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World Schools

Show Profile  lyns Posted: 3 September 2014, 11:05 AM  
Duncan - you have me confused with Linda Smith, the national Schools coordinator. Note the "I" not "Y". Not me. You owe her an apology for assuming and making implied accusations about her role which are very wrong and unfair.

I am just a parent of a keen but not first rung W14, and work as a volunteer organiser with an Auckland secondary school which has produced at least one excellent individual (before my time) but is not historically big in orienteering across the board. We are working hard on changing that. I hold no official positions, and my opinions are my own.

Thanks for the additional response, which does partly resolve some of the contradiction I felt was present in your previous posts. I think where I was coming from was that there seemed to be a bit of "push out the boat I'm on" about someone from Hawkes Bay saying yes its great to send schools teams, but not "selected" teams, when only the "selected" team would give kids from a wider range of schools the same opportunity which Hawkes Bay apparently values.

I agree it is very important to encourage schools to grow. I spend a lot of my time trying to do that in a school where rugby, netball, football and rowing are gods, but we both know that it takes years. For the kid at a small-O school NOW it is not very helpful to say - oh, it'll be a big sport at your school in 10 years if everyone works hard.

I think your last lot of comments are helpful - but it perhaps would have been better for ONZ to have realised all this before issuing a selection notice that they apparently weren't going to use.

Show Profile  lyns Posted: 3 September 2014, 11:12 AM  
Also, just to clarify - I don't mean to imply that the Hawkes Bay schools are "favoured" in any improper way in being selected as rep schools. They have the depth, and that is the criterion. Good on them.

What I meant was, if we accept that the experience is a valuable one (you have explained why it might not have the value some seek, but still, clearly it has value), the individual kids who are lucky enough to go to big-O schools (eg Hawkes Bay) NOW are effectively "favoured" by being eligible for this opportunity, in comparison to equally or more talented/hard working/etc kids who happen not to go to a currently 'Big-O' school.

Show Profile  DMjunior Posted: 3 September 2014, 11:29 AM  
You are right Lyns, I do owe Linda Smith an apology - I didn't think it would make sense her speaking out on a public forum in that fashion - so apologies Linda, got the wrong Lyn S.

Classic got the wrong person hiding behind a username trick.

Just because ONZ has a selection policy doesn't mean they have to select a team. In the case where they deem it appropriate to send a team they therefore have a policy which they will use. In this case they have decided not to send a team which in my opinion is a sensible decision and I have given my reasons why.

Show Profile  Jane H Posted: 3 September 2014, 1:50 PM  
How do we find out under what criteria/circumstances ONZ WILL find it appropriate to send a selected team?

The group of boys available this year for the Senior team ticked a lot of the boxes, but obviously it wasn't enough. We need to find out what they were missing so we get closer to what ONZ require before 2016.

(But it may all be a waste of discussion if ISSF decide to ditch any selected team participation, this may have been the last time they are included in the competition. The orienteering event is the largest group they deal with but they are very reluctant to drop so many out of such a worthwhile event. It is a head-ache to cater for 750+
teenagers at one time and I appreciate their difficult decisions to come.)

Show Profile  Jane H Posted: 3 September 2014, 2:09 PM  
Thanks Svendp for your link above, I hadn't seen it updated. Last time I checked they had the Australian flag instead of NZ's. Glad they have it right now.

I vividly remember one of the things our son Callum said when he got home from Italy in 2011 .... he "felt real good when he walked on the plane and his two medals were clinking together". [It was the safest place to have them].

Phillip and I are really appreciative of all the work done by everyone to give Callum the chance to have his little bit of success. I shall keep campaigning to get others the chance to try their luck too.

Show Profile  nick Posted: 3 September 2014, 5:37 PM  
Michael: Thats not funny bro. I'll let you off once, but you crossed the line, srsly.

