Redmaids' High represent South West at Junior Inter-Regional Orienteering Championships
Orienteering at Redmaids’ High continues to go from strength to strength. As well as introducing students to this competitive, adventurous sport, we pride ourselves on developing athletes to reach their full potential. As a school, we continue to rank amongst the top teams at both regional and national levels and have been delighted, in recent years, to have a number of students selected to represent the South-West of England in the South-West Junior Orienteering Squad (SWJOS).
They dedicate much of their spare time to training both physically and technically, attending camps around the region, and competing in races against other top juniors. Some have even been selected into the prestigious ‘Talent South’ squad, the first step on the national squad development pathway, in which they are mentored by the finest coaches in the country.
Last weekend was the Junior Inter-regional Championships at Tyrella, in Northern Ireland. Megan (Year 9), Matilda (Year 10), Leni (Year 10), Emily (Year 13), and Amy (Year 13) were all selected for the squad, meaning that Redmaids' High made up over half the female members of the team.
Megan in Year 9 told us how the students felt as they travelled to the competition, " I was a little nervous but mostly excited while on the coach to where we were staying. When we arrived at the campus where we were staying we all started getting more excited and as you would expect the first night's sleep was hardly any at all. On the first full day, getting ready and travelling down to the event we were all getting more nervous and excited the closer we got. The only part when we were all really nervous was actually in the start pen with the clock counting down to our start. After the first day, we all felt excitement for the next day."
On the first day, they competed individually, earning points for the squad, who came a very respectable 4th overall. On Day 2, they were part of relay teams. The girls performed amazingly, running in tricky, sand dune terrain over the weekend; in particular, Emily’s top drawer effort in the Sunday relay earning her trio a podium position.
Reflecting on the competition, Emily in Year 13 said "The competition involved an individual day on Saturday and a relay on Sunday with a ceilidh on Saturday evening. It was tough running both days because of the undergrowth and steep slopes and this increased the importance of navigating well. There were no paths so all our navigation was done on the basis of contours, it was tricky to balance the risk of running hard and ensuring you maintained map contact because we all wanted to get a good time, this was especially true with the pressure of the relay. "
Orienteering is a fantastic sport for students to try out. Emily said one of the reasons she loves orienteering is because "it is an individual sport that allows you to spend time with yourself. Making quick decisions under pressure forces you to have a clear mind and in time you learn to trust your judgment a lot more. I would encourage other students to try orienteering because it is a great way to get active and increase your independence. It also brings many opportunities to visit unique landscapes both further and closer to home. "
The school orienteering club is open to new members from Year 3 to Year 13. Come along to one of our visiting events this term to find out more about our extra-curricular clubs and speak to Mr Hayward for Junior school orienteering or Mr Kim for the Senior school.