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From The Chair 2011

Chairman Bob (November 2011)

With the AGM behind us, the new committee is getting on with developing the framework that allows Octavian Droobers to function.

You will have noticed the new web-site format.  This is the result of many hours work by our new web-master Alan Segar.  Alan is keen to get your feedback, so please do drop Alan a line and tell him what you think.  Barry Elkington has also been working very hard on our Club Mark documentation.  Barry was quick to spot that the majority of required documentation could be web based and was just as quick to engage Alan to implement.  It is hoped that the Club will be in a position in the new year to apply to regain Club Mark accreditation.

You will see elsewhere in this edition that Andy Emmerson has put together a job description for the role of junior representative(s).  It has been thought that the role has been a bit vague in the past.  The committee value the input we get from our junior members, so hopefully we will be overwhelmed by applications for the new role.

I’m pleased to report that Debbie Morse has agreed to take on the role of OD Junior Squad Coordinator.  Debbie is very involved with the King Henry VIII School team, so I am grateful to her for taking on this extra workload.  Initially Debbie is looking at a social event in order that those OD juniors from different schools can have the chance to get to know each other.  Meanwhile Mel Elkington who is involved with Kenilworth Schools continues to run the West Midlands Junior Squad.

The day before the Cup Final, Barry, Liz Phillips and myself attended an intense day with British Orienteering.  We were there to discuss four topics – Whole Sport Plan; Articles of Association; Membership and Levy Scheme; Committee Structure Review.  A full report of the conference is available on the 'Hot topics' page of the BO website.  My interest was in Membership and Levies – it became clear that BO need more members, so it seems likely that the membership fee will be reduced to encourage new members, the down side being that the event levy is likely to apply at all levels of participation – which include our Saturday morning and Wednesday evening events which I believe have been levy free to date.

The next day at The Cup - didn’t we do well !   Suzanne Humphries worked extremely hard to get such a competitive team together with several of our stars unable to be there.  Suzanne is already planning a strategy for the 2012 first round.  The success should also be attributed to Bruce Bryant’s excellent map-geeking session, at which Bruce had us ‘flying’ over and through the Longshaw Estate.  I’ve promised Suzanne that I will try harder next  year and I have discovered the new orienteering blog started by Riina Kuuselo [www.riinakuuselo.blogspot.com] where I am looking forward to learning a lot !

It is now over to Andy Emmerson who, as I am writing this, is circulating details of the team to be competing in the first round of the Yvette Baker Trophy – good luck to all going to the Lickey Hills.

I’m grateful to Neil Rackham for helping me plan the Elmdon Saturday morning event.  This event was a learning session for Neil who had asked to see through the whole planning process. We had a site visit in August when we visited about 40 sites. I whittled them down to 30 for the Score course, then Neil planned a Long and Short course. We revisited Elmdon earlier in September to check what we had got and mark the sites. Score event coaching put on that day by Thelma Spalton must have contributed to the successes by Club members at the British School’s Orienteering Championships a couple of weeks later. 

There was a good turn-out at Hillfield Park for the Tony Haw charity score event in aid of Leukaemia Research which was put on by Chris Morris and Sue Bicknell.  Another popular event was staged by Tony Feltbower at the ever technical Kenilworth Common.  Unfortunately that day some of our runners ran through private property upsetting a resident.  I mention this incident in order that we take the necessary steps to stop it happening again - we are all responsible as competitors or as course planner or organiser.

If not before, I hope to see you at the Club Championships at Brandon Woods on Saturday December 10th and at the Christmas party in Kenilworth on Wednesday December  21st and at the Christmas Relays at Rough Close on Tuesday December 27th.

Bob Brandon

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Chairman Bob's Annual General Meeting Report

(21st September 2011)

Highlight of the year must have been the six Kenilworth School students being selected to compete for England in the World School's Championships.  Each returning with a medal. 

