Reports

Helen Ockenden – JWOC

JWOC 2015- Rauland, Norway

This year I was selected to represent Great Britain at the Junior World Orienteering Championships for the first time. JWOC was held in Rauland in the Norwegian mountains from the 5th to the 10th of July in very technically demanding terrain.

The GB Team

The GB Team

The whole team flew out to Norway a few days before the competition began to do some orienteering training on the model areas. These areas were quite similar to the competitions areas, and this helped us to get used to the way things are mapped in Norway. We also found that open marshes were good features to use as they were very obvious, which is quite different to north-west England.

The first race of the week was the sprint, which I was not running in. This was because most members of the team were only selected to run for two of the three individual disciplines. However, I enjoyed watching the rest of the team compete, and finish with some excellent results.

My first race was the qualification race for the middle distance. The course was almost entirely slope orienteering, with lots of legs diagonally across vague slopes. This required very accurate use of compass, and I made quite a few mistakes early on in the course, eventually finishing in 30th place in my heat and qualifying for the B final. (There are 3 heats and finishers 1-20 in each heat go through to the A final, 21-40 go through to the B final and the rest to the C final).

On the run at the middle final

On the run at the middle final

An extract from the middle qualifier map

An extract from the middle qualifier map

The middle distance finals were the next day. The start list is in reverse order of the results from the qualifier, so I had a start time in the middle of B final. I found the course a lot more enjoyable, although it was still quite technical, and I finished in 8th place. I knew that the terrain for the long distance was similar to some areas of the middle final area, so having a good run built up my confidence for the long distance race.

Between the middle finals and the long distance we had a day off from racing, and some of the team went to the long distance model area mainly to familiarise ourselves with the 1:15,000 map scale used in the long distance races. In the afternoon, we also went for a short swim in the lake near where we were staying.

The view over the huts

The view over the huts

Because there are no qualifiers for the long distance race at JWOC, the start window for the long distance runs from 9am to 2:30pm. I had an early start at 9:31, which meant that after I had finished I got to enjoy watching the rest of the team finish as well. Some of the runners were wearing GPS tracking, and there were cameras out in the terrain, so there was a lot to watch on the big screen in the arena. There was lots of route choice on the course, but it was also very physical as there was quite a lot of climb and the open marshes were quite energy sapping. I had a fairly clean run, although I made a bad route choice when I caught up some runners who had started ahead of me, and I made a few errors in the control circle.

How would you do this leg?

How would you do this leg?

My position at the end of the day was 54th, and I was the first British girl. The top result of the day was Aidan Smith finishing in 4th position on the men’s course, which was the best ever GB result on the JWOC long.
The final event of the week was the relay, which was held in the same arena as the long distance. The boys relay started first at 9am and the girls relay started later at 10:20am. We were held in quarantine before the start, so we couldn’t speak to any members of the team who had already run and we couldn’t see the big screen where they were showing the GPS tracking. Fortunately, we could still see when our runners were coming in. I was on second leg for the second team, and we came back quite far behind after the first leg. I had a clean run apart from one control, where I made a massive error, but I still brought the team up a few places. Fiona had a good run on 3rd leg and we finished in 32nd.

In the evening there was a party for all the teams at the hotel where some of the teams were staying. This was a great opportunity to relax after a week of hard races, and to make new friends from some of the other teams.

Ready for the party

Ready for the party

I really enjoyed my week in Norway at JWOC 2105, and I have learned a lot about my orienteering which will help me to improve my training over the winter. I would like to thank the team coaches for all the support they gave us while we were competing, and SROC, the NWOA, and the John Taylor Foundation for the financial assistance they gave me.

Helen Ockenden

Dominic Allen

I’m just writing to give you an update on my seasons activity and performances so far.

Unfortunately I have been suffering with a few niggling injuries for the majority of the season, but have still been training hard. I have had an ankle issue which has now cleared up but I’ve also been suffering with tennis elbow, which has hampered my ability to throw the javelin and perform my best in competitions. However, I still train regularly with James Marshall (Excelsior), doing weight and speed training, as well as training at the track. Over the winter I have regularly traveled up to Loughborough university to train with David Parker (GB Javelin Coach), which has benefited my technique as well as my knowledge on what is required to become a great thrower.

