Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society (SOS)


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Volume 19 Number 1
November 2006

Editor: Martin Sellens (just this once!)


Editorial - Martin Sellens

OK, this is my bid for world domination. Not only Chairman, but Newsletter Editor too! Will my ambition know no bounds? Well, yes, actually. My tenure in the latter post is intended to be a brief one, necessitated by the resignation of John and Jenny Collyer and the lack of a volunteer/volunteers to step into the breach. Thanks are due to John and Jenny for their hard work over the last few years keeping the newsletter emerging at predictable intervals and markedly improving its content. Well done to them! However, there was some discussion at the AGM as to whether the newsletter still has a role to play in this digital age. Almost everyone has access to the internet. Should we simply move to a bulletin board on the Straggler's web pages and let the creative talents of the membership rip without intrusive editorial intervention (or the need for the editor to prise content from busy and reluctant authors?). What do you, dear members, want from a newsletter anyway? The fixtures list is available at http://stragglers.info/events, or http://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/ and you can join the SOS members email list if you want to be plugged into breaking news from fellow members (join on http://stragglers.info/resources). So, here's an invitation. Anyone like to be Newsletter Editor? Do you have a strong view about its role? If I get no response I will assume that this paper dinosaur has outlived its usefulness and arrange with Andrew Cordle some hi-tech, low maintenance web based alternative. You are reading this aren't you?

Elsewhere in this historic edition, check out the highlights of the AGM to see who is running the show, find out about what the development committee is up to (news from Lyn West), ponder the musings of coach Steve Cartwright, catch the first installment of the OMM epic with emerging mountain marathon star Chris Sellens, and plan the next few months of orienteering activity courtesy of Jack Isbester's fixtures list. A positive Smorgasbord of terpsichorean treats, to quote Mrs Malaporop.

Chairman's Chat - Martin Sellens

Well, the AGM has been and gone and a new administration is at the helm. Has anyone noticed any difference yet? If not, it isn't entirely surprising, as many of the new faces bear a striking resemblance to the old ones. However, there have been some notable changes and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing committee members who, despite threats, tantrums and blandishments could not be persuaded to stay on. Nancy Powell-Davies, after several years of sterling service has laid down her quill and handed over the mantle of secretary to Clive Tant. Jenny and John Collyer have resigned from the coveted position of Newsletter editors, leaving a gaping void to be filled by some budding Fleet Street (or it that Canary Wharf nowadays?) wannabe. Where are you? If no-one can be identified to take on this role, then this may be the last Stragglers Newsletter in the old format, as Clive and I have only volunteered to produce this one valedictory edition. As I have written elsewhere; does it matter? I'll leave it to the voice of the people, or the resounding silence from them, to decide.

As long as the committee enables a reasonable number of events to be put on, I guess that the rest of the Stragglers members will probably remain reasonably content. As the fixture list is on the website, only the few who are disconnected from the electronic Universe presumably need the hard copy that is in the Newsletter. If that means you, then please let me know and I will ensure that you are provided with a paper version. So, what else is new? The club had a very enjoyable trip to the Compass Sport Cup and Trophy final at Greenham Common, but, sadly could only finish 5th in a strong Trophy field despite an excellent turn out and some strong individual performances. The points were very close for the minor places and third was within our reach. If only I could navigate! If only Chris hadn?t punched the wrong first control??.! Many thanks to all those who turned out for the club; particularly Joanne West and Suzy Robertson who managed to get lifts with other clubs from Bristol and Walsall, to Lyn West for organising the coach and to Jenny Collyer who got the team together.

On a much sadder note, Ricky Wise, from Southdowns, who for many years, with his wife Helen (Hilary's sister), has been virtually an honorary member of SOS, entertaining us at JK barbecues and in various car parks, died of cancer on 20th October aged 55. Many thanks to those of you who sent get well or sympathy cards, or sponsored Helen in Ricky's memory for the Great South Run. She raised over £1500 for cancer research, ably supported by sisters Hilary and Penny, who ran with her, and cheered on from convenient bus shelters and tea rooms by yours truly and sundry sons, daughters, nephews and nieces. The weather was foul. Some Kenyan bloke won the men's and Jo Pavey won the women's. Helen was less than 10 miles behind.

Incidentally, Scotland Yard recently report the recovery of the missing Stragglers Relay Trophy from a pigeon shed in Blackheath. No idea how it got there but it will be available for the winning at the 2007 relays, unless I can lose it again, in which case we should perhaps replace it with something a little less, how might one put it, chunky?.

Hope to see you in the colourful autumnal woodlands of East Anglia over the next few weeks. You really should get out more.

