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Event Date Venue
Saturday Series 3 Ecclesall Woods
Club Training & Coach... Canklow Woods
National event incorporat... Ramsley Moor
Club Championships, AGM, ... Ecclesall Woods
Event Date Venue
Regional Event Treeton Woods
Night event Burbage Mines
Saturday Series 2 Meersbrook Park
Dusk event Redmires

About SYO

South Yorkshire Orienteers have over 200 members ranging in age from 5 to 85. There is a wide range of ability and experience within the club from beginners to elite orienteers, who represent Great Britain all over the world. We offer a friendly and informal welcome to the sport - supporting adult and junior beginners and more seasoned orienteers alike with coaching and a programme of regular events.

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What is Orienteering?

Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport. The aim is to navigate between control points marked on an orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time.

It does not matter how young, old or fit you are as you can choose the course that's right for you and run, jog or walk it at your own pace. It is excellent for adults wanting to shape up, add some excitement and mental challenge to their running and meet new friends. It is also ideal for families as everyone can take part at the level that's right for them and it allows children to develop independence, confidence and decision making skills.

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SYO win the Compass Sport Cup

Published Saturday, 17 November 2018 17:23

The winning SYO Team

Late on the Saturday afternoon before the final a DVO Facebook post popped up predicting a win for SYO. Not convinced, I questioned this prediction but the source was adamant, SYO would win based on analysis of the ranking points and the strength of our juniors. I started to believe the unlikely…..just maybe we could reclaim the trophy after 6 years away from the top spot?!

ColinBronwenA junior map reading

Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny and it was an optimistic team of 90 members that set off from Sheffield to Haywood Warren at the northern end of Cannock Chase. Early finishers reported challenging courses on the classic spur /re-entrant terrain with the remnants of the summer vegetation causing some long times. As our later starters returned course times speeded up, thanks to the elephant tracks created by the early trailblazers and SYO were starting to record some good finishing positions. Scores were incredibly tight over the final hour with the top 3 spots changing by the minute. Eventually though the final scores were confirmed; SYO were in first place with a score of 2354, 21 points clear of FVO in 2nd and 42 points ahead of last year’s winners BOK.

AmandaA junior runningBrian

Well done to our top 25 counters, which included 3 course winners in Euan, Imogen and Dave (100) and also Kim (99), Martin (98), Jenny P (98), Peter G (98), Nick B (98), Amanda (97), Freya (96), Andy P (96), Laura (96), Dom (94), Max (94), Mary (94), Pete T (94), Ian (92), Charlie A (92), Paul B (91), Lucy (90), Alex E (90), Colin S (90), Ryan (88), Brian (88), Michael (84). However, it isn’t just about the counters as absolutely everyone plays a part in pushing down the scores of other clubs. Having a huge team of 90 people was a massive part of our success so well done everyone.


Special mention should go to Sam C, Richard and Paul T who despite scores above 84 didn’t count as we had reached the maximum number of scorers allowed on their courses. It was also fabulous to see no less than 6 M/W10s (Oscar, Caspar, Alice, Charlotte, Ella & Anna) running on the orange course, which bodes well for the future.

In the Golden Boot fastest run in competition new member Tom E was the fastest SYO member in 31 seconds. Top veterans were Simon H and Martin and fastest junior was Dom; all in a time of 34 seconds. Fastest SYO female was Imogen in 36 seconds.

Junior OrienteeringIanPeter G

Post event Peter Gorvett analysed the results to understand why we won this year. His conclusion was that compared to last year, on the whole, those that ran both years performed roughly the same so victory was down to the addition of lots of extra runners this year. This means it’s vital that you all run again at next year’s final so we can retain the trophy – it’s at Pippingford Park (part of the Ashdown Forest) near Gatwick on 20th October 2019. Please put the date in your diary…..

The Home Internationals

Published Saturday, 10 November 2018 09:28

 England VHI Team

 The English VHI Team.

