 13 South Australian juniors and 4 coaches drove the 8 hour drive across to Creswick to meet Roch Prendergast for a map walk at St Georges Lake. On Wednesday evening the SA juniors talked about short term goals for the camp and drew their own maps in preparation for the ViC/SA star relay for the next day. The SA juniors were encouraged to draw simplified maps to help them read the detail in the complex mining terrain.


The next day the SA juniors met the 17 Victorian Juniors and 9 parents at the Blowmine for contour only training and control picking and control flow exercises. In the afternoon the juniors were placed into teams of two (one SA and one Vic per team) for the Star relay at Surface hill. The aim of the star relay was for the Vic junior to place the controls out for their teammate using the proper map while the SA junior had to use their drawn map from the night before to bring their controls in. The team that completed all 5 legs first was the winner. This exercise proved quite challenging especially when some controls were not placed exactly in the right spot.

On Friday the juniors went to Muskvale to learn about identifying attackpoints in gold mining terrain. The juniors had to find the circled attackpoint for each leg before identifying where the control site would be. The aim of this exercise was to learn how to avoid wasting time in the control circle and to always return to the attackpoint if their approach to the control was not successful the first time.  After a fun session of Mirco-O in the gold mining the juniors headed off to St Georges Lake to practice direction with and without compasses.  In the evening, Steve Bird gave a talk about what makes ups the perfect orienteer and pre-race plans. We ended the evening by watching the JWOC relay and learning that even the best Scandinavian orienteers make mistakes too.


On Saturday we talked about the Australian Schools maps before heading out to Sedgewick for the local Bendigo event. It was there the Victorian Juniors said good bye as the SA juniors headed onto Sprint training organised by Richard Goonan. In the evening the SA juniors analysed their legs from the event that day and discussed time loss/gained due to route choice.


The last day of the camp saw the SA Juniors complete a camps champs at Surface Hill. While the courses were short, they were challenging and offered a great deal of practice in the gold mining terrain. Overall the combined camp was a great success and is something that the South Australian and Victorians believe would be beneficial again in the future. A big thanks to all the parents, coaches, volunteers and the Bendigo orienteers who helped make this camp the success it was.