AGM Highlights

Of course, the main highlight was the opportunity for a bit of social interaction and the vast and varied selection of foodstuffs; notably Lyn's bottomless pan of vegetarian chilli that is rivalled only by Wilf's (on a good day). "Historic" (Michael Winner). Other items of business.

  • The Chairs report is printed below.
  • The treasurer reported that the club is in a sound financial position.
  • Club fees for BOF members are to remain unchanged, but those for local BOF members (aka 'club only members') were raised slightly as an inducement for members to consider full BOF membership. Club fees for 2007 are therefore.
     SeniorFamilyOver 65/UB40
    BOF Members (total)£7£11
    Local BOF Members£10£15£6
  • The following were elected to committee posts.
    Chairman Martin Sellens
    Vice Chairman (Vacant)
    SecretaryClive Tant
    Treasurer Hilary Sellens
    Club Captain Jenny Collyer
    Newsletter Editors (Vacant)
    Schools Liaison Officer and ESSOL Julie Laver
    Fixtures Secretary Jack Isbester
    Publicity OfficerLyn West
    East Anglian Rep (Vacant)
    Equipment OfficerJulia Robertson
    Membership Secretary Geraldine Russell
    Map Officer Kevin Machin
    Web Master Andrew Cordle
    Head Coach Stephen Cartwright
    Junior Club Captain James Lyne
    Auditor John Russell
  • The Mike Powell Davies Shield for Senior Club Member of the Year was presented to Lyn West and the new Mark Johnson Trophy for Junior Club Member of the Year was awarded to Jo West by Sally Johnson.

Chair's Annual Report - Martin Sellens

Although we are only a small club, activities over the last year have been impressive and a tribute to the hard work of the committee(s) and willing club members. By my calculation we have put on 12 events, including 5 colour coded (1 EAGAL), three informal summer "family fun" events, and four special events including the opening of the Tiptree Heath permanent course, the relays, the annual Cordle New Year Novelty event and another successful and sunny Schools day at Wivenhoe Park. This schedule represents an enormous amount of work behind the scenes from mappers and particularly from Jack Isbester who has the unenviable and increasingly difficult task of recruiting event officials. Many thanks to Jack, to Kevin for producing high quality maps and to the myriads of officials and helpers who have enabled these events to take place.

The development Committee has done a sterling job in the areas of promotion, recruitment and coaching. We now have a vibrant and active coaching programme under head coach Stephen Cartwright, with Julie Lavers, Dave Burkitt and Richard Barker all holding coaching certificates at various levels and providing both formal and informal coaching at most of our events. Richard continues to do sterling work as Coach for East Anglian Juniors. A major push of this committee, coordinated by Andrew Cordle, has been the development of a portfolio to enable the club to achieve Club Mark accreditation. Lyn West did a brilliant job on putting together the summer series and the Collyers remapped Castle Park for one of the events. Our stock of mapped areas continues to increase with maps produced this year for Tiptree Heath and Layer Wood (Tiptree; mapped by Chris Sellens). Jeff Powell-Davies transferred the Hockley map into OCAD. If we could just put all the areas together perhaps we could host a National Event.

Lyn West, who chairs the Development Committee, is to be congratulated on her election as vice chairman of BOF and on the publicity this brought to her and the Stragglers through a profile published in CompassSport.

Jenny Collyer, in addition to her mapping activities with John and their joint work on the Newsletter (surely the best in East Anglia) has ensured that Stragglers are represented in major event relays and that we perform at a high level in the CompassSport Trophy. Once again we are the representatives of East Anglia in the Trophy final and it is difficult to remember a year in which we did not reach this final hurdle, though a win continues to be elusive.

Finally thanks to all committee members for their hard work during the year and my apologies to those who I have not mentioned. In particular, thanks for years of service to those who are not standing for re-election, notably Nancy Powell-Davies as Secretary and the Collyers as newsletter editors. They will be difficult acts to follow and will, no doubt, continue to serve the Club in other capacities. Thanks to you all.

Martin Sellens. October 2006.

Development News - Lyn West, Development Committee Chair

The members of the development committee have been busy with a number of issues in recent months. I will try to summarise these briefly.

A series of three informal introductory events were held on Saturdays in the summer. These went well and I am grateful to all Stragglers who helped with them. The turnout was disappointing and we need to rethink our publicity. However, several new people had positive experiences and were enthusiastic, so we are planning to run some similar events next summer.

Another successful introductory day was held for schools in July. There is a lot of work that we feel we should be doing with schools but finding time and manpower are rather restricting our efforts at present. Currently we lack a Regional Development Officer and I think we are suffering as a result. However, recruitment of part time development officers, supported by Sport England, is now taking place. If you are interested an information pack and application forms are available from British Orienteering National Office 01629734042 (Nicole@britishorienteering.org.uk). Closing date for applications is 24.11.06.

