SYO Newsletter 22 March 2020

Member News, Covid 19, Wednesday DIY O, Maprun, CSC report, planning competition, Interland report, Mapping, On-line circuits, Saturday Series update, Burbage Mines Event Report, Norfolk Park Event Report, Burbage Mines Event Report, Botanical Gardens Event Report, T'shirt update.
SYO Newsletter - 22nd March 2020

Member News

A very warm welcome to new members Matthew Hennell, Jamie Irvine, Maeve Largey, Alastair Reid, Lucy Walwyn and Charlie Puddifoot.

Thank you to everyone who has re-joined so promptly this year. If you haven't yet renewed please take a moment to do so as British Orienteering remove you from the system after 31st March. Please email Jacky if you are have any questions or difficulties.

New for this year, we are introducing a student membership rate of £15 for full-time students over 21. Please renew in the normal way via British Orienteering, then contact Jacky for a refund.

The newsletter goes out to the email address used when joining the club. This may mean that partners, older juniors etc do not receive a copy. Please let Jacky know if you would like to be added to the SYO newsletter distribution list.


Covid 19 leads to cancellation of all events

No doubt you will have all received the email from British Orienteering advising suspension of all orienteering events and activities with immediate effect as a result of Covid 19. This means that all planned SYO events, coaching and club night sessions have been cancelled. 

However, the government are still encouraging us to get outdoors and exercise but without socialising. We contacted the Chief Exec of British Orienteering to confirm whether we could put on orienteering that our members could do on their own and were given the go ahead. On Wednesday we put on the first one in Bingham Park to great success. This will now become a regular activity unless rules on being outdoors change.


Wednesday DIY Orienteering 

Each week we will plan 3 or 4 courses on different areas. Mini control kites (or maybe snapbands or stickers in some urban areas) will be put out on Wednesdays and collected the following day. Maps and instrucitions will be emailed out for participants to print and you will then be free to give it a go at a time convenient to you. These will be put on free of charge by the club to help keep our club members sane over the forthcoming weeks until the Coronavirus restrictions end.

The dates and areas are as follows: 

25th March - The Edge
1st April - Wheata Woods
8th April - Tankersley
15th April - Little Matlock Woods
22nd April - Loxley
29th April - Bowden Housteads
6th May - General Cemetery & urban surrounds
13th May - Hesley (subject to permission - site might be closed)
20th May - Forge Dam & the Porter Valley
27th May - Millhouses
3rd June - Parkwood Springs
10th June - Ecclesall Woods (paths only)
17th June - Norfolk Park & urban surrounds
24th June Whirlowbrook Hall & Limb Valley
1st July - Ponderosa & urban surrounds
8th July - Redmires
15th July - Graves

We have obtained permission to use these areas and put out controls - unfortunately there are many woods and moorlands that we aren't able to use because of nesting birds.

Please email Pauline if you would like to plan, hang or collect controls at any of the sessions. I will mentor, help on the day and do the slots no-one wants! 

It would also be great to find a way of sharing routes, times and comments. If anyone has any suggestions or would like to set something up to do this please let me know.

Please make sure that you follow social distancing recommendations - stay 2m away from anyone not in your immediate family. Please also keep the courses within the club as this needs to remain low key. Should government restrictions become stricter then we may be forced to stop the Wednesday Orienteering but fingers crossed for now. 



Using MapRun South Yorkshire allows you to get out orienteering whenever you like. Challenge yourself to visit as many checkpoints as you can within a given time limit. Maprun is a free smartphone app that automatically record each site you visit, and at the end will upload your result so you can compare your performance against everyone else. There are no controls out - instead the app beeps to let you know you're at the control site. Download the app here.

There are a few courses already set up - click UK, then South Yorkshire - and we will be adding more over the next few weeks. Email Pauline if you fancy having a go at setting one up.

There are some limitations - sometimes the GPS signal fails, particularly near tall buildings - but it does provide a way of getting out orienteering in the current climate!


New SYO Planning Competitions

SYO are organising a series of course planning competitions open to all. This is one activity that is not affected by Covid19 and will hopefully help to while away those hours when we are stuck at home!

This competition will give our experienced planners a chance to plan courses without the constraints of a real event while juniors and novices will learn something about the processes involved.  Course planning is also great ‘armchair training’ to help you improve your orienteering. 

For the first competition the challenge is to plan the Orange and Brown courses for a fictional Middle Distance Regional event at Deffer Woods. There is no need to visit the area and local knowledge isn’t an advantage. 

The judging panel consists of 3 experienced planners and all entries will be judged anomalously. There are 3 classes - Under 14s, Novice Planner, Planner with experience. Winning entries will receive a free run voucher to use at any SYO event and will be published to great aclaim! Contact Pauline for further details if you would like to have a go. 

The deadline for entries to the first competition is 1st April.


2019/20 Saturday Series Update

We have held 6 of the 9 events in the 2019/2020 Saturday Series but it is highly unlikely that we will be able to hold the final 3 events. As such we have decided that the final results for the schools' league and adults' league will be calculated on the competitors best four results. We will calculate the results shortly and notify participants. We will hold the prize giving as soon as we are able - at our urban weekend on 11th July if it goes ahead or at the first event of the new league in September.



If anyone has some spare time on their hands over the forthcoming weeks and would like to try their hands at mapping, please contact Ian Cooper. This could take the form of updating an existing map, mapping a new urban area or if you fancy a bigger project mapping Haggside! Ian is happy to mentor new mappers so don't let inexperience put you off!