Andrew [?] I'm not getting into the ins & outs of this decision. I don't need to because what pisses me off is when parents stand on the sideline yelling obscenities at the referee who has volunteered his time on a cold wet Saturday morning so that some strangers kids can play a game of XXXXball. Sorry mate, but you were being That Guy. In NZ orienteering you don't call for "change at the top" unless you're willing to step up and do it yourself (IF you get the votes).

You've gotta be realistic about what ONZ can do. Its not NZRFU. Its not TriNZ or BowlsNZ. Even Aussie Rules has more capacity than ONZ. We have a part-time GM (thanks Sport NZ), and 99% of *everything* else that happens in our sport is done by volunteers. For scale, think Ultimate Frisbee, Olympic Wrestling, Ice Hockey. The reality is ONZ can't do everything it might like to do. And, more important - the whole O community in NZ is healthier if ONZ stays focussed on its strategic priorities. Anything outside of that, if you want it to happen its DIY or STFU. (As an aside we are remarkably productive volunteer community - something to celebrate, no?)

So, if you've the fundraising plan, and the kids want international experience... you could do a trip to Europe. You could arrange a school exchange with a school in Denmark, Sweden, Norway or Finland. You could go to Oringen or any of the hundreds of significant O events throughout Europe. No selection required - just who wants to improve their orienteering and make some good friends & memories.

One last thing... I *have* to call bullshit on the Winston Reid quote upthread. To you I say: Matt Ogden. Tim Robertson. Nick Hahn. Lizzie Ingham. Chris Forne.

Show Profile  Orienteererer Posted: 3 September 2014, 7:46 PM  
"Any selection which is not performance based may end being financially driven, and this is not the basis by which Orienteering NZ select representative teams."

So why didn't they make a selection based on performance? Can someone explain that one too me, I just don't understand their logic.

All ONZ had to do was make a selection, then a whole lot of kids would have gone overseas and enjoyed the sport we all love. It would have been awesome.

Instead ONZ decided not to. Their reasons sound like complete bullshit. Presumably no more teams will ever be selected for the World Schools unless it becomes an IOF sanctioned event.

Those previous World Schools results that Svend has pointed out must be quite an embarrassment to ONZ now. Imagine seeing NZers perform well at such low prestige event. How awkward.

If it was because ONZ are having trouble with resources and selections are becoming a burden then they should have said so. We could look to solve the problem.

Instead we get some mumbo jumbo which does make them look out of touch, if not completely incompetent.

And I think Andrew has been pretty reasonable about things. He wasn't exactly calling for a Steven Sotloff.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 3 September 2014, 10:15 PM  
I've been reading through these posts and have to say I agree most with Nick. When I first read the early posts I thought - if you want to go to Europe just go - there are plenty of events to go to, you don't have to go to the World Schools. I agree fundraising is probably a bit easier when you have a label like that attached but I've seen plenty of schools fundraising for their tour to some country or other that don't seem to involve any championships. And personally it seems to me if it's not the best kids going anyway (that would presumably be close to the same team that is already selected to go to the Australian school events) then isn't it a bit of a charade to say you're going to the World School Champs anyway?
And I also agree with Nick re the comment about having to go overseas to get better (a la Winston Reid). You can plenty better at orienteering in NZ. Going overseas might be more relevant in a sport where you're actually meeting the other talents on the field or even a running race where you're going head-to-head but it's not really the case in orienteering. To be good you have to have good technique which works in a variety of terrain and be very fit - both of those you can achieve in NZ. The only downside in NZ is you have to organise rather a lot of the events/trainings yourself, as our volunteer base is small and the number of events on is correspondingly small. But we've got one of the best ranges of terrain that you'll find in a small area anywhere - if you're really serious about getting better, it'll be much more cost effective to travel around NZ doing events. Of course if you're at the level where you're winning easily in NZ then it's a bit different because then you don't feel the pressure you feel at a big overseas event, where you know you have to be right at your limit technically and speedwise to win. But until you're at that point you don't need to go overseas to get better.
But of course it is great fun to do overseas events, and as someone who regularly spends a couple of weeks annually orienteering in Europe I would never deny that. And it is motivating to have an event to train for. So yes I would encourage everyone to go and have a great time orienteering in Europe. But best you try and get as good as you can in NZ before you go because that will make it more fun. And because going to Europe is not some magic bullet that will make you better. Orienteering lots makes you better where ever you do it.
(But living in Scandinavia is another thing - then you get to train every night (if you want to) after work in great terrain - that is something that is very hard to do in NZ, and is something that can really help you improve. But that's quite different from going over to Europe and running a few-day championship or even a couple of weeks of events).