The past twelve months has seen another successful year for the Club.  Successful in competition and successful in  putting on a wide spectrum of events and activities that encourage increasing participation in orienteering.  Behind the scenes there are many people working hard to make all  this happen.  We will be electing officers later in this meeting as per the constitution, however there are as many others taking on key roles within the Club in addition to many of the membership on hand to put events on and/ or to help out.

Liz Phillips is taking the minutes this evening and has done so at each of the six committee meetings we have had since last year's AGM.  Liz makes sure that the committee are attending to issues as they arise throughout the year.  In a similar fashion Trevor Simpson keeps an eye on the accounts keeping us in the black with always an eye on the long term needs of the Club.  

John Bowman continues to manage the event and activities timetable.  John's task is an endless round of liaison with local authorities and land owners, in addition to keeping events and activities registered with British Orienteering.  At the Club Dinner in March our guest, Rob James, presented the Ted Norrish Trophy to John Bowman in recognition of  his many years of service to the Club

Two other highlights of the past 12 months were the staging of the Warwick Town Race and the British Night Championships, both organised very professionally by Richard Gardner.  Richard has made sure that the Sunday events each have a planner, controller and organiser.  Such events have often being part of the West Midlands Orienteering Association league.  The programme of Saturday morning and Wednesday evening events is a credit to those willing to put them on and in particular to the tenacity of Sue Bicknell who has managed the programme.  This is where the Club excels, in providing opportunities for orienteering which is reflected in the numbers participating.

Many of those participating are newcomers to the sport.  Prior to an event Karin Kirk will blitz the local press with information, emailing local athletic clubs and youth organisations.  Karin fields the responses and ensures that there is someone to meet and greet at events - usually it is Karin in her day-glow sash.  Karin has also been 'recognised' in CompassSport magazine for getting the Club successes a few column inches in the press.  Whilst on the subject of events, I must mention the assistance from Alan Halliday and the Print 5 team in preparing the maps.

Membership secretaries Kath & John Wright encourage those who wish to join the Club, maintain the membership list and provide address labels for Sue Hallett, the Droober Editor.  Sue has maintained 6 editions of the newsletter through the year, the most recent of which Sue's photo appeared on Page 3 in order that all the Club now knows who to hand their bits of gossip to.

To move people forward, coaching is offered at an increasing number of events.  Last Saturday at Elmdon Park, Thelma Spalton put on coaching activities tailored to Score events.  A large number of students and coaches from King Henry VIII gained tips that will be of use at the British School's Score Championships in mid-October.  Chris Morris is putting on the Tony Haw Charity Score event in aid of Leukaemia Research on October 1st.  Another opportunity to fine tune those Score techniques. 

With Peter Guillaume's move to Sheffield, Paul Furness has taken on the role of Club Coach now that he has achieved his coaching qualifications.  Thank you to both Peter and Paul.  This year Paul has been managing the OD Talent Squad initiative which was launched in February with an inspiring talk by British Orienteering's Sarah Hague.  Paul has explored the meaning of talent beyond the physical and technical aspect of competition.  Paul has facilitated sessions which will improve not just for those fit members of the Club who can read a map.  We have had classroom sessions which included Organising; Planning and Condes to assist with our local events – the result being that several Wednesday evening events were put on by new people – who thankfully are keen to do more.        

Paul Furness has handed the web-site over to Alan Segar.  Alan has been beavering away for several weeks to provide a more up to date web-site.  The site went live this week, and I am sure that you are impressed with Alan's fresh logical approach.  Alan will welcome any feedback you can provide.

The equipment is being looked after by Liz Urquhart, and sometimes Graham when he is in the country.  Liz talks about the equipment having a life of its own, however it seems to get to be in the right place at the right time.  Soon there will be will be a computer in with the local event kit.  The idea is that the task of matching of registration forms with download slips will be a thing of the past as well as keying in the results.  I am really look forward to that.  Maybe the computer can be persuaded to maintain a summer league, that has been sadly lacking this year.

At the Sunday events, after first ordering the toilets, Ant Walker is the next person to contact to ensure his essential results service is available for the day.  Ant’s cool approach in setting up the courses and making sure the technology continues to work provides a stress free day for the event organiser.  Ant has been supported through the year by Michael Hanson-Morris, Graham Urquhart and Paul Furness.

