Last month Brodie sat down with Serena Doyle, NSW orienteer who has just returned from travelling and competing in Europe. Serena made her debut for Australia at the recent World Cup Round 2 in Czech Republic, and at the time of the interview was soon to be racing again at World Cup 3 in Italy. Serena was also part of this years JWOC team management, playing a vital role in supporting the team to some excellent results.
Hi Serena, thanks for making time for a chat! Lets start with a bit about you, what lead you to where you are at the moment orienteering?
I started orienteering about 8 years ago when my Dad started orienteering again after doing it when he was young. I have gradually been doing more events to get experience and confidence especially in the forest and started training more seriously over the past 18 months. I just graduated with a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science at The University of Sydney and have spent the last 4 months competing in orienteering events across Europe which has been an incredible experience.
That is awesome. You didn’t mention your debut for Australia at the World Cup in Czech Republic, how was it? What was your biggest takeaway?
Racing in Czech Republic was my first major international race, I was planning to just run in the sprints but also had the opportunity to run in the middle and long so I came in with no expectations other than gaining experience and seeing the incredible terrain that Czech has! The high levels of performance of athletes from other countries was incredible especially seeing Tove live in the forest! The biggest takeaway is how racing against better people helps you focus on what you can do to get better and more competitive.
Looking forward to seeing how you go at the World Cup in Italy. You also did some team management this year, tell us a little bit more about your experience at JWOC in Romania?
It was awesome opportunity to help Warren and Brett with the JWOC team. Prior to JWOC, I was able to assist with pre-JWOC training sessions, and during the JWOC races, I ensured that all athletes were organized and provided support once they finished. Throughout JWOC, I had the pleasure of getting to know the team and seeing their confidence and interest grow while competing against some of the best juniors in the world. Finally, it was great to see how well the team went and many of them will have the chance to do even better next year in Czech which is exciting!
Do you see yourself doing more coaching/team management?
Definitely, it is always so great to see more people join the sport and get better at it and achieve their goals. If I can help with that and use some of what I have learned then that is very rewarding.
Great news! So what is next? When do you get home and what are you excited for in the next 12 months?
I head home straight after WC3, so I am quite excited to get back home. I am looking forward to going to NZ – maybe their champs in October and then the sprints in January.
Alright, let’s move into some quickfire questions:
Best event you have ever been to? Best map?
Oringen in Sweden – been lucky to go a few times. Favourite map Curtin University in WA.
Any events, races or maps you would love to do?
I been lucky to knock a few events and countries off my list on this trip like Jukola and Czech sandstone. So I’d say Oringen again or a WOC sprint.
Sprint or forest orienteering?
Favourite pre race food?
Oats with peanut butter and banana.
Best training session?
Thanks Serena, anywhere that people can follow your progress?
On Strava of course @serenadoyle