As far as the doing well at the Schools Champs - that is the school teams that are doing well. As far I've understood from other countries the schools champs is all about school teams going. I hadn't realised there were individuals allowed to go, I don't think there are many other countries that do send individuals are there? Of course if ONZ wants to send a team with individuals it doesn't matter what other countries think of it. But personally returning to my original reaction I can't quite get why if you want to go to Europe so much why you don't just go to any of the other great multiday events that are on every summer in Europe - for if it isnt really the best individual school students in NZ going it's all a bit of an act anyway, isn't it?

Show Profile  Jane H Posted: 4 September 2014, 7:27 AM  
It's very hard for a Year 12 student to argue with a school principal that "I want time away from school next term to go to an event in Europe." (that no one else from NZ is going to). Principals aren't co-operative with ideas like this AT ALL.

Show Profile  Jane H Posted: 4 September 2014, 7:43 AM  
We have debated Nick's comments here and agree you first need talent and be keen to make you near the top. I have looked at the names mentioned as suggested. Lets see, Tim first .... selected to go to World School's Cross-country twice I think, and did hockey out of NZ. So was it just his talent and fitness in NZ or the appetite to do better out of NZ because of early contact with others out of NZ. The others were all better the second year they went to JWOC, the first being an "experience".

Show Profile  Jane H Posted: 4 September 2014, 7:49 AM  
Of course we should have been discussing this topic with the ONZ Constitution in mind. It's emphasis is for the leaders to make decisions for the clubs. Not for individuals. Our HB club members are divided on topic of selected teams so ONZ is right to err on the side of caution on behalf of our club. I am thankful there is a policy for school teams to be allowed to go.

Show Profile  mark Posted: 4 September 2014, 7:52 AM  
Not true Jane H. I had no problems taking time off in Year 12 to attend an overseas orienteering carnival that no other NZ juniors attended. I wasn't representing NZ or anything like that, so it was essentially an orienteering holiday and the school had no problem with me being away.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 4 September 2014, 7:55 AM  
But don't they have holidays at high school anymore? Ok going to Europe for 2 weeks is a bit of a shame but when you're flexible to choose which events you go to you can go to the ones which are in the NZ holidays and probably you can steal a day or two either side of the holiday out of school without the Principle noticing...
(Luckily at primary school they still seem to think it's a great opportunity whenever we ask - but we also have the excuse that we're visiting grandparents (and that is a good part of our motivation to get to Europe most years).)

Also I thought about it a bit more and I think I get it a little more - what you're after is kind of a scout jamboree for orienteering where anyone regardless of ability can turn up, orienteer and socialise with other similar-aged orienteers from around the world. I'm not sure this is what the individual part of the World School champs is supposed to be but I guess it is kind of the idea for the teams representing their schools. Going to holiday events in Europe is not quite this but it wouldn't be too hard to make it like this by contacting some of the other clubs that were going and organising some social events with their club members. (Many clubs in Europe pick one or two holiday events each year which they organise a club tour to attend - joining up with one of these clubs would be a good way to meet people.)

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 4 September 2014, 7:56 AM  
whoops Principle = Principal

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 4 September 2014, 11:26 AM  
I remember my high school head saying that he was our "pal". Though it didn't feel like that when I was called into his office for a misdemeanour...

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