I enjoyed Sunday's WMOA Relays.  An informal picnic with friends that make up the Club and the WMOA.  Suzanne Humphries worked hard to get the many OD teams together.  And Suzanne is now doing the same to get a strong OD team out for the CompassSport Cup Final in October.  Under Suzanne's guidance I am sure OD can win back the Cup.  During the summer Bruce Bryant looked after teams for The Harvester relay.  Meanwhile Andy Emmerson has been working hard through the year getting relay teams together for the JK, British and Peter Palmer relays.  Andy will be concentrating on getting the Juniors ready for the Yvette Baker Trophy events. I'm sure that OD can win the Trophy.

Many members of the Club work hard in orienteering activities outside of the Club. 

Liz Furness organised the GB coaching camp, with Phil Kirk and his sister in-law Angie as cooks – Paul as control hanger and SI guru.  Liz has been personal coach to Sophie Kirk and now is coaching Aimee Morse.  Liz Furness has just stepped down after ten years looking after the WMOA junior Squad with Mel Elkington stepping into this role now.  Mel together with Jill Emmerson has done a lot of work with Kenilworth Schools which resulted in the students from Kenilworth School gaining medals at the World School's Championships

Barry Elkington continues his work with British Orienteering looking at the competition side of things.  Barry sits on the WMOA committee and has persuaded me this summer to join that committee as OD rep (I've been to one meeting out of two so far).  I take this opportunity to remind you of WMOA AGM on October 10th

Bruce Bryant, in addition to looking after many OD maps, is a well sought after mapping advisor to British Orienteering in general.

Les Ross looks after the WMOA league table and Hilary Simpson looks after the WMOA colour coded badge awards.

Social Events.

The Christmas Party at Kenilworth Wardens was masterminded by Hilary & Trevor Simpson.  Liz Phillips making many mini-banners to be presented to Club Champions.  Date for the party this year is 21st December.

Christmas Relays at Woodcote was organised by Peter Guillaume & family with courses in the snow by Sue Bicknell.

 Karin & Phil's enjoyable Club Dinner early in March was at a good new venue in Leamington Spa with an ex-Droober and ex Junior Squad Manager, Rob James as guest.   Rob is now in charge of the Sports Science department at Coventry University and gave us an insight into how we should be approaching our sport. 

An Enjoyable quiz put on by Barry Elkington.

Sadly, this year was to be the final Stratford Street event and barbeque which has been put on annually for many years by Hilary & Trevor in Stratford town (event) and their back garden (barbeque).  This happening will be missed.

Other barbeques have been held at some of the weekend events.

OD Junior Squad activities co-ordinator.

There is a need for someone to arrange activities for the Juniors in order that they identify themselves as a Junior Squad.  The activities need to be social as much as physical/technical – it should be possible that the physical/technical activities be fit in with coaching activities put on by the Club Coach.  This week I have approached someone who is considering this role.  I will keep you informed of developments.

Mapping – many of our legacy 'stock' of areas need remapping.  Bruce and Mike Hampton are updating maps as we go along when planners are able to spot the changes before the competitors do.  Phil Kirk recently updated the Coundon Park map.  However the Club does need someone to oversee mapping and provide a strategy.

Local Events.

A conundrum.  These are set up as informal opportunities for orienteering with emphasis on low key, an opportunity to grow new officials.  The procedures that are in place are there to take pressure off the organiser/planner, which is usually the same person.  However, at the same time we are using the events to introduce new people to orienteering and using the events to improve our Juniors.  Mistakes do happen at these events that might not occur with the formal 3-person planner / organiser / controller that a regional event will have.

Club Mark

Our Club Mark has expired – the application had not moved since 2006.

Currently Barry Elkington and myself are looking into the possibility of finding an easy way of maintaining the information that Club Mark require.          

