Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Day 10 of Youth Squad Tour in Sweden

Not much has happened today considering that I am writing this at 12:00. We did a different kind of Orienteering event at Hellasgården just over the road from the clubhouse. At the start, we played a game of Uno and you would run the 0,9km course when you have no more cards, just as you would do in a normal game of Uno. 


Matthew got rid of all his cards first, then me, then Carl straight away, then Andries, Rory,  Sarah and last and not least Heather. Everyone went to the wrong place at first (except for Carl) for the first control (due to the very small scale of 1:1000) which caused a major hiccup in the ending results depending on how fast everyone realized that they were in the wrong place.

The final results were as follows: Matthew, Carl, me, Rory, Andries, Heather and last but not least Sarah. At the end we got two chocolate, marzipan Swedish cakes. Heather wiped out on the first dock by number 14 and she got a major scrape on her thigh.


Written by James Hancock

Closing remarks (written by everyone)

Memorable moment

AndriesThe time Heather and I was running along trying to find one control and we stepped in mud, me losing a shoe. The mud had pulled my shoe straight from my foot. There I learned how to tighten your shoes properly and that while going through swamps you can lose shoes sometimes.Another memorable moment was the Gamla stan orienteering map and the guillotine in the middle where they hang people's heads when they were killed if they disobey the law.

After running through the old town we got back and two little kids were playing on it. Luckily the view was amazing and we were awed by the entire scenery.

Sarah: Going through the old town roads, alleys, river and cathedral  as it seemed distinctively European and it was historic and beautiful.

Carl: The whole of the tour was a memorable moment in itself. Probably one I won't forget is during our last event Matt and I were the last two people to finish. Otherwise it would be running through the old Stockholm town.

HeatherI don't have a memorable moment because there were so many, so instead I will say my most memorable thing which is making names for each stupid thing we did eg. Doing a Carl is getting very lost, Doing a James is forgetting your bus ticket, an an Andries is losing your shoe in the Marsh. A Matthew is closing your eyes for the photograph, a Sarah is rolling off your mattress and sleeping on the floor and a Heather is going back for seconds (or thirds) when some people are still busy on their first helping

James: The most memorable moments from an Orienteering perspective were doing the three events and running through the first forest behind the clubhouse because that was the first time that we ran in a proper forest. From a non-orienteering perspective, the best moments were going through the Old City, seeing the Royal Family up close (my mom was so jealous), Seeing the different sights that a different country can offer and bonding better as friends.

Rory: It was all memorable

MatthewLearning that they start orienteering at about 10 years of age.

But my best moment was when Carl and I walked a course because we learnt so much about our skills and that trusting your skills are important.
Tania: Having the pleasure of Nick Barrable acting as our guide, coordinator and coach. It was wonderful listening to his stories about the areas we visited and events we were participating. One particular story he shared is the history of the 10mila, and the occasions when OK Ravinen won it. Through his contact we then had the pleasure of meeting Lina, who was one of the clubs stars when they won the trophy. We then had a gentlemen at the Luffarligan bring us a newspaper from the 70s with the story of how the club won it. He explain to Nick,( who translated for me) that he wrote the poem for the wooden message in the year that OK Ravinen won the trophy!

Bev: I loved seeing Sweden from an orienteering perspective - walking through forests, marshy areas, parks, school grounds and the Old City. We experienced snow, sleet, rain and finally sun. We met friendly locals - at club events and competitions. We traveled by air, train, bus and car. We were fortunate enough to see the Royal Family up close ( it was the King's birthday so the Palace was closed to tourists). All in all everything was memorable. Andries singing " everything is awesome, everything is cool when you're part of a team..." will always be a good memory.

Favourite map/ area

Nearly everyone: The map of the old Stockholm town. It was absolutely amazing to run through the old town through the alleys, around the palace, around the cathedral and the Noble museum. It was equally historic and beautiful.

In addition to the old city, I also enjoyed the second map of day two across the road from the club house, as I found it easy to read the map and predict what the circle would look like.

All of the maps were fantastic and especially todays 1:1000 map scale really fooled us. But as a favourite I would choose the map near Gudo on day 4. The map had a huge amount of marshes so you had difficult route choices to make. It also had the widest range of features.

My favourite map was the map we did with the gymnasium school on day 4. I enjoyed the mix between urban and forest terrain and found it very fun to run in.



The map around  the old city and Hellasgården were especially fun, but the map that we did at the last event (day 9) was by far the most beautiful and the most technical.

Day 9, the long event was very scenic and the best terrain I ran in. You could get going fast once you got on top of the hills between the marshes, with great visibility, but you still experienced Sweden, having to plunge knee deep through a  marsh to make the best route choice. Although the coldest day, the map for day 7 at Lissma was also fantastic. The soft, obvious contours were easy to read and there were fun patches of really interesting spongy moss to bounce through.


Orienteering lesson/s
Rory: Learning that the features (e.g. boulder) are drawn differently in SA

SarahI learnt how to read the European mapping style and about reverse attack points. This is where you have an attack point to leave the control, to make sure you are going in the correct direction.

Heather: The thing that I learnt on this trip was that Swedish forests and all other European Forests are very different to South African forests. For one, they aren't plantations but natural wilderness and also there are so many features they only mark a few/ the very big ones. The contours are also a lot more complicated and this helped me to further my contour reading ability.
James: The most important lessons for me were that no matter what country you are in, the map and the mapper will always be different in comparison to what we know. You just have to deal with it, be brave, find your way and determine the difference between a knoll and a boulder.

Another very important lesson is how to orienteer on the offensive and not the defensive. Defensive orienteering is looking at your map constantly unsure of what you have to do, and trying to find the features on the map as you go past them. Offensive orienteering is having a plan on where to go and to know which features you are going to go past before you get there. This technique greatly helped at the last event after I remembered about it after control point 5.

Matthew:  A very important lesson for me was how to orienteer on the offensive and not the defensive. 

Carl: I learnt to rely on and use my skills more. Like using my compass constantly and relocating in an area which was a completely different area from what we are used to.

Andries: These one and a half weeks taught me how to read contours, to just keep going, to not stand still for more than 30 seconds. When you are lost you must keep moving, otherwise you just keep on staring at the same features and your mind can't process anything new. Further,  I also learned how to orienteer while running, Lastly, I have learned that all maps mapping styles and terrain differs all over the world.

Special Thanks to:

Nick Barrable, our Swedish based coordinator and coach, and the generosity of  Ok Ravinen and its members. Without Nick and his club the tour would never have happened!

Tania Wimberley, the local coach accompanying the team.

Beverley Holmes, who ensured our tummies were always full.


2016 Youth Tour Sponsor

Buff SA for sponsoring polar fleece Buffs and keeping us warm.
 Run Bag SA, so we had a place to put the cameras to take all the pictures
 2016 Youth Tour Sponsor

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