England team at the World Schools Champs 2017

Team photo during march

Team photo during march
Source:Alison Bartlett

The 2017 World Schools Orienteering Championships took place in in Palermo, Sicily, from the 22nd to 28th April. England took a full delegation consisting of 40 athletes and 10 coaches, generously supported by the Orienteering Foundation.

On Sunday all the teams were bussed up to Ficuzza for the training event.  It became very obvious to all that the areas was going to be very challenging requiring accurate compass work and fine navigation.  Sunday evening saw the Opening Ceremony take place with all the teams walked through the streets of Palermo with their flags.

On Monday was the Long Distance race at Ficuzza, in the very challenging terrain. On leaving the forest competitors had to negotiate their way through some of the town of Ficuzza into the final control and run-in. At one point a Bride and Groom were to be seen walking along the run in!  In the Schools W2 Merryn Stangroom from Ulverston Victoria High School took Silver, while Alastair Thomas & Ollie Lunn took 6th place on the podium in Schools M1 & M2 respectively.

Tuesday saw the Friendship event take place in the centre of Palermo . The pace was fast and furious in and out of all the alleyways but was great fun and everyone made new friends with orienteers from other countries.

Wednesday was the cultural day and a walking tour of Palermo took place, with a stop for Coffee and Italian Ice cream. The day was followed by a Cultural evening … this year we offered Cheese & Biscuits, Sweets, England wristbands, adverts for JK2018 as well as the usual offering of UK maps. Twenty four of the athletes took part in the Morris dancing, which involves a great deal of stick bashing and resulted in two broken sticks.

On Thursday the final race in the 2017 World Schools Orienteering Championships took place at Ficuzza, near Palermo in Sicily, on Thursday with some medal winning performances.  The Middle Distance race was again very technical, in similarly challenging terrain to the Long race and including part of the Model area.. 

  • Schools W2 - Gold - Merryn Stangroom - Ulverston Victoria High School
  • Schools M2 - Silver - Felix Lunn - Kenilworth School
  • Select  M2 - Silver - Flurry Grierson
  • Select W2 – 5th place Rosie Spencer

Team results are based on the combined results of the Long and Middle races, with three teams making it onto the podium:

  • Schools W2 - Silver - Ulverston Victoria High School - Jess Ensoll, Lucy Gibson, Ellie Simmonds, Merryn Stangroom and Alice Wood, moving up from 4th place to within three minutes of the winners from Spain.
  • Schools M2 - Bronze - Kenilworth School - Nathan Chapple, Ollie Flippance, Felix Lunn, Ollie Lunn and Cameron Williams-Stein , maintaining their team position from Monday's Long Race  behind the winners from the Czech Republic and Silver medallists Italy.
  • Select M2 - Silver - England - Jim Bailey, Adam Conway, Oliver Fox, Flurry Grierson and Charlie Rennie, improving one place to finish behind the winners from Spain.

Slightly further down results were both

  • School M1 Cockermouth School – 4th - Joe Goodwin, Zac Hudd, Louis Morris, Daniel Spencer, Alastair Thomas
  • Select W2 – 4th - Evie Conway, Anna Harris, Caitlin Irving, Rosie Spencer, Holly Stodgell.
  • Select W1 - 5th - Hannah Hateley, Ashleigh Howells, Niamh Hunter, Daisy Partridge,Tara Schwarze-Chintapatla
  • Select M1 - 9th place
  • Schools W1 UVHS - 14th place

Many thanks to both the Orienteering Foundation, and BSOA for all their support.

22nd Aug 17