Author: Lecky

Grace Molloy – Thank you

Thank you very much for your letter and I am delighted to be awarded a grant by the John Taylor Foundation. I really appreciate the support you have given me and also the support you give to other athletes.

Racing at the Junior World Orienteering Championships was an amazing experience for me and I was really pleased with my performances, especially in the relay event. I have attached a full report of the competition.

I am flying to Australia this weekend for 6 months of coaching, racing and training there which I am really excited about.

Thanks again.

Yours sincerely,

Grace Molloy

Lucy Haines – Pre-JWOC Camp

This August, I headed to Silkeborg in Denmark with the British orienteering team, to run in the Junior World Orienteering Championship 2019 terrain ahead of next year.  It was an invaluable experience as I learnt the different skills needed to tackle this terrain. We spent the week in a hostel which was situated near all of the areas for training (and lakes for swimming!)

The day after we arrived, we got stuck into the Danish forests. The woodland consisted of large rolling spurs and re-entrants, with patches of light green, which was usually easy to get through. Some of the flat open forest plateaus reminded me of southern areas in the South Downs, whilst the areas of spurs and steep re-entrants were similar to areas of Cannock Chase.

Throughout the week we completed three long, two middle, one sprint and two relay style sessions. All these training sessions involved various exercises and different techniques to focus on which were important in tackling the challenges of this type of terrain. One of my favourite sessions was on the final day, where we ran long legs in groups, each taking different routes (or slight variations in routes) and matching the running intensity. This allowed us to compare paths options to forest options and options of going around the top of a re-entrant compared to running straight, often down a steep gully and up the other side. Often, if the forest was white, it was quicker to go straight.

Another good training session was the relay training as there were other national teams taking part too, like Sweden, Norway and even some of the Danish senior squad who had just returned from the World Champs. The training was set up like a mass start, with over 40 runners on each of the boy’s and girls’ course. This training turned out to be almost as competitive as a JWOC relay! Overall, it was a great week with some great people and I’m grateful for the opportunity to go to Denmark for a Pre-JWOC camp.

Thank you to The John Taylor Foundation for their support.

Pre-JWOC map sample

JWOC training area

Francesca Sene – Thank you

Hello there,

I would say the grant I received to buy equipment for my triple jump training earlier this year definitely helped me skyrocket to the next level of performance. I won Hampshire county triple jump (senior division) and as a result was asked to compete regionally, where I jumped a PB! (10.10m)

At the moment I am sidelined due to some shin problems but I am still training 6x a week just avoiding impact at the moment. I feel indebted to the charity and will be forever grateful for the support you gave me when I didn’t have enough money to get the equipment I needed.

I will continue to update you as I progress further.

Yours gratefully,

Francesca Sene

Francesca Sene – Gold Hampshire County Triple Jump

Matt Fellbaum – JWOC 2018

I’ve been orienteering nearly all my life, my family all went together to local events throughout my childhood and I became a part of the local club Manchester and District. My Dad still reminds me of the time he taught me how to use a compass on Alderley Edge, and I have countless memories of playing with friends at Lyme Park on summer evenings. As I got a bit older I joined the North West Junior Squad and developed hugely from lots of coaching and training camps. I’m so grateful for all the work the many coaches, but especially John, Sue and Richard, have put in over the years and thus given so many juniors amazing experiences! The 3 Norway tours I went on are where I fell in love with the sport and made great friends, enabling me to experience how good orienteering can be. However, all throughout my time in the squad I wasn’t very good at running, I was quite chubby, and my map reading was a bit rubbish as well. I had a long way to go!

I managed to get into the England and GB teams, running multiple Interland’s, JHI’s and EYOC’s. My results at the international races were okay but nothing special, nothing to say “this guy’s good”. But I knew and was always reminded by my all-knowing father and brother that I was on an upward curve – I can get to the top I just need to keep going down the path. And they were all incredibly valuable experiences that showed me what the big races were like, and how to perform well at them. I was doing well but for years everyone had been talking about JWOC as the pinnacle of junior orienteering, and I knew I wanted to get there – a huge achievement in itself.

It took me a couple of years trying to get selected for JWOC but last year I went out to Finland with the team. It was incredible, the 300 best juniors from around the world, all together for a week of serious quality racing. My results were again nothing special but one of my best mates got GB’s best ever results, and a coveted podium place (which in orienteering is top 6). This was amazing, and so inspiring! I wanted that, but unfortunately, I’m no way near as talented – problem!

I decided to spend the next year committing fully to performing at JWOC. That doesn’t mean I became a hermit for the year and never went outside other than to train, but I made sure in every decision I made I considered how it would affect my results. This was very tough at times, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re pretty certain of what you want, but it is definitely the best way to succeed in sport (and probably life).

I arrived at JWOC knowing that no matter what happens I did my best over the year to do as well as I can, and I can be proud of that. Monday was the long race and although I ran well, the result was again nothing special (27th), and I felt demoralized, maybe I can’t get the result I want? Maybe it isn’t worth the effort? Maybe I’m just not good enough yet?

The next day was the sprint. Let me put this into context. I have been told my whole life that I’m not fast enough to do well at sprint. I know that I’m 2 minutes slower than the best over 5km. I have no chance of success, so may as well not care about the result and enjoy it, right?

Even though I knew I had no chance, I had still done everything I could to prepare for the race. I spent tens of hours making a map from street view to familiarize myself with every building. I spent tens of hours with my coach talking about technique and planning my physical training. I spent hundreds of hours out in the cold and the rain on my own, training hard.

And I got lucky. The course was among the most technical international sprint races there’s ever been, which suited me perfectly. All the favourites made big mistakes, opening the door for an outsider. I had a very good race, not perfect as I got a couple of route choices wrong, but my execution was almost perfect.