We have continued with the paperwork needed to gain Club mark status. This largely means having written policies and records for things that we were already doing. So it isn't actually too onerous but does still require finding time at the keyboard. However, we are nearly there and hope to be able to submit the file for assessment before the end of the year. I would like to take this opportunity of reminding everyone that I am the Designated Officer for Child Protection and Vulnerable People. This means that if anyone has any concerns in this area, however minor, I am the person to contact, in total confidence, of course. 01206 322905 or lyn@stragglers.info

Finally coaching has become a regular feature at our events, mainly targeted at juniors, but our coaching team would be happy to include exercises for older members of the club if there is the interest. I am full of enthusiasm for the benefits of coaching at the moment. I produced my best ever result yesterday (at the November Classic) having spent the previous day at the coaching day arranged by British Orienteering undertaking exercises set by our own team of coaches. It obviously had a good effect so thank you Steve, Richard and Dave. And it was a fun weekend as well!

Congratulations go to Steve Cartwright, our Head Coach, who has achieved his Level 3 Coaching Award.

Club Kit - Lyn West - Straggler's Style Consultant

I have finally ordered the new club tops. I have had a lot of trouble with sorting the shade of green out. Ultrasport came up with an extensive towel-sized colour swatch that was handed around at the CompassSport Final. After I had restrained one of our committee members from getting out his scissors and producing a multicolour top from the piece of material, a consensus was reached and I finalised the design with Ultrasport. I hope they will be ready before the end of the year - hopefully in time for Christmas presents! I will post an item on the website when they are ready.

As the tops are rather an expensive item especially for fast growing juniors, we decided to order some T-shirts for the younger members of the club. These are plain dark green with the club logo. I still have some adult sizes from a previous order. T-shirts are available from Julie Laver julie.laver@virgin.net or 01206 571503, at £6 for child sizes and £8 for adult sizes (S, M, L & XL). Also available are a limited range of sweatshirts at £10 for child sizes and £12 for adult.

Coaching matters - Thoughts from Head Coach Steve Cartwright

As I understand it the traditional view is that running (and therefore orienteering) strengthens the heart and reduces the chance of coronary heart disease providing things are done sensibly. Some may need the advice of a doctor, however, before embarking on an exercise programme, where they are in middle age, overweight, have a family history of heart problems, or have been troubled with illness. Fitness for health regimes should start with some walking; add a little jogging when out walking, and then move on to running several times a week. Current guidelines suggest at least 20 minutes moderate activity on most days to obtain health benefits.

Then I took up committee work and coaching and learned first hand about stress! Stress is a funny thing, but it is generally accepted that high levels of stress can contribute to the development of heart disease. I guess its personal but on the run up to my L3 coaching assessment I was honestly starting to worry about my own heart! The normal view, it seems, is to slow down a bit when things are very busy in life generally or in times of particular stress.

One doctor I have heard of was worried about running in that he tended to think it took more from a person than he gained from it. Is running debilitating? Is it an addiction? For the vast majority, though, exercise not only benefits health directly, but also helps to relieve stress. Orienteering is particularly good for stress busting because it gets you out into the countryside; the fashionable notion of "green exercise".

Is orienteering in its widest sense doing you good? I certainly believe so. Me, I just like the countryside!

Editors note.
There are a number of issues regarding cardiac health touched upon in Steve's article that merit further coverage and that I will try to address in a future edition of the newsletter (or on the putative Bulletin Board!). For example, back in the 90s several Elite Swedish orienteers (and a number of professional cyclists) died from "cardiac events". I don?t think it was ever resolved whether these tragic deaths were due to exercising during viral infection or to abuse of EPO (a "drug" that improves endurance performance but also thickens the blood). A student at the University of Essex recently died of a "heart attack" during a game of 5-a-side football. A similar tragedy happened a few years ago to a fit young WAOC Orienteer during a compass Sport Cup event. At least two orienteers I know have been fitted with pacemakers, despite the fact that they are fit and free from cardiovascular disease. Several orienteers, including myself, have suffered from periods of heart beat irregularity (arrhythmias) that compromise performance even when they are not life-threatening. However, let's not get this out of perspective. It's far more dangerous for your heart to be sedentary than it is to run at top speed round forests. So get out there and work your heart. It's good for it.

Stragglers Notice Board

Next SOS Committee Meeting:- Monday 20th November 2006 at Somakam, Mersea Road, Blackheath, Colchester CO2 0BX.

