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Wendy Billing (Lightfoot), SYO. 3rd November 1962 to 23rd September 2020

Thursday, 12 November 2020 17:57

Wendy grew up in Stafford close to Cannock Chase where she was introduced to orienteering at secondary school joining the local club Walton Chasers.  She took to the map reading straightaway and with her natural determination and physical strength, and the support of Peter and Marlene Palmer, she won a string of junior titles and progressed to the national junior squad.

Her passion for orienteering took her to Sheffield to study Maths where she was soon involved with organising the university club, becoming an integral part of the SHUOC team that dominated university orienteering in the early 80s. She was also a useful cross country runner and was a pioneer of women’s fell running joining the local club Dark Peak and setting several local course records.

She was called up to the National Squad and was a regular in the GB orienteering team throughout the 80s running in two World Championships with her best result 30th place in Hungary in 1983.  After leaving university she decided to focus on her orienteering career, working 6 months a year in computing and training or racing the rest of the time, winning some high profile Scandinavian races along the way.

She joined South Yorkshire Orienteers and with a variety of team mates won the JK and British Relays eight times in the 80s and 90s. She continued to race at a high level in veterans classes through to W45, and although she competed less often, she was rarely out of the top 5 at the British and JK.

Wendy Billing SYO at the BOC Relays 6th May 2007 at Pwll Ddu by Nick Barrable

Photo Credit: Nick Barrable, CompassSport

Wendy was well known for making and designing things including the trophy for the infamous Walton Chasers ‘Spam Award’, the famous SHUOC O’ kit from the 80s which broke from the traditional pyjama like fashion of the times, countless ambitious DIY projects, and most recently a beautiful wooden commemorative seat (the Apple Core) on the hilltop above her home in Hathersage.

Although work and family took Wendy away from Sheffield for a number of years she kept her allegiance to SYO and eventually moved back with her family to live in the Peak District. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2013 but in typical Wendy fashion refused to let it slow her down immersing herself in projects, the biggest of which was staying alive to see her son Arran grow up. He turned 18 this year.

Her many friends from the orienteering world have been hugely supportive of Wendy in recent years. They speak of the energy and determination she put into everything she did (the Wendy Way),  her mischievous side and the fun they had, her generosity and welcoming nature, and of course the ever present Wendy smile. I’m sure that the love and friendship she received gave her the energy to carry on in recent years and comforted her in last few weeks.

The current situation necessitated a small funeral, planned by Wendy of course, but there will be a memorial service at a later date where we can give her a proper send off.  In the meantime ‘Wendy’s Challenge’ (a 2 hour orienteering course around Hathersage in her memory) will be available shortly for anyone to enjoy some of her favourite local places and the sport she loved.

Wendy is survived by her husband Keith and son Arran, her father John, mother Margaret and brother Nick.

Nick Lightfoot (SYO)

SYO Juniors to National Talent Squad

Saturday, 07 November 2020 11:26

Congratulations to Imogen Pieters, Max Möbus and Euan Tryner on their selection to the British Orienteering Talent squad.  There are only 15 members in the Tier 1 squad selected from across the whole of the UK; to have three from SYO is brilliant.

The Talent Squads are the junior sections of the national coaching and training programmes to prepare for the international competitions where they can represent GB.   To quote from the BOF website “Talent Squad Tier 1 includes primarily the 15-18 (School) age group and aims firstly to identify and induct promising juniors into the Talent squad and then assist in progressing them from the 'Learning to Train' to the 'Training to Train' phase of development.  Talent Squad Tier 2 Includes primarily the 18-20 (University) age group ... .”

The postponed 2020 European Youth Junior Championships in Hungary are now planned for April 2021, using 2020 age classes.  Hopefully Euan and Max will get there.

GB Junior Selection News

Friday, 04 September 2020 17:48

EYOC logo

Congratulations to Max & Euan who have been selected to represent GB at the European Junior Orienteering Champs, which are being held in Salgótarján, Hungary from 24 –26 October 2020.

Well done also to Alex, Imogen, Jamie & Max who have been invited to the Talent Assessment Camp to be held on 2nd - 4th October in Edinburgh.

GB Junior Selection Races

Thursday, 03 September 2020 16:17
Junior in action c
Our top juniors were in action at the GB selection races over the weekend. The weekend kicked off with a sprint race in Windermere on the Friday evening. There were some excellent performances with all 7 of our juniors achieving top 10 places. In M20 Dom achieved a well earned 6th place, while in W16 Alex took 6th and Imogen 2nd. In M16 Jamie had a good run to take 9th place, Sam was 10th and Euan took 4th. However the stand out performance of the day was Max's win on M16.
junior orienteering
Saturday was the turn of the long distance race at Dale Park, Graithwaite. The orienteering was incredibly technical and the forest very physically challenging. On M16 Euan took 2nd place and Max 5th. Sam had an excellent run to finish 10th but unfortunately Jamie twisted his ankle. In W16 Alex had a good run to take 4th and Imogen was 5th; while in the tough M18/20 class Dom was 19th.
Junior at a control
The final day's racing saw a return to Graithwaite, this time for the middle distance race. Yet again there were some excellent results with Alex finishing 6th in W16 and Imogen taking the win, while in M16 Max was 4th and Euan took the win.
Thanks to Will Heap for the photos.
Through the forest