Circuits go on-line!

We are hoping to get our circuit classes on-line for our members to do at home at some point next week. We'll let you know when we're up & running.


SYO qualify for CSC Final

Orienteering clubs up and down the country took part in the qualifying rounds of the Compass Sport Cup Competition on Sunday 15th March. Over 100 SYO members travelled to Huddersfield to take part in the heat at Fixby and Bradley Woods alongside 5 other large clubs – AIRE, CLOK, DVO, DEE & EBOR. There were fantastic runs from all our members resulting in a win for SYO with a score of 2418, over AIRE in second place with 2349 points. Congratulations to the club’s point scorers: Euan 100, Andy 100, Martin 100, Peter G 100, Freya 100, Oli 99, Amanda 99, Conrad 99, Anna 98, Lucy 98, Dom 98, Imogen 98, Richard H 97, Jenny J 97, Charlotte 96, Alex C 96, Pete T 96, Alex E 95, Tim T 95, Isobel 94, Richard B 94 Colin B 94, Ryan 93, Tom 92 and Nick L 91.

Thank you to everyone who took part – you all contributed to SYO’s win. The final is on Sunday 18th October at Sutton Park in Sutton Coalfield. Please put the date in your diary when fingers crossed we will all be back orienteering again!


SYO success at Interland 2020

The 2020 Interland Cup was held at Burnham Beeches and Egypt Woods on Sunday 1st March. England were emphatic winners with a 48 point lead over the Belgians! Particular congratulations to Lucy, who won W50, and Nick B, who won M40; Jenny J who took 2nd on W40 and Alex C (W17) and Freya (W14) who both took 3rd place in their classes. Well done also to the other 5 SYO members – Sam T, Conrad, Max, Andy and Imogen – who all played a vital role in securing England’s victory. Next year’s Interland match is in Belgium on 28th February.

SYO juniors Max, Freya and Sam T have written reports on their experience - read them here


Burbage Event Report

We scheduled the Burbage Moor event for the latest possible date before the start of bird nesting season in the hope of relatively benign weather. Although the howling winds were tough, particularly for our valent helpers, it could have been a lot worse and the day remained dry at least!

Despite the physical challenge of Burbage, the event proved popular with over 450 entries. There were some great long legs across the moor and some challenging short legs over at Surprise View for the longer courses. culminating in the super intricate boulder field for all TD5 courses.

There were some good results for our SYO members, particularly the juniors with wins from Rafferty (yellow), Caspar (orange), Robbie (short green), James (green) and Euan (blue). It was also good to see Lester back out orienteering post surgery and taking the win on very short green.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped but particuarly Ian for updating the map, Mark for planning, Steve for organising, Martin for managing the SI and Pete for assisting with the controlling. Steve, Mark's & Ranald's comments on the event can be read here.


Botanical Gardens Event Report

The 5th Saturday Series event was held in the Botanical Gardens on 8th Feb. This was another hugely popular event with a bumper attendance of 588 runs. Shorter sprint syle courses meant we coped admirably with the hoards and there were virtually no queues. Over 16s enjoyed courses that crossed over to the Hallam Collegiate Campus in addition to the gardens.  135 SYO members competed and in total there were 203 hours of running, 9792 controls visited and 960km run over the course of the event!

Thank you to everyone who helped but particularly Rob who planned some fabulous courses, despite being a new dad to his 5 week old son! Thanks also to the Botanical Gardens staff who are always so helpful and supportive of our events.


Norfolk Park Event Report

Saturday Series 6 saw the venue switch to Norfolk Park and the fabulous facilities provided at the Centre in the Park. No SYO refreshments this time as the cafe there provides a super range of good value food and drinks. Instead Jacky switched her talents from cake baking to shop sales, raising £140 through the 2nd hand sports kit sale!

We extended the map this year so the over 16s were treated to some new terrain. Comments from the green and blue runners indicated that they particularly enjoyed this year's courses. Numbers wise Norfolk Park is never as popular as Endcliffe and the Botanical Gardens, but we still had over 360 runs.

Thanks again to our regular band of helpers but particularly Colin D for planning in advance and Colin B for taking charge of planning duties on the day.


Burbage Mines Event Report

Our last Wednesday evening event was held at Burbage Mines on 12th Feb. This is an excellent venue for a midweek night event because the highly complex area of mine workings offer a good level of challenge to even the most experienced orienteers while the compact nature of the area means the less experienced are never too far away from the start & finish.

Well done to Jack for a win on ochre, Alex E for topping navy and Matthew for taking the victory on jade.

Thank you to Nathan of ShUOC and OD for planning an SYO event, the Dakins for transporting equipment, managing SI / registration and taping the crags and the ShUOC gang for collecting the controls!


Volunteer and Participation T'shirts

Members are awarded points for participating or volunteering at SYO events and a free t-shirt is presented to those amassing 20  and 50 points. Well done those who have reached the 20 milestone as of 14th March:

Rob B, Chris W, Paul T, Freddie H, Bill, Naomi, Wilson and Walter

Congratulations also to those that have reached the 50 milestone:

Lawrence, Isabelle, Robyn, Matthew M, Colin B and Pasco.

You can check your points on the  SYO website shortly. If you are missing any points, please email Peter G.



Facebook is increasingly being used as a marketing and advertising tool and SYO are keen to use it for publicising events. We also regularly report on events and celebrate members' achievements. Please like our page and join the SYO group. The more likes we get on our posts, the more people see our page, so please try to engage regularly.

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