Event Reports

The OMM (Original Mountain Marathon)- Prologue - Chris Sellens

The KIMM/OMM 2006 was to be my 6th. Once again I had entered with Ed Kelleher (NOR). This was the 4th time Id entered with Ed, and we had made it to the start line just once. In 2003 we ran and won the C-class. In 2004 we entered the B, but on the Thursday before the event, Ed rang me and said he couldn't run as he had glandular fever. I was unable to find a replacement so was resigned to thinking I would not run. On Friday morning I got a phone call from the ShUOC captain saying he had a cold so would I like to run with his partner Mark Saunders. So Mark and I paired up and ran the B finishing 3rd. Then last year things improved slightly. Ed rang me on the Friday saying he couldn't walk, let alone run as he had broken his big toe having been for a jog to test some new shoes. This time it was a bit easier to find a replacement partner. I walked into the next room and asked my house mate Rob Little. We ran the B and won.

And so to this year. I agreed to run with Ed on the condition that he stopped training a week before the event and became a recluse so as to avoid illness. He agreed and after much debate we opted to do the short score class as we'd won the C together and I'd won the B the year before. Initially we both agreed to make the OMM our main target for the autumn and planned to train hard for it. That didn't happen. Ed went backpacking round Europe and I decided to focus on the road-racing season. However we felt we would be fit enough to get round at a reasonable speed and the result would depend on the tactics (more about this later!).

It got to the Wednesday before the event. No call from Ed saying he couldn't run. Thursday passed. Friday came and I expected a call in the morning but I heard nothing. Against the odds it looked like we would actually make it to the start line! We met up that evening after a 9-hour journey, at Kitty's tearoom; a quaint little place in deepest darkest New Galloway right opposite the only pub. After a fantastic evening meal of roast lamb with all the trimmings, it was time to prep the bags for the weekend. It?s amazing how hard it is to decide between comfort and weight. In the end we went for a compromise, light-weight but with Gore-tex jackets for the anticipated foul weather.

The following day it was early to rise, and seemed even earlier after a broken night's sleep thanks to the drunken locals pouring out of the pub in the early hours. Who'd have thought that a village as small as New Galloway would have such nightlife! Saturday brought with it heavy rain, which eased to light rain but strong winds by midday. We had a late start (last off) so since Ed's dad was off earlier we arrived at the event centre with a mere 3 hours to fill. On the short walk from the car to assembly (1.5Km due to the wet weather) we passed Bert Park on his way to the start (an additional 2Km beyond the car) who had had to buy some new shoes after packing his sons shoes (whoops!!!). Eventually it was time for us to start and whilst most people seemed to be going to the start in full wet weather gear we decided to keep ours in the bags to stay dry and light since it was not too cold. It is traditional in the KIMM to be given your map 1 minute prior to the start. We were duly issued our map and after some 5 minutes of standing there planning a route, our attention was drawn to the fact that the start had already been dismantled and the clock was running (the starters had packed up the start hooter without telling us to go)! And so the fun began ? (Another installment in the next Newsletter!)

ESSOL fixtures 06/07 season - Julie Laver (ESSOL co-ordinator)

These are the proposed fixtures for this year but participants are advised to check the club's website nearer the event time as arrangements can be subject to change.

SEP 24      Hockley Woods        (SOS)
NOV 12      Layer Wood, Tiptree  (SOS)
NOV 26      Kings Forest         (SUFFOC)
JAN 14      Sutton Common        (SUFFOC)
JAN 28      The Broaks, Halstead (SOS)
MAR 25      Daisy's Wood         (SUFFOC)
MAY 20      Hylands Park         (SOS)
JUN 17      Highwoods            (SOS)

Officials for SOS events in 2007 - Jack Isbester - Fixtures secretary

Date      Event     Venue            Organiser            Planner
01.01.07  Novelty   Castle Park      Andrew Cordle        Andrew Cordle
28.01.07  ESSOL     The Broaks       John Collyer         Chris Sellens 
18.02.07  Regional  Baddow Ridge     Jenny Collyer        Kevin Machin
20.05.07  ESSOL     Hylands Park     Dave Birkett         Steve Robertson
17.06.07  ESSOL     High Woods       Colin West           Martin Sellens
01.07.07  Relays    Danbury Park     Nancy Powell Davies  James Lyne
23.09.07  EAGAL     Hatfield Forest  Richard Bonnett      Martin Pugh
11.11.07  ESSOL     The Naze         Sue Carton           Steve Cartwright

Fixtures in East Anglia and Nearby Regions

The information provided below normally consists of Event Date, Region (eg EA = East Anglia), Event Grade and Type (Grade 1 is highest grade, Grade 5 is lowest. Type C is a conventional Cross Country event in which controls must be visited in the sequence listed on the description sheet). Event & Location Names and map reference. Organiser's contact details. Contact details, costs, closing date etc. for Pre-entry when provided. Whether Entry on the Day (EOD) is possible and the surcharge payable. The range of courses offered. The address of a website from which additional information can be obtained. Additional information in plain language.

