One of the unique features of the World Schools Championships Orienteering is that the national teams are not only made up of students from throughout the country but you also have a mix of "mainstream" family orienteers and those who take part with their school.
Our solution to this has traditionally been to organise a weekend get together in February / March to provide some relevant training but more importantly to give the time to build a sense of team before departing for the Championships.
For 2019 the challenge was increased as we had the widest geographical spread of participants yet, including our first off mainland competitor and, due to the events clash with the Scottish Qualifications exams, the least experienced team since 2004. We therefore supplemented our "National" get together with two more localised training events to provide a more rounded preparation for Estonia.
Training was held on Deeside and in Edinburgh, and the main weekend based around an event on the hillside above Greenock on the West Coast of Scotland on the Sunday.
Before that we experienced all that a March day can throw at you during our training day. The controls were put out in heavy snow, several team members had a delayed arrival due to train cancellations, rain then followed and it was a wet and weary group that made their way to the overnight accommodation at Braehead. After showering, eating and watching a great comeback from Scotland in the Six Nations, we had 3 sessions on various aspects of what to expect when we arrived in Estonia.
Thankfully the Sunday event was held in cold but sunny conditions and the fantastic views over the Firth of Clyde were in total contrast to the training the day before.
Team Scotland would like to thank the Orienteering Foundation for their continued support for this important element of our participation in the ISF Championships.