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Talent to burn

Show Profile  Hamish Posted: 4 June 2009, 12:21 PM  
I must say I was most impressed by the orienteering form shown by the school kids at Queens Birthday. With this new inter regional competition (Well done Mike Beveridge) these kids have had to move up a level from usual school grades. It really has shown we have talent to burn. Instead of struggling each year to fill the NZSS team in junior grades the selectors will now have to work hard to leave people out. The list of certainties is very short.
Surely this must be great for the sport and the progress Mike has made in Auckland must make a few people think of the logical direction our orienteering energy should take.

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 4 June 2009, 2:24 PM  
Totally agree Hamish; no point having a top tier of superb elites without a new bunch of talent lined up for 10 years time. Saw some great form from all ages out in the forest over the weekend and while there are lots of kids looking to the elites for inspiration there are probably a few elites also looking over their shoulders worriedly at the young and hungry.

Show Profile  robbie Posted: 4 June 2009, 8:31 PM  
yes I agree BUT we must have some concern with no m12 starters. Lots of kids take part in primary school champs so where are they?

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 5 June 2009, 9:04 AM  
M12 aren't in the secondary schools group. I can't really see this age grade ever extending beyond orienteering families with young kids.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 5 June 2009, 9:45 AM  
Totally agree Hamish, talent to burn.

In terms of direction for our sport though I'm not sure...we need the complete package...

When I was at school in Dunedin the Southland Schoolc champs regularly topped 300 (pretty much one club!!). 10 years later the club was in trouble. Pour all your energy into secondary schools at your own peril!!

Like in the Bay there needs to be people converting some of this energy to new workers for the club.

Has there been a write-up of the schools results yet?



Show Profile  Hamish Posted: 5 June 2009, 12:48 PM  
You're right Robbie - that is the ideal age to be aiming at so they can get good enough earlier enough to compete at events like this and Nationals.
We had enough kids to look after without going any younger (but we did have 3 intermediate age kids in the team).
Jamie - we do need the complete package - I think we are more likely to achieve this by aiming at this age group and younger. In HB we have found that by attracting the kids along to events you get parents 'giving it a go' after a couple of times sitting in the car. You need club members actively encouraging them the benefits of being able to discuss courses afterwards with their kids. On our committee this year we have half of them that started after their kids. We have a lot of parents running the same courses as their kids - kids love to compete with and against Mum and Dad.
I think your statement pouring all your energy into SS at your own peril is pretty negative. We aren't going to find workers by pouring energy anywhere else.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 5 June 2009, 4:49 PM  
just pointing out some of the lessons of history...

I think your successful model is much more complex than just "pouring energy" into secondary schools. Two words "Birkenhead College".

Its sort of like kiwi chicks (you know as in the bird). No good having lots of chicks when they get eaten before they breed. :-)

Show Profile  pcbrent Posted: 5 June 2009, 5:16 PM  
What Birkenhead chicks are you referring to?

Show Profile  thomasr Posted: 5 June 2009, 5:40 PM  
I agree its awesome getting kids involved, i think the key question is where is the write up. We need to make sure that results and news are going back to the schools. It will drive recognition and perhaps become a first step towards shedding our "nerdy" reputation. Has anyone done a write up? If not, where is the info so someone (me if no-one else will, bear in mind i didnt see alot of it)

Show Profile  valerie Posted: 7 June 2009, 8:09 AM  
In Hawkes Bay there has been a report in the local paper,and reports have been sent to some of the schools.

Show Profile  thomasr Posted: 7 June 2009, 10:38 AM  
Thanks val, do you want to send me a copy so we can share with other schools outside those in the Hawkes Bay.

Show Profile  valerie Posted: 7 June 2009, 12:58 PM  
Eh? I can see you are going to be a Specialist Thomas.....why would i do that? We have always sent off reports to the schools that we take kids to, e.g. HNI, NBHS, NGHS and presume other coaches do the same....think we may be at cross purposes here. Maybe its just Akld that that sees that O-ing is "nerdy"? Im sure AMber and Kate have never been seen as being nerdy, or Ross and Duncan for that matter....if anything they have dispelled that myth in HB.

Show Profile  thomasr Posted: 7 June 2009, 5:59 PM  
Whoa. back up the truck. I was just asking so that we can share resources, id love to see what hb do so that we can do similar things up here. Was just after a copy of the article?

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 7 June 2009, 6:11 PM  
Hey Val better get onto those Aussies - still no results after two days of the national MTB-O champs!

Show Profile  DMjunior Posted: 8 June 2009, 1:39 PM  
Well this is the first time I have commented on maptalk and I just want to say a few things. Firstly, at HBOC we have a publicity officer whose job is to write up orienteering events to send to the local paper. And that person is me. There is nothing stopping you tom, or any other people typing up an article and emailing it into the paper or even posting it on maptalk. And this nerdy reputation you speak of, I totally agree that this is the general thought toward orienteers in New Zealand but if we look at why this is the case it is because of the people who started up orienteering in New Zealand. they were middle aged and getting older, they didnt recognise the need for juniors and publicity and finally they did a bit of what is happening on this post and put the blame elsewhere and complain about something that they could do themselves. Another issue regarding young talent is What is there once red or orange level runner leaves school, nothing. There is the development squad which looks as though you have to be already rather developed to make, and then there is nothing. From an hb perspective, apart from Jamie BW in recent years, runners that have been coached to the red level and have plenty of talent are just lost as there is no follow up..... Development even. The actual desired outcome of the D-squad is what? I know that lately james has been inviting out of squad members to camps but these people are predominantly from orienteering families. The Development squad should encompass runners that have the talent and need the development starting from the end of near the end of their schooling. If we address this problem we will see more competitors around that 17-20 age group which means higher levels of runners which can only be good for NZ orienteering. Lastly thanks to Mike and Simon and all the organizers from qb weekend. It was awesome.

Show Profile  James Posted: 8 June 2009, 5:10 PM  
Duncan, the actual desired outcome of the d-squad is to provide training opportunities and coaching for squad members to allow them to reach their potential. The idea is that these squad members will one day represent NZ at JWOC and progress onto the National Squad (whatever that reallys means, as currently all it is an opportunitiy to get discounts on shoes). Yes i try and invite other athletes from outside the squad, and i would love to invite more up and comers. But i often dont get any coaching support from any others, and as a result i barely get to spend anytime actually coaching the current squad members. The most recent camps there has only been 2 coaches to spread amongst the entire squad (ideally i think it should be 1 coach to every 4 athletes). Those that are invited are not selected because they are from families, but because they have potential. I personally spoke to a couple of HB juniors over the wknd that i would have liked to put in the squad because they have enourmous potential. But unfortunately due to lack of support with the squad, i simply cant justify having so many athletes!

What really needs to be established are regional junior squads to act as a development stepping stone between competing at secondary school and being apart of the d-squad. (These used to exist in the 90's and i had a quick stint at trying to get one up and running in Akld before i took up the d-squad coaching role). Recently Mike beveridge brought up the exact same problem, that we dont have anything to actually develop these juniors. Resulting from that, Tom Reynolds has put his hand up to help co-ordinate something in the akld region, but this has only just got off the ground and will probably take a few years to really take full effect.

If these squads existed in every region, we would actually have a structure and pathway for athletes to develop and progress. But in order to achieve this, we need coaches/co-ordinators to make this happen! Any volunteers?

(p.s. your example of JBW is a good one. He has had outstanding results this year, but they've all come completely off his own back with very little (if any) support. Lucky that we've got him, unlike
several others that have slipped through the gaps!



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