Aspiring Elites

JWOC medallists

JWOC medallists

British Orienteering and The Orienteering Foundation launch new initiative

We are delighted to announce that we are providing funding of £3,000 per year for the next 3 years to help facilitate the provision of additional support to young senior elites.

The British Orienteering Performance Pathway Review highlighted the need to help athletes with their junior to senior transition, and this is seen as a key area for attention in supporting our young seniors towards success at senior level. Athletes in their first few years as seniors are those who no longer benefit from the extensive support provided to the Talent Squad, yet are often less established in their international orienteering development. Our funding will enable a significant element of the further support identified as a priority for this group.

In particular, this funding is intended to enable a group (typically 10-14) of aspiring elite athletes to benefit from:

  • Monthly collaborative video sessions: sharing training and development ideas, preparing for competitions, expertise from guest speakers
  • Opportunities to access additional 1-2-1 support and mentoring
  • Provision of coaching support at a development training camp each year

In the first year, we are running the project as a pilot which will be overseen within the existing structure of support provided by British Orienteering. We anticipate that learning from the pilot will feed in to the approach in subsequent years, alongside the planned changes to the wider British Orienteering Performance Pathway.

We are very pleased to say that Hector Haines and Jo Stevenson have agreed to lead co-ordination of this first year of the project. Both have extensive experience and knowledge of the international orienteering scene, and their involvement will be hugely beneficial.

The project is launching with immediate effect and will encompass the younger seniors from the British Orienteering Senior Squad plus a small number of additional athletes from just outside the squad, where these additional athletes are also in the target age range and not already benefiting from another formal support arrangement. The British Orienteering senior selection panel have named the following athletes to be the initial participants: 

Cecilie Andersen

Alex Carcas

Fiona Bunn

Alexander Chepelin

Megan Carter-Davies

Nathan Lawson

Sarah Jones

Harrison McCartney

Grace Molloy

Aidan Rigby

Chloe Potter

Alastair Thomas

Fay Walsh

Thomas Wilson

 

Our chair Andrew Evans said:

I am excited that we are able to partner with British Orienteering to launch this project. There is a clear opportunity for increased support to the development of athletes in this age group, and we believe this project can make a real difference for them in the transition to senior international competition.

Andrew goes on to explain how this project came about for us:

The support to the young senior elites was a project that was initiated by the Orienteering Foundation. Starting with the Peformance Pathway Review report we had discussions with 10 key individuals involved in the coaching and selection of elite athletes at both junior and senior levels to seek to identify the greatest need for support. The responses were very consistent; support was available at junior levels but there was a big drop in the availability of coaching and mentoring as the athletes emerged from the junior programme. We decided to focus our limited resources at the Orienteering Foundation on the age group 21 to 25 in the hope that the funding that we are able to provide will be a helpful contribution to those high performing athletes moving up from the junior ranks and seeking to be competitive at senior international level.

The Orienteering Foundation’s priority is to provide funding for the project rather than be directional as to its delivery. British Orienteering has existing structures in place for the engagement of mentors and the management of the senior programme and the Trustees felt is was particularly important that we did not cut across the existing arrangements in a way that could be detrimental overall. We are particularly grateful to Peter Hart at British Orienteering and Jon Cross as Chair of the Senior Selection panel for their enthusiasm and endorsement of the proposition that we provided to them.

22nd Apr 21