In orienteering there are 3 Home Internationals - all held in the Autumn. The competitions take place over 2 days with the individuals on the Saturday and the relays on the Sunday.

The Senior Home Internationals for M/W20s and 21s were held in early September in England. Both days took place on Hurstwood; an open area of complex mine workings. Three members of SYO were selected for the English team - Nick B, Kim and Cat. Cat ran superbly in the individual race to win W21 for England. Kim and Nick also performed strongly finishing 4th & 10th - particuarly impressive considering they are both veterans! England won both days retaining the trophy for a second year.

England SHI Team

The English SHI Team

Next up was the Veteran Home Internationals for M/W35 and above. This time the English team travelled to south Wales. The five SYO team members selected all performed strongly with Nick and Kim both winning M/W40. Martin won M50 and Amanda and Andy P were both 3rd on W45 and M40 respectively. England delivered excellent results over the 2 days resulting in an impressive win overall.

SYO junior at JHI relays

The final Home International competition was for the juniors in the M/W14, 16 & 18 age classes, which this year was held near Pitlochry in Scotland. Five SYO juniors were selected for the team and like their veteran and senior counterparts, achieved good results. In M14 Euan was 2nd, Sam C 4th and Max 8th, while in W14 Imogen was 5th and in M18 Dom was 8th. Unfortunately despite some very good English performances, Scotland were too strong on home terrain and won convincingly overall.

SYO relay runner at JHIs

The 2018 Peter Palmer Relays

Published Thursday, 13 September 2018 22:08

1st leg mass start

The Peter Palmer Relays are an annual junior team event held partly in the dark and partly in daylight. During the autumn of 2017, SYO received a slightly desperate email asking whether we would consider hosting the event as no other volunteers had come forward. As we have such a strong junior membership and knowing how much the juniors benefit from it, we soon agreed. Nick Lightfoot kindly stepped forward as planner and without remembering ever agreeing Jacky Dakin was suddenly wearing the organiser's hat!

Fast forward 10 months and the weekend of the Peter Palmer's was almost upon us. The doorbell rang constantly as headlights, a new generator, a big screen, batteries, maps and goodness what else arrived and the dining room was a hive of activity as Pete tried out the radio controls and results screen! No doubt the Lightfoot & Dakin houses were in a similar state as Nick bagged the maps and Jacky gathered all the paraphernalia required for organising the event!

Saturday 8th September dawned - the day of the Peter Palmer’s - but first only the matter of the Saturday Series 1 event at Endcliffe Park to get out of the way. Pete & I looked at the weather forecast and breathed a sigh of relief - it's due to rain, numbers will be down. How wrong we were! 549 runs, hundreds of new registrations, torrential downpours and resolution of a conflict at a wedding venue later it was finally over. Thank goodness for the many club members who stepped up to help, some for the first time, in very chaotic conditions.

By 5pm the cars had been loaded up with equipment and we were off to Tankersley in north Sheffield. The organising, planning and computing teams headed off to build the arena in the woods while Amanda and I established ourselves at the sports hall for meeting and greeting, not only all the SYO juniors, but also the club teams from around the country.


Eventually all 31 SYO juniors had arrived and laid out their sleeping mats and bags in our designated area in the hall; so we headed up en masse to take a look at the woodland arena so we knew what to expect in the morning. Then it was time for the 5 a-side football and banner making competition. Conveniently the Paces campus happens to be situated adjacent to state of the art 3G floodlit pitches so Paul was able to organise a fabulous football tournament complete with prizes.

After an hour of frenetic competition, it was time to gather for a team meeting. After handing out dibbers, numbers and going over important final details, it was time to celebrate Dom’s birthday with large slices of chocolate cake. Then the juniors climbed into their O kit ready for a quick get up and it was time for lights out.