Future

Barry Elkington and myself are attending a British Orienteering Club and Association day in Sheffield in October.  There is a spare place if anyone would like to come along and represent Octavian Droobers.

OD are holding WMOA Championships in November 2011.

In 2012 our events amongst others will include the British Schools Score Championships and WMOA Relays.

I'd like to take this opportunity to ask for nominations for the Club junior who has achieved the most outstanding result or set of results during 2011.  The winner will be awarded with Bob’s Dad’s Trophy at the Christmas Party on December 21st.  Nominations to Liz.

Also to Liz, nominations are required by 1st December of the Club members who have made an outstanding contribution to the Club – this can be based on competition results or service to the Club.  The winner will be awarded the Ted Norrish Trophy at the Club Dinner in March.  

That's about it from me, thank you.

Bob Brandon

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Chairman Bob

(September 2011)

It’s the last day of August with nothing for me to do now on a Wednesday evening for the rest of the year !  -  except for this week, to write this piece for Sue Hallett.

A big THANK YOU to Sue Bicknell who has arranged our continuous mid-week summer festival of orienteering since mid-April and dealing with the changes of areas, dates and personnel that came along.  John Bowman has also been heavily involved with the permissioning of the areas upon which we ran, whilst Alan Halliday made sure that the maps were printed in time for each Wednesday.  The Club’s legacy of mapping continues to be made use of, with Bruce Bryant and Mike Hampton willing to update when a planner spots the changes.  Phil Kirk extended his mapping experience with the new map of Coundon Park that we used last week.  Since last time we have enjoyed events thanks to the efforts of Calum Barnetson; Aimee Morse; John Middler; Mike Hampton; Thelma Spalton; Mark Beverley and Sue Bicknell. An important acknowledgement to everyone who mucked in by helping with registration, download and those who hung around to collect in the controls. Meanwhile Graham Urquhart has been giving some thought to our local events.  Elsewhere in this Droober you will find details of his ideas for an improved download which organisers might use as an alternative to the current set-up. Graham tells me that he has already ditched the black EMIT box, the replacement being a shiny new aluminium case.  Graham also has a few EMIT cards for sale.

We now look forward to the Octavian Droobers’ annual general meeting on September 21st to be held in Kenilworth.  Please do come along and join in. 

I am aware of the following change of roles for 2011-2012 

  • Paul Furness will be taking on the role of Club Coach, which has been handled for quite a number of years by Peter Guillaume. Thanks Peter. (and thanks Paul).
  • Alan Segar will be taking on the role of web master, a role that Paul Furness has handled for quite some time too.  Thanks Paul (and thanks Alan).  Alan is already working on a new website for the Club with the intention to establish an updated OD "style" and is keen to get your ideas.
  • Thelma Spalton has offered to put on one or two activities in the autumn for the Junior Squad. Thelma has a Squad session at Elmdon on September 17th.  Thank you Thelma.
  • In the meantime we are looking for someone to take on the role of coordinating OD Junior Squad activities in 2012.
  • Mel Elkington is taking over from Liz Furness to become Queen of the WMOA Junior Squad.  Thanks Elizabeth (and best of luck Mel ! ).
  • And a big thank you to everyone else for contributing to yet another very successful year.

On15th October British Orienteering have invited the Club to attend an Orienteering Association & Orienteering Club Conference in Sheffield.  I will be going along to ensure that Octavian Droobers has a presence, and Barry Elkington will attending as part of the West Midlands Association contingent.  I’ll be letting you know what I find out.

Looking further ahead, there are at least three December dates that should go in your diary right now

Sat Dec 10th OD Club Championships at Brandon Woods planned by Janet Richardson

Wed Dec 21st OD Christmas Party and presentation to Club Championship

Tue Dec 27th Christmas Relays at Rough Close.

Meanwhile, how will I fill my time next week on Wednesday evening ?   Sorted, I will be at Elmdon Park with Neil Rackham on a second recce for our event on September 17th, that we hope you come along to.