I have also been attending the AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) programme in Bath. There have been 6 workshops since Christmas that I have attended covering things like planning, preparation, psychological skills, nutrition, physio screening & 1:1 mentoring sessions with former international athletes. There are 4 more workshops after the summer with a graduation at Loughborough in December. These workshops have given me a really great insight into what becoming an international athlete involves, and has been invaluable in my development as an athlete.

Even with my injury, I’ve improved my personal best a few times this season. I also managed to win the Devon Schools trials and made it into the Devon team for the English Schools Championships in Gateshead, held last weekend, where I came 8th. I was pleased with this as it was a high level of competition and I threw a very consistent series of throws most just below my PB while managing my injury. I’m working hard on trying to rehab from my injury and hope to be back competing at a high level in a few weeks time. I have already started planning my winters training with James and also have further trips/training camps at Loughborough over the winter.

Many thanks again for supporting me, I am extremely grateful as it has enabled me to do all that I have done and get the extra bit of coaching/ training required to become an elite athlete.

Dominic Allen

Hannah Cox – JWOC

Dear John Taylor foundation

Once again I’d like to thank you for the financial support you gave me for my participation in JWOC this year. I’m pleased to say I had a good run in the sprint discipline to finish 44th. The relay didn’t go quite so well but the experienced I gained from it along with training opportunities I received whilst in Norway are unforgettable and will help me to develop as an athlete and improve for the future in which I hope to compete again for Great Britain. Without your support it may have been impossible for me to go, and so I thank you again for your help in enabling me to have this experience.

The attached picture is of me competing in the sprint at this years JWOC.

Kind regards,

Hannah Cox

Emile Cairess

Training was going exceptionally well in December with the aid of all the gear purchased with the grant. The big races were approaching and things could not look better. However, at the beginning of January I was set back by a cold meaning I had to miss the Yorkshire cross country championships and a whole week of training. I started to feel better the week after the Yorkshires and so decided to run in Cardiff in the UK cross challenge. The race was distinctly average. I came 2nd to Ben Dijkstra who was unbeaten for the best part of 3years, I only just held off a competitor that would usually be comfortably behind. Despite the performance this meant I would lead the cross challenge standings going into the UK cross challenge final race in Birmingham as I already had a 2nd place performance in Liverpool to back Cardiff up. Next up was the Northern championship in Pontefract. The cold was still lingering but I managed to come a comfortable 2nd. After the Northern the cold turned into a virus and forced another full week off training. This week off was followed by 2 decent weeks of training. Then came the National, I had hoped for a medal earlier on in the season but with the way training had gone my expectations were considerably lowered. The race was run in awful muddy conditions something which I am not well suited to. However, I exceeded my expectations and came 6th. My results up to this point had been good especially with all the missed training. I knew that with a couple more weeks of good training I could perform really well. The inter counties the finale of the UK cross challenge series was two weeks away. In the first I trained reasonably hard but well, in the second I backed off. My preseason target for the inter counties was 5th.

The race began at a ridiculous pace as it was downhill and I got boxed in and drifted down somewhere near 70th place. I didn’t panic and worked my way through. By the end of the first lap I was in the 5th but the leaders were long gone as they had clear running earlier on in the race. I just had to hold on, I did. This meant I won the UK cross challenge series.

So cross country season is nearly over, despite hampered training I achieved a northern silver medal and became the UK cross challenge champion, a successful season.

Thank you very much for the grant it has helped me in a number of ways and I’m sure my performances wouldn’t have been on the same level without it. It has also helped my mum with the expenses of travelling all over the country – again many many thanks for the very much appreciated support.

Kind regards

Emile

Winner U17 UK X Challenge

Winner U17 UK X Challenge

Will Rigg

We were very pleased to give a grant to Will Rigg towards the costs involved in the British Orienteering Talent Development Squad. This is what he has to say:

The John Taylor Foundation has helped be by providing me with the funds to Participate in the British Talent Development squad. This will give me access to Top class training camps which provide excellent coaching and training opportunities for me to develop me as an Athlete. I will have contact with the National Technical Talent Coach and the National Physical Conditioning Coach throughout the year to help monitor and aid my progress. Additionally I will receive Sport Science support including physiology testing at Manchester Metropolitan University. The training camps will prepare me for the forthcoming season so I’m in best possible shape to be up for selection for the Junior World Championships in 2015/2016 in which I aspire to be competing in and representing my country.