At Essex Stragglers' events registration normally opens at 1000hrs, starts are from 1030hrs until 1230hrs and courses close at 1430hrs.

November 2006



CUOC Sprint-O. Highlodge, Brandon. TL946840.



Organiser: Jonathan Nelson, 01603 860253. jjn25@cam.ac.uk



Entries: Jonathan Nelson, Applecross, Upgate, Swannington, Norwich, Norfolk., NR9 5AH, 01603 860253. jjn25@cam.ac.uk CD: 18/10/06. Fees TBA. Chq: Cambridge University Orienteering Club. Sprint - No CC courses. Inter-University Orienteering event. Student only event. www.srcf.ucom.org/ncuoc



CHIG Not the Mitre District Event. Epping N, Epping. TQ427994.



John Duffield, 020 8281 0676. john.duffield1@ntlworld.com £5.00/£2.50. EPS-SI. Dogs on leads. String course. www.chig.org.uk



SUFFOC District Event & EAGAL. The Kings Forest, Thetford. TL815714.



Clive Coles, 01394 384399. clive.coles@freeuk.com £5.00/£2.00 +£2.00 non O club. EPS-SI. www.pdl.demon.co.uk/suffoc

December 2006



HAVOC Local Event. Thorndon Park South, Brentwood. TQ633899.



Chris Shaw, 01375 677377. fixtures@orienteering-havoc.co.uk £3.50/£1.50. EPS-SI. W, y, o, lg & b. Parking £2.00. Starts 10.30-12.00AM. www.orienteering-havoc.co.uk



WAOC District Event & EAGAL. Rowney Warren, Shefford. TL123405.



Maureen Weldon, 01780 460504. £4.00/£1.50 + £2.00/0.50 non-BOF. EPS-SI. Dogs on leads. www.waoc.org.uk



NOR District Event & Club Championships. Shouldham Warren, Downham Market. TF680104.



Alan Bedder, 01603 424589. alan.bedder@virgin.net £3.00/£1.00 +£2.00 non club. EPS-SI. Dogs on lead. www.norfolkoc.co.uk



TVOC Christmas Score Event. Downley Common with Hughenden Manor, High Wycombe. SU850952.



Fred Ashford, 01494 534972. fredashford@waitrose.com £4.50/£2.00 (inc Studs). EPS-Emit. Emit hire £1 - Seniors, Juniors and Students. Courses 60 and 45 minute score. Massed start at 10:30hrs. Registration: 09:00 - 10.15hrs. Parking: Maplewood/Downley School campus. GR SU845951. £1.00 per car. www.tvoc.org.uk/



SO Xmas Score Event. Selhurst Park, Goodwood. SU927119.



Michael Merritt, 01243 789949. MMerritt@lewisbrownleesherlock.co.uk £5.00/£2.00. EPS-SI. Parking £1.00. SO 24-hr Ansaphone - recorded event information 01903-239186. www.southdowns-orienteers.org.uk

January 2007



SOS Informal New Year's Day Event. Castle Park, Colchester. TM999258.



Andrew Cordle, 07968 567529. andrew@cordle.net £4.00/£2.00 - non members £6.00. www.stragglers.info



SAX District Event. Challock, Ashford. TQ025498.



Jean Fitzgerald, 01622 686779. jean.fitzgerald@emr.ac.uk £4.50/Free. EPS-SI. Saxons 24 hour infoline on 01303 813344. www.saxons-oc.org



SUFFOC District Event & ESSOL. Sutton Common, Woodbridge. TM306476.



Mike Sherwen, 01394 384067. mikesherwen@hotmail.com £5.00/£2.00 +£2.00 non BOF. EPS-SI. Dogs on leads. www.pdl.demon.co.uk/suffoc



HH Regional Event. Ashridge West, Berkhamsted. SP970132.



Organiser: Helen Errington, 01727 842883. helen.errington@virgin.net



Entries: addressee TBA. CD: unknown. Fees TBA. EPS-SI. Entry limited to 500. www.happyherts.org.uk



Full registration pending



SOS District Event & ESSOL. The Broaks, Halstead. TL790306.



John Collyer. 01787 370947 jcollyer48@btinternet.com £4.00/£2.00. - non members £6.00. www.stragglers.info



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