Bob Brandon

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Chairman Bob

(July 2011)

It was pleasing to note the pleasure within the Club brought about by the success of the Kenilworth School students at the World School’s Championships.  The passion of parents and fellow Club members at John Boden’s Wedgnock evening event was evident – many had been following the tension of the final competition in Italy as the results were regularly updated on-line earlier in the day.

The Club Juniors also put on a good showing at the West Midlands School’s Championships in May representing their respective School, and again as part of the West Midlands Team at the more recent Inter Regional Championships.  In addition, several of our Juniors have been selected for National Coaching camps.

This continued success is a credit to the Juniors, Coaches and Parents.  But we now look to the future and I take this opportunity to ask for volunteers to join in and involve themselves in the organisation of junior activities.  I have arranged to meet with Paul Furness early in August (Scotland) to discuss future plans.  Please let us know your thoughts.

Three issues have been to the forefront of my mind in recent weeks - Club Mark; British Orienteering Governance; and the new British Orienteering Development Plan.

Club Mark. 

I thank John Bowman and Iain Embrey for emailing their relevant Club Mark details following my plea last time.  An interesting discussion took place at our June Committee meeting which resulted in the question being raised “Do we actually need Club Mark ?”  I am charged with investigating the effects of not continuing with Club Mark accreditation for our August (22nd) meeting.  I am grateful to Caroline Gay of British Orienteering for providing me with up to date information regarding Club Mark requirements and also details about the benefits of Club Mark.

BO Governance

At our June meeting a document setting out a proposed new British Orienteering Governance was discussed.  The prime concern of the OD Committee was that the new BO regime seemed to not allow for representation from the membership on the various committees.  It seemed that BO membership representation would only be possible via the BO AGM at election of officers and an opportunity to speak out from the floor.  This has not been the case to date whereby British Orienteering Federation committees had been made up of representatives from each of the 12 regions.  However a few days later a revised Governance plan was released – now something else for the OD Committee to decide on how to respond to.

BO Regional Plans

At the end of June, British Orienteering published it’s Regional Plans.  The plan in particular is to increase participation in orienteering.  In October 2010 Ed Nicholas (BO Development Manager) came to talk to OD Committee.  We felt that OD were doing ok with participation at well over 50 activities each year, and told Ed so.  It seemed that to be included in the BO Plan, OD needed to establish a weekly coaching session at a fixed venue.  We felt at that time (and still do) that for the time being, the Club has more than enough on its plate putting on the full programme of events that it does, without taking on the burden of a weekly Club Night.  The Committee also believe that we are actively encouraging participation with a great deal of success.  So Octavian Droobers are not included in the BO Regional Plan.  Barry Elkington has suggested to me that running something like a beginners introductory course at a fixed venue for a few weeks in February / March leading into our summer programme would be equally as effective and a lot less time consuming (assuming that someone was available to run such a course).  What do you think ?

Participation continues to be high at our weekly Wednesday evening events through the summer, though we now expect a dip as the schools break up and we each take our summers breaks.  A big thank you (since last time) to the following for taking the time to put them on – Sue Hallett (Warwick University); John Boden (Wedgnock); Suzanne Humphries (Itchington Holt); Trevor Simpson (Stratford); Ella-Rose and Harrison McCartney (Swift Valley); Phil Kirk (Coombe Abbey); All helpers at Sutton Park; Lin Smith and Steph Ellis-Gray (Pooley Fields).  I promise to write a full summary, from a competitors point of view, of the summer evening events in your September Droober.   Sunday events – Thelma Spalton (o), Carolyn Marr (p), Sue Hallett (c) at Elmdon Park;  Richard Gardner (o & p), Barry Elkington (c) at Burton Dassett. 

And finally a personal thank you to Trevor & Hilary Simpson; John Middler; Sue Hallett; Andy Emmerson; Keith Willdig and Kim Veasey for coming along to the Stoneleigh Agricultural Centre one day in May where 4,000 Scouts had the opportunity to experiencing orienteering. 

Have a good summer - the nights are drawing in !