Will Rigg

Will in full flow

Joe Woodley

I would like to thank the John Taylor Foundation and all of the trustees for the grant I received. This support is so important and will help me to achieve my goals in 2015. I will of course provide a report and photo to let the trust know how their funding has helped me.
Kind Regards
Joe Woodley

Dominic Allen

Thank you so much for the cheque to help towards to costs of my new javelin. This will be a really great help.

I will ask my parents to look into the cardiac screening and thank you for your suggestion. I will also consider raising funds for JTF if the opportunity arises.

In July I finished my exams and I was quite pleased with the results I achieved. I am now studying A levels in chemistry, physics and maths at Exeter College. I am also doing ACES sports academy at college, which is really helping towards my athletics and fitness in general. After college I am hoping to go to Loughborough University to study Accountancy and Financial Management as well as continuing with my athletics. This is where David Parker (National Javelin coach) is based and I am currently going to Loughborough for coaching with him once or twice a month.

I have been lucky enough to have been selected by British Athletics to attend an Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence Programme. This will involve attending 9 sessions at either Bath or Loughborough College.

I am still currently going training at my local club twice a week, and also receive strength and conditioning training once a week from James Marshall (Excelsior). My aim is to becoming an international athlete for team GB and to compete at an Olympic Games.

As you can see from the amount of travelling and training necessary to be the best that I can, your financial support has been invaluable, as I would not have been able to make the most of these opportunities.

I have two part time jobs which I manage to squeeze in between training & my studies, my wages from these help a little with the costs of my athletics and also my parents do all that they can afford to support me too.

IMAG0758 2014-06-21 16.29.58

Kaeshelle Cooke

To all at the John Taylor Foundation,

I just wanted to say a big thank you to the foundation and Running Bear, my kit has arrived and everything fits perfectly. It is just what I needed as I have been having quite a stressful time at university with so many deadlines and incorporating training in and amongst it all. I cannot wait to wear the new clothing at training tomorrow. I will take some photographs and write up a report in about a weeks time and then, probably another one after my first few competitions as promised.

Thanks again,

Kaeshelle Cooke

Emile Cairess

Just want to say thank you so much for my grant money. It will really help my mum paying for things and I know she is pleased too. I am training well and racing in Liverpool on the 29th – I will get mum to take photos – she usually gets my legs or the grass though but I’ll get her to try harder

Daniel Stansfield – Junior European Cup 2014

This year I represented GB at the junior European cup in Lommel, Belgium. This involved three races over three days. The first race was the sprint discipline. I had a late start so after a long wait in quarantine the start process began. This being only my second time representing Great Britain I was more than a little nervous but managed to contain these nerves and begin reasonably smoothly. Following a pretty average first two thirds, with some small time losses I came through the spectator control in a respectable position, on the fringes of a top ten despite my mistakes. However, in my excitement I allowed my technique to go to pot in the latter stages and made a large error, which in such a short race is critical and I plummeted on the results list. Following the race I was a little gutted not to perform especially well could take many positives from the first half!

Following a reasonably early night and a rather huge buffet dinner I felt fit and ready for the long distance the following day. The long distance, however, did not go to plan. I think the pressure of the race (my main target over the course of the weekend) and my lack of any sort of speed control (running faster than I was able to efficiently navigate) caused my race to be a poor one and again the result taken from it not something I was proud of. Both the long and the sprint I feel I can take invaluable experience from, despite the frustrating results. I will approach big races very differently in the future, taking a far more controlled and steady approach.

Finally, there was the relay. I was running first leg and from the start the pace was extremely high. I managed to stay with the front for the first third, pushing with two extremely strong athletes from the upper age class, a brief experience but one I found incredibly exciting and motivational. A mistake of around thirty seconds on the eighth control let me down though, and around 15 people swarmed passed me, crammed into this half minute. Following this two more mistakes left me to come in in the top twenty, not what I could have achieved had I avoided the first error but one I was reasonably pleased with. Looking over the race at the end I was amazed at the number of people racing, who got past me after I made such a small mistake. This showed the quality of the field and is something which is driving me to get a good base in over this winter, hopefully getting some good results in the looming cross country season as well. It has left me keen for the new season.

Thank you very much for the John Taylor Foundation for helping to fund such a rewarding trip!