In next to no time, 4.15am arrived and the first of the alarms were ringing. It was a hive of activity as people grabbed their belongings and adjusted their headtorches. Jenny, Amanda & I headed off to the arena with the 1st and 2nd leg runners, while Paul remained in the hall to hustle later runners up to the start at the right time.

SYO Juniors 1st leg

The juniors quickly donned their facepaint and our 1st leg runners – Ryan, Max & Jamie - lined up ready for the mass start. The arena looked fabulous with fairy lights decorating the download tent and tea lights lining the run in. The minutes ticked down and suddenly it was 5am and the 21 first leg runners were off into the dark!

From the first moment Nick agreed to plan, he had a strong vision of what he wanted the 2018 Peter Palmers to be. In his mind it was absolutely vital that the relays were made as exciting as possible with live commentary, spectator run-throughs, radio controls and live results. He certainly achieved this with Pete, Jacky, controller Ranald and the rest of the team’s help and this really added to the wonderful atmosphere.

SYO Supporters

Within 10 minutes the first runners were through the radio control and excitingly included in that pack was Ryan running the first leg for SYO Killer bees. Thirty two minutes later WCOC 1 were back handing over to their 2nd leg runner and five minutes after that Ryan appeared handing over to Dom in 6th place having had a very good run. Dom then had a flyer gaining the fastest time on leg 2 and handing over to Sam C in 2nd place. Sam also delivered a fantastic run with the 2nd fastest time on the light green leg retaining SYO Killer Bees 2nd place. Next up was Imogen who also ran very well to clock the 2nd fastest orange time. She handed over to Alexandra and Freya, who were both 1st time Peter Palmer runners. Leg 5 is a yellow course and up to 3 runners can run at once. Unfortunately our 3rd yellow runner, Ciara, broke her finger badly just before the competition so couldn’t take part. Seventeen minutes later Freya was back to hand over to Euan on last leg. We were still in 2nd place overall but in first place on the Joan George (the competition for younger teams). As Euan appeared twice through the spectator run-through it was clear that WCOCs 2nd team were hot on our heels. Would Euan hold him off? Sadly it was not to be and they appeared in the finish run in together with WCOC 2 crossing the line just in front of Euan. However there is always a nervous wait at download, as it is vitally important to visit all the correct controls and unfortunately in this instance WCOC 2 had missed a control. SYO claimed 2nd place overall (behind WCOC 1) and first place in the Joan George competition.

Mini Mass Start

Meanwhile the competition continued. How were SYO’s other teams doing? In the main competition SYO Bumble Bees were now up to 8th, whilst the Worker Bees were in 19th place. Over in the Daybreak Competition (a new 4 leg relay starting at dawn) our Honey Bees and Carpenter Bees were in 2nd & 3rd places respectively. Sadly the Bumble Bees had a mispunch on last leg (interestingly at the same control as WCOC 2) but the Worker Bees pulled up to finish 16th. In the Daybreak the Honey Bees (Isobel, James, Oliver, Emil & Alfie) finished in a brilliant 2nd place with the Carpenter Bees (Joe, Josie, Carys, Claudine & Toby) in a fabulous 3rd position.

Waiting for incoming runners

Well done to all the juniors who took part, particularly those who were taking part in their first Peter Palmers. A special mention must go to Jamie & Max for stepping up alongside Ryan to run the very nerve wracking pitch black night leg; also to Matthew who ran a very good time on leg 2 and Alfie who managed the red leg in a good time with very little orienteering experience. The prize winners all received a good supply of chocolate which hopefully they shared amongst the whole team!

SYOs Daybreak prizewinners

So it just remains to re-iterate our huge thanks to Jacky, Nick, Pete, Ranald (from DVO) and the rest of the SYO helper team for a fabulous job done. Thank you also to Rob Lines for the photos. The 2019 Peter Palmers will take place in the South East on the 7th & 8th September, where we shall very much look forward to just competing!

SYOs Killer Bees

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