Bob Brandon

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Chairman Bob

(May 2011) 

The summer evening events are already with us with excellent events from Ant Walker, Graham & Liz Urquhart and Sue Bicknell to date.  Tonight I was at Rough Close which is to be the last OD event that Peter

 Guillaume will drive to from Kenilworth.  By the time that you read this Judith and Peter will have moved to Yorkshire, lodging for the time being with their son Richard.  Judith tells me that the house rule is that Richard retains control of the remote !   Over many years Judith and Peter have made a significant contribution to our Club, so we will miss them.  However to keep in the loop, Peter has offered to continue to operate the OD email tree, for which I am grateful.

Peter put on our final Saturday event at Woodcote in glorious sunshine.  That event was chosen as the launch of the Junior Squad for the year and, despite several juniors being away in the Lakes, Emma Kettley and Sophie Kirk were on hand to provide the necessary oomph for the occasion.  Earlier in March, Chris Morris put on an event at Rough Close in equally pleasant weather.  This event was used by Paul and Elizabeth Furness to provide an opportunity for ad-hoc coaching.  I took the opportunity to be coached to coach and found the comprehensive selection of exercises available covered a multitude of orienteering techniques.

Paul’s Talent sessions have continued to prove popular.  Perhaps leading by example, Paul is taking the opportunity himself to move forward.  I was amused to get an email from Paul asking for volunteers to act as guinea pigs on the occasion of Paul being assessed for his UKCCL2 (?) Coaching qualification.  I couldn't make it however I hope that those that could gave him a testing time.  Paul passed with flying colours.

The club's Club Mark (CM) documentation is out of date.  At the April committee meeting it was agreed that this should be updated and I offered to have a stab at it – not started yet.  I believe that the Club is continuing to achieve the criteria for CM with the initiatives that involve the Club and certain of the membership.  Our shortfall is keeping the documentation up to date, and there is a requirement to find a simple mechanism to keep the documentation 'rolling' in the future.  As a start I would welcome help with documenting the various programme of activities.  I should be able to list myself the open events we put on.  It is the various threads that occur, in particular with the coaching groups and the various school groups.  CM seems to have a bias towards what is provided for juniors, so anything in this area should go 'in the book'.  Qualifications are good evidence for CM, so would be grateful for information on current qualifications, certifications and the like for coaching; mapping; planning; controlling; first aid; CRB; whatever;….. this should all go in the CM book with photocopies of certificates where appropriate.

You should be reading this at the Elmdon Park event which is being organised by Thelma Spalton.  I'm quite looking forward to this one.  With Carolyn Marr planning (initially assisted by Greta Greenall) and controlled by Sue Hallett - I've been watching the planning progress (from afar) at our Tuesday 'training' sessions at the Virgins & Castle in Kenilworth.  Event should be a cracker.

Bob Brandon

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Chairman Bob

(March 2011) 

Last night was the Club Dinner in Leamington Spa - so, I am already 3 days late getting this to Sue Hallett.  Karin and Phil Kirk are to be congratulated on finding such a good venue, everyone present seemed to enjoy their meal.  Our guest was Rob James, who you might remember as our Junior Coach a number of years ago.  Rob is now in charge of the Sports Science department at Coventry University and last night he gave us an insight into how we should be approaching our sport.  Rob also presented the Ted Norrish Trophy to John Bowman who receives the award for his many years of service to the Club, in particular his management of the 40+ events and activities that have to be programmed and permissioned each year.

In February Sarah Hague of British Orienteering also had us thinking about our approach to the sport of orienteering.  Sarah was in Warwickshire for the launch of the Droobers' Talent Squad programme that will be ongoing throughout the year.  At that first session Andy Emmerson and his 'team' thought up a very interesting list of 'orienteering tactics' that I hope Andy will share with the rest of the Club in this or a future edition of the Droober.  The turn out at the first two sessions has been very good - there is obviously an interest within the club to improve both in competition and at putting on events.

