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ONZ Under 23 High-Performance Camp | 6-11 December 2020
By Christo Peters - Tue 22 Dec 2020 8:03pm

This year the U23 camp, which was a day shorter than in previous years, started on the Sunday evening of 6 December with a brief introductory talk given by Malcolm Ingham. This gives the rationale for the camp and emphasised the big step required to go from successful junior orienteering in New Zealand/ Australia to international competition at JWOC/WUOC/WOC. In the continuing Covid environment the prospects for 2021 were also discussed.

Organisation of this year’s camp was carried out largely by the General Manager in association with organising the junior camp. Given the delayed ONZ Champs, in which ONZ Performance Lead Malcolm Ingham was heavy involved, and the subsequent Central Region Champs, this worked well. 

Numbers were well down on previous years with there being a lot of quite late withdrawals. Key reasons for this were work and the disruption to 2020 through Covid – a likely drop in motivation for many. This, obviously, did not apply to the participants, some of whom were attending their first Under 23 camp, although, as is normal, the younger, less experienced were clearly feeling the effects of a tough week by the end of the camp.

As at the 2019 camp, GPS tracking as a training aid on some of the exercises. Use was limited, however, by the lack of geo-referencing of many of the maps and limited wifi/internet coverage at the accommodation.

Coaches Lizzie Ingham and Gene Beveridge were excellent, both giving pre-exercise talks and in leading discussion in the evenings. I am also grateful for general help given by Jake Hanson. I would also like to acknowledge the help given by Nelson Orienteering Club, especially Michael Croxford, Sally Lattimore and Matt Ogden. These camps cannot be successful without the input from the host clubs.

There will be a fuller, more colourful, report in the December High Performance News, but here are a few pictures to give the flavour of the week

The layout of the week, with brief explanations, were as follows:
Monday am: Fitness testing using the Yo-yo Test (as previously used in 2018). This was decided on as the track in Stoke was closed.
Monday pm: Nelson – sprint training structured with significant route choice on nearly all legs, the aim being to practice and appreciate the importance of rapid route choice in sprint races.
Monday late pm: Tahunanui – 2 person ray set by Matt Ogden, a chance for some head-to-head racing on a fun map.
Monday evening: Review of the day including detailed discussion on the sprint route choices.
Tuesday am: Teetotal Flat (St. Arnaud) – pairs exercise with each person only having half the controls on their map. Alternate leading legs with the partner having to keep contact so to be able to take over for the next control. Aim: map contact and relocation.
Tuesday pm: West Bay (St. Arnaud) – (1) control pick emphasising keeping in constant contact and planning routes even on short legs. (2) Course with longer legs with the aim of keeping contact over longer distances. Aim: map contact in very complex terrain.
Tuesday evening: Discussion of sessions including reviewing the tracking of both morning and afternoon to analyse routes and errors.
Wednesday am: Canaan Downs (Takaka Hill) – route choice exercise. Open terrain but with legs planned to provide significant options. Aim: selecting and executing efficient route choice.
Wednesday pm: Canaan Downs – course in beech forest with complex tomo systems. Aim: experience in very different, often low visibility, terrain.
Wednesday late pm: Motueka High School -.map selection exercise as used in Knock-out Sprints. Aim: identifying the optimum map (route choice) and racing it in a head-to-head environment.
Wednesday evening: Review of sessions – especially route choice.
Thursday am: Rabbit Island – (1) window and corridor exercise. Aim: compass and distance estimation and terrain recognition. (2) Extensive control pick (>60 controls). Aim: smooth flow through controls.
Thursday pm: Waimea College – camp sprint champs
Thursday evening: (1) Review of Rabbit Island sessions – especially corridor exercise.
(2) Outline of season plan for 2021.
Friday am: Tunnicliff Forest – Camp Champs.

By Malcolm Ingham  |  ONZ Performance Leader

Photos byMalcolm Ingham 

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