JROS coaching course report

Earlier this year we awarded a grant to support young coaches at the Junior Regional Orienteering Squads (JROS) level 2 coaching course this summer. A total of 5 coaches were supported to attend, read on for a report of the course from co-organiser Iain Harding, and comments from some of the trainee coaches. 

This is the fourth time that Iain Harding and Tony Carlyle have volunteered a week of their time to provide a residential level 2 coach training course, specifically targeting young orienteers who could make a significant contribution to coaching over their life. Our feeling is that these young people may be more likely to stay in the sport and much more likely to give back to it if we can provide an initial level of coach training as an enjoyable and immersive package experience; noting also that the commitment, organisation, and self-study required by the current mainstream delivery method do not suit young people particularly well.

The main barrier to participation for this target audience is cost, with the £275 course registration fee, travel, accommodation, and venue expenses.

This year’s course was particularly successful in alleviating these barriers, thanks to 

This year was exceptional compared to previous courses in that only 3 of the 8 participants were young orienteers under 25. This was due to relatively low application numbers (two others did apply but only a few weeks before the course start date at which point other candidates had been given spaces). However, this year was also exceptional in the potential positive contribution that the older candidates may make to orienteering. Of the two other candidates from Great Britain and Northern Ireland that were funded by the Orienteering Foundation, one is extremely active as a club development officer in South Wales (also part funded by the Orienteering Foundation!), and is providing a huge amount of energy and opportunity into bringing young people into the sport in her area, and the other is starting to contribute increasingly in Northern Ireland where there are very few active or qualified coaches able to provide opportunities for young people there. The other three not funded by the Foundation due to being located in the Republic of Ireland are highly experienced outdoor instructors and trainers, operating in an area with almost no orienteering opportunities whatsoever at present. Their teamwork and motivation, supported by this course, will start to provide some opportunities that could expand the sport into a whole new geographical region.

Overall the course was very successful, with excellent feedback received from participants. Below are appended notes of thanks from each of the participants that were supported by the Orienteering Foundation. I would also like to note my personal thanks to the Orienteering Foundation for its kind and proactive support of this initiative, and also my personal thanks to Tony Carlyle who’s effort, enthusiasm, and commitment were outstanding throughout the week.

Amy Lee-Jones

Thank you so much for supporting my participation in the coaching course. The course was extremely useful and was very valuable in helping to develop my coaching skills. I found the theory behind how to coach especially beneficial, helping me to understand why coaching is effective. I plan to use the coaching qualification o enable me to coach juniors at my local club, coach regional squads and coach at university.

Kerina Lake

Many thanks to the Orienteering Foundation for their support with funding the recent Level 2 Coaching Course I attended. The course was a fantastic opportunity to learn how to take my coaching to the next level, tutors Iain and Tony expertly guided us through the week and provided invaluable insight into coaching from their many years of experience. Having a mix of ages and people with different orienteering backgrounds attend the course was hugely beneficial in learning new approaches, techniques and I am looking forward to building on what we learned in the course to start up structured coaching sessions within my own club and in developing the Swansea Bay Junior Squad.

Norma Rae

Thank-you so much for the support to complete this Level Two Coaching Award. Over the past number of years I have been supporting both my children and their friends to take part in orienteering. Over these years there was no junior or introductory training available to them – so I took them around little weekly courses in the summer months from when they were toddlers - shadowing them on Yellow, Orange and more recently Green. Three juniors and one adult are now independent. However, as each progressed I was acutely aware that I did not have the skills necessary to coach them beyond Green standard. This award and its associated training has facilitated me to do this.
In addition, in recent years I have run introductory orienteering sessions at a local post-primary school, as part of summer youth programmes and have been asked to host orienteering sessions with local youth and scout groups. This award will facilitate me to deliver these sessions to a higher and progressive standard.
Lastly, my son is aged 12 and is very keen to participate competitively in orienteering. There is no coaching available for his level locally - I therefore hope to use the skills and knowledge I have gained from this course to support him from time to time - either individually or as part of a small group within the local club.
Thank-you to Iain and Tony for all the skills and knowledge shared during the taught programme. I have gained an insight into many valuable coaching exercises that I can apply.

Sarah Darley

I’d like to thank Orienteering Foundation for their support, as the course allowed me to learn so much about coaching techniques as well as put it all into practice throughout the week in a range of scenarios. I am planning on using these skills to coach juniors in my club and region, as well as hopefully coaching on summer camps.

Maya Hampshire Wright

I really enjoyed the coaching course: the coaching exercises were fun and the people were great. I have benefited greatly from being coached on the JROS camps and it was interesting to understand coaching and training from the perspective of a coach. I am glad to coach on Lagganlia to give back and inspire other juniors and as a university student the coaching course has given me some good insights that will help me introduce other students to orienteering and improve the university club.
Last updated: Sun 27 Aug 2023