Success at CompassSport Cup and Yvette Baker Trophy continues thanks to the efforts of our captains Andy Emmerson and Suzanne Humphries.  The Juniors and their supporters are a very focused group - and long may it continue - note elsewhere details of the launch of the 2011 Junior Squad on April 16th.

Jane & Alan Halliday; John Ward; Pete & Sheila Carey; Tony Feltbower; Richard Gardner and Mel & Barry Elkington have organised six excellent events for the Club already this year.  John Middler (controller John Bennison) planned some really testing courses at Sutton Park, where a moment's hesitation could cost the Club a place in the Cup Final - Suzanne ensured that there were more than enough Droobers taking part to get the Club through to the final in October.  At Hay Wood, Janet Richardson (controller Sue Bicknell) had us running through the wood rather than along the paths.  Maybe Paul Furness needs to include a ditch jumping session in the Talent programme !  The British Nights was a great success thanks to those who turned out to help.  Ambience was provided by Richard's chandelier lit marquee, lighting to the start and Phil's burgers. 

With Graham spending a lot of time working in Australia, Liz Urquhart continues to keep the events going with equipment allocation.  I got a ticking off from Liz after Bentley by not passing on 5 control units that should have been in use at Brueton Park.  Liz is soon off for a short holiday with Graham - have a nice rest Liz, you've earned it. 

Bob Brandon

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Chairman Bob

(January 2011)

Happy New Year

Congratulations to those at Kenilworth School who have been selected to represent Great Britain at the World School's Orienteering Championships in Italy later in the year.  They are being supported by Octavian Droobers on this venture and I know that each of those going will be looking to raise further funding with cake stalls at our events - so please eat cake !  We wish those at Kenilworth School a successful trip.

The new junior representatives on the Committee are already making an impact.  William Gardner and Helen Elkington were asked to organise the manning of a gate at Oakley Wood to keep the sheep in at the Club Championships.  The result was that Helen circulated a three-hour schedule of six shifts, each shift had a different pair of juniors to monitor that gate - thank you.     The event was a great success with John Ward and Sue Bicknell producing really good courses.  Such that at a WMOA meeting the following evening where there was much debate about colour coded courses, John Woodall (British Orienteering Board of Directors) cited "the light green course at Oakley was of the right length and of good quality". 

Our John and Sue are quite prolific.  Sue then planned the excellent romp we had through the snow at Woodcote after Christmas - and Sue is controlling again at our WMOA league event at Hay Wood towards the end of February.  Meanwhile John is planning courses again for us, this time at Everdon Stubbs later in January.  A thank you to another John, who in November put on our final Saturday event of the year at Brandon, the map of which requires someone to update.  John Boden was assisted by his daughter Charlotte and Ezra Lutton.

Hilary and Trevor are to be thanked for organising the Christmas Party.  It was pleasing to see so many at the party, on an evening when we were told only to travel if it were absolutely essential.  Just goes to show how absolutely essential it is for Club members to turn out and collect their mini-banners made each year by Liz Phillips. 

The 2010 winner of the annual Ted Norrish Trophy has been decided from the list of your nominations.  “Who is it ?”  you might be thinking.  To find out, the Award will be announced and the Trophy presented at the Club Dinner in Leamington on March 4th (which is being organised by Karin and Phil Kirk).  The winner for 2010 is a good one, so please come along and cheer that somebody, who has contributed much the success of the Club.  However all those who are nominated each year are worthy of recognition and I feel that the Club needs to think of additional ways to acknowledge the effort put in by so many – there are more people than years.

In February Paul Furness will be kicking off a series of parallel activities with the aim of developing the Club 'talent' in many ways.  There are to be several threads going on throughout a 12 month period, each designed to allow us to improve in disciplines such as First Aid; Event Officials; Mapping; Coaching; Orienteering Performance.  See elsewhere in this Droober the programme that Paul has masterminded assisted by Mel and Barry Elkington.     

So the Laurie Bradley Trophy is in our bag from January1st.  We now look to Suzanne Humphries to inspire us to successfully pass through the CompassSport Cup first round.  Inspired we were.

Bob Brandon

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