School orienteering and navigation training in Taranaki
Orienteering Taranaki is booming this year with membership up from approx. 100 to 188 students. An important part of the club’s development has been concentrating on good quality and accessible secondary school participation in the various NavSport disciplines.
Mainstay events are the Taranaki Secondary School Sports Association – TSSSA Orienteering championships and the TSSSA rogaine championships which typically get 250 and 800 entries respectively. The success of these events relies heavily on a good working partnership with TSSSA and on the support we receive from the school’s sports coordinators.
Adventure Racing training
Taranaki Schools dominate schools adventure racing nationally and have done for 15 years, the association between Orienteering Taranaki and adventure racing community is very strong. We take an active part in schools adventure racing coaching, both at orienteering events and on smaller scale maps. If you treat an adventure race as just a long multi-O then you realise it is just part of the NavSport family. With more than 50 students typically travelling to Adventure Races such as Adventure Racing Coromandel events, there is a strong need for navigators at the school level and so many join our club to develop these skills.
Inevitably parents are brought along and discover orienteering. Many of our members are now parents of school adventure racers. Like other clubs, we run urban rogaines and a summer sprint series, both of which attract significant numbers of students, but the sprint series is a work in progress and I think we could learn from others here. I would like to see the series set up as an inter-school challenge and to achieve this we need to get it on the TSSSA calendar. This will be next year’s target.
by Nick Collins