Virtual Orienteering Courses - MapRun

Friday, 19 June 2020 22:30

VOC Banner

Virtual Orienteering Courses (VOCs) use smartphone technology to enable you to physically go orienteering without there being real controls to find. The free Maprun F App enables you to explore the outdoors as a family or individual at a time convenient to you. Download the map, choose your route and then run, jog or walk at your own pace to the control points and the app will notify you when you reach the correct location!

SYO have set up a number of courses ranging from short easy 'yellow' courses for children to challenging score events for runners.

Visit our dedicated virtual orienteering page to find out more! 

SYO qualify for 2020 Compass Sport Cup Final

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 10:29

The winning SYO Team from 2018

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!

Covid 19 (Coronavirus) update - Tuesday 17th March

Tuesday, 17 March 2020 10:06

British Orienteering has today published updated guidance about coronavirus and orienteering, requiring that all orienteering events be cancelled at this time. SYO has therefore followed this advice and cancelled all forthcoming events. The SYO committee is discussing the extent to which other activities (e.g. permanent course orienteering) may continue if they are consistent with British Orienteering and UK government guidelines. More details will follow in due course.

British Orienteering coronavirus update 17/3/2020.

Interland 2020

Tuesday, 03 March 2020 14:02

SYO members at Interland

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.

W50 winner M40 winner

British Night Orienteering Champs 2020

Monday, 02 March 2020 14:36

M70 winner

This years’ British Night Championships were held on the smooth, fast terrain of the Chilterns at Hambleden near Henley on Thames on Saturday 22 February.  Only a small contingent of 10 SYO members took part but they all put in excellent performances resulting in 8 podium finishes!

M16 medallists

Congratulations to our 3 new British Night Champions - Max (M16), Ian (M70) and Jenny P (W50). Well done also to silver medallist Nick B (M35), our 3 bronze medallists Martin (M50), Ryan (M20) and Matthew (M16) and also Lesley, who won W50 short.

W50 winner

2019 Club Champs & Awards

Tuesday, 28 January 2020 20:14

The 2019 annual club champs were held on the gloriously Autumnal Blacka Moor on Saturday 7th December. There were 4 different mass start courses with gaffling to split the pack. 53 adults and older juniors set off in waves to complete the super challenging courses.

Club champions 2019

Nathan took the victory on the long course, while Sam T topped the medium. The short course was won by Freya and Charlotte took the victory on orange. However, once Peter G's fiendish handicapping system had been applied and the results from all courses amalgamated the club champs prizes went to Jamie (first male junior), Anna (1st female junior), Robyn (1st senior woman), Dan (1st senior man), Alex F (1st vet man) and Hilary (1st vet woman).

Once the more experienced orienteers were out on their courses, it was time for our younger juniors to get out on the yellow course. It was a real battle at the top with Lawrence and Maxwell tying in first place. Fastest female was Abigail H. 

Post-race members adjourned to HSBC for a delicious Christmas Curry. Lunch was followed by the very brief AGM before it was time for the annual awards ceremony, which honoured our members' best achievements:

Best Senior Relay Team 2019

Best male performance at the CSC: Conrad
Best female performance at the CSC: Pippa
Best Junior Relay Team: JK junior – Sam T, Will G and Alice
Best Senior Relay Team: British Women's Open Team - Cat, Mary & Kim
Best Individual Junior Relay Performance: Oscar & Robbie
Best individual Senior Relay Performance: Tim
Best Male Junior Performances: James & Lawrence
Best Female Junior Performances: Charlotte & Ella

Best junior performers 2019
Best Senior Overseas Performance: Nick B
Best Junior Overseas Performance: Euan
Best Senior Male Performances: Pete T
Best Senior Female Performances: Amanda

Best Senior Performers 2019
Best Veteran Male Performances: Peter G
Best Veteran Female Performances: Lucy
Most improved junior: Alex C

Most Improved Junior 2019
Most improved senior: Markus
Wooden Spoon Award: Dave T!

The final part of the day concentrated on thanking the club's volunteers for the hundreds of hours they dedicate to orienteering. All the major officials and coaches received a small prize and the club's mappers (Oli, Henry and Colin S) were presented with a framed copy of their maps. Nick L and Kim were thanked for their coaching commitment to club night and were presented with a small award. The Junior volunteer of the year award went to Dom, while Mark D won 'Senior Volunteer of the year'.

Outstanding Contributer 2019

Nick L was awarded the trophy for the 'outstanding contribution to orienteering’ for his long term services in coaching to the club and the sport in general. Finally thanks were given to the planning and organising team of Cat, Jacky, Tim T and Colin L for the fabulous job on this year’s club champs.