I finished and I was in the lead. 2 hours passed by, with everyone starting faster than me but all making mistakes. 2 runners left to finish, a German and a Hungarian. Everyone thought I had it. The Hungarian came 8th. The German beat me by 8 seconds.

Sport is brutal.

But that was the joint best result Britain has ever had at JWOC. I think I’ll take it.

Matt being interviewed after the JWOC Long

Matt, on left, with his Silver medal

Matt in the forest

Amber Anning – Junior GB Vest

Hello

I hope you and the trustees are all well. 

I am just writing to let you know that I have been selected for the British Junior team to compete at the Loughborough International this weekend. It is my first Junior GB vest and it will be such an honour to wear it. I will be competing in the 200m and am also in the 4x100m relay team. 

Thank you for your ongoing support. It has made all the difference and I am really excited about my season ahead.

Best wishes,

Amber Anning

Amber Anning – Warm weather training

Dear Trustees of the John Taylor Foundation,

I hope you are all well. I would just like to thank you so much for the grant given to me in order to help with warm weather training. I had a fantastic time being in America and training in such warm weather conditions. I will attach a few photos so you can see what it was like!

Thanks again for all your support and best wishes for the rest of the year,

Amber Anning

Matthew Fellbaum – Junior European Orienteering Cup 2017

Hi,

I write to give thanks for my grant of £40 towards the Junior European Orienteering Cup in Austria which took place in September. The competition gave me good experience competing at an international level, and motivated my training for the winter. It also gave me a big confidence boost in knowing that I have improved hugely over the past year, mainly in my running ability. The support of the John Taylor Foundation has helped me compete at this championships and thus work towards my goal – the Junior World Championships next July in Hungary.

You can find the results from the championships at this link: http://www.stolv.at/jec-2017

Kind regards

Matthew Fellbaum

Matthew in the forest

Matthew in his team kit

Alice Rigby – Junior World Orienteering Championships 2017

This July after three sets of selection races I flew to Finland to represent Great Britain at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC). I felt prepared, having been to JWOC 2016 in Switzerland but also nervous as it was my last competition as a junior.

Flying out a few days before races started gave me a chance to train in relevant terrain and get ready for my first race. This year I didn’t quite make it into the A final after middle qualification having had a steady run but being slightly too hesitant. I changed tactics going into the sprint race and tried to attack it more. I was rewarded with my best result of the week, finishing in 27th out of a field of over 140 athletes. The next race was the long distance and I had an amazing time racing through Scandinavian forest against the best juniors in the world finishing inside the top half of results. Finally I ran the middle leg in the relay enjoying the head to head racing and was pleased to catch some teams.

JWOC 2017 was an amazing end to junior racing and I am very grateful to the John Taylor Foundation for supporting me. I have learnt lots about racing at a high level and really enjoyed spending the week with such an inspiring and committed team.

Alice in the Sprint

Alice in the Relay

JWOC Team

Grace Molloy – Junior World Orienteering Championships

Junior World Orienteering Championships 2017

My main aim for 2017 was to be selected to represent Great Britain at the European Youth Orienteering Championships (EYOC) at U18 level. I not only managed to achieve this but I was also selected to compete at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) at U20.

After spending a few days training in Finland for JWOC it was finally time to compete. The first race was a qualification race for the middle distance in which I was delighted to comfortably secure a place in the final, qualifying in the 8th fastest time of 150 athletes. I then went on to secure 19th position in the final which I was happy with but I know I can improve on in future years. In the long distance race I ran strongly to finish in 20th which was much better than I had anticipated as I knew I had not had the perfect race. I had a disappointing run in the relay competition but it was enough to secure Great Britain 6th place in the team competition.

The experience of competing against the best junior orienteers in the world was inspiring and has given me the motivation to keep improving to achieve better results next year.

The remainder of the Summer holidays I am spending training and competing in Sweden, Scotland and Hungary. JWOC 2018 is to be held in Hungary so this training will be especially relevant in preparing for this competition. I am also looking forward to racing at the Junior European Cup in Austria in September.

Grace in the Middle race

Grace punching on the Long

Mya Taylor – National Cross Country Champs 2018

John Taylor fund,

Firstly, thank you so much for the funding to go to London for the national cross country Championships, it really made a difference.

I went down to the Nationals at Parliament hill on Friday the 23rd of  February (which also happened to be my Birthday). We went out for a meal at a nice little Indian restaurant in Edgeware, then headed back nice an early so I could get some rest for the next day.

It was an early start for me, 5:30am, not much different to usual but still early. I had the usual breakfast (my speciality pre race breakfast) then headed out about 8:30 with some of the other members of the team to the tube station. A quick tube ride to Hampstead heath, a 15 minute walk and we were at Parliament Hill. My Race was at 11:00am so a walk of the course, and a warm up then It was race time!

I was joined by many teammates at the start line, we wished each other good luck and stood poised anxiously waiting for the starting gun to go off! Within about 200m I was in the top 30, I just focused for the first half a mile on getting in to my own rhythm and then began the real work. My aim then was to keep working through the crowd. I got in to the top 15 at just past half way around the course. I moved around 10th and 12th up until the last 1km where I gave a big push on in to 7th place. I took a bit of a wrong footing in the last 600m which meant me dropping back in to 9th then powered back through to have a clear finish of 8th. I was really happy with my race I’ve had a couple minor set backs this year, some couldn’t have been helped others just needed me to dig deeper. I’m looking forward to my future races this year and hopefully many more years to follow.

Once again Thank you so much for the funding for me to get to the National XC this year, I really think what you are doing as a charity is great for young Athletes like me and genuinely makes a difference.

Best Regards

Mya Taylor (Rotherham Harriers)

Mya Taylor

Mya racing