In the lead up to the Junior World Championships in 2023, Brodie sat down with Justine Hobson, who will be debuting in the green and gold in Romania from 2nd-9th of July. Justine has been improving steadily over the past few years, culminating in a 7th place in a hotly contested junior women’s field in the National Orienteering League. Brodie was keen to hear about Justine’s final preparations for JWOC and her history in orienteering.
Hey Justine, firstly congratulations on making the JWOC team for this year, how are the final preparations coming along?
Thank you! I’ve been continuing regular training and done some research into the JWOC maps to get some insight of the terrain and doing some running wilds that the other team members have set.
Great, sounds like the preparation is going well. What are you most excited about for JWOC? Are you doing anything else whilst you are in Europe?
I think I’m most excited to experience the European terrain for the first time in such a big competition and being able to socialise with other countries during the week. I will also be doing the public EYOC races as training before JWOC then to Swiss-O-Week, Bohemia 5 days in Czechia and also the World Cup Round 2.
Fantastic, you will get heaps of valuable experience from those races! What do you think helped you make the team this year? What has been key to your development over the past few years?
I think an increase in speed and fitness training over the past year with the help of Paula as my coach has helped me to make the team this year. My development has been heavily influenced by living in Canberra as I had access to a lot of good technical maps which allowed my navigation to improve steadily early on.
Sounds like it’s a good idea to have a coach guiding you, a good tip for those up and coming juniors! Where do you see orienteering taking you in the future? Any big goals?
Hopefully I’ll be able to do some more international competitions and European events in the future to further improve my navigation and fitness. My goals would be to make it into JWOC again next year as well as hopefully the world uni champs and then WOC in a couple years’ time.
Some big goals, goodluck and I’m keen to see how you go! What about Justine outside of orienteering? What are you up to at the moment?
Outside of orienteering I like to do other outdoor activities like paddle boarding and skiing as well as finding cool rocks. At the moment I am studying geology and ecology at the Uni of Sydney.
Cool rocks, I think that is something lots of orienteers can identify with, geologists or not! Alright, lets move into some quickfire questions:
Best event you have ever been to? What is your favourite map?
The best event I’ve been to was the Middle Earth events in New Zealand in 2017 just after Oceania with the redwood forests and sand dunes. My favourite map would be the Wattle Gully map used for the schools relay last year.
Any events, races or maps you would love to do?
I would love to do Jukola and Oringen.
Compass in left or right hand?
Favourite TV show?
Kath and Kim
Best post-race treat?
Juice box and beef jerky
Favourite training session?
I enjoy doing hills training on Tuesday’s that Paula runs with a group.
Thanks Justine, people can follow all the action at JWOC over at https://www.jwoc2023.ro/, anywhere that people can follow your progress?
Strava: Justine Hobson