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SYO retain the Robin Hood Trophy

Friday, 18 January 2019 16:39

Robin Hood Trophy winners

It was a great end to what has been a fantastic year for SYO with a victory in the Robin Hood inter-club competition at The Dukeries event in Nottinghamshire on Sunday 16th December. Results were incredibly close, with SYO equalling DVO on points, but with 7 class winners against DVO's 4, we took the win. Well done to everyone who competed, particularly the course winners: Robbie, Ryan, Nick L, Charlotte, Isabelle, Amanda and Judy.


2018 Club Champs, Christmas Curry & Annual Awards

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 21:12

The 2018 annual club champs were held in the gloriously Autumnal Ecclesall Woods on Saturday 8th December. There were 4 different mass start courses with butterfly loops to split the pack. 67 adults and older juniors set off in waves to complete the super challenging courses.

It was a good performance for the club’s females with them taking victory in 3 out of 4 courses - Course 1 was won by Charlotte, course 2 by Conrad, course 3 by Jenny P and course 4 by Cat.  However, once Peter G's fiendish handicapping system had been applied and the results from all courses amalgamated the club champs prizes went to Max (first male junior), Claudine (1st female junior), Cat (1st senior woman), Colin L (1st senior man), Tim T (1st vet man) and Jacky D (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. Lawrence flew round the course in 13.20 and fastest female was Margeux in 17.45. One year old Evie completed the course in 53.46! Later at the prize giving, all the yellow runners received a prize for taking part!

The yellow course runners

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:

Winning Junior Relay Teams

Best male performance at the CSC: Dave P
Best female performance at the CSC: Imogen
Best YBT performance: Charlotte
Best Junior Relay Team: JK mini – Freya, James & Robbie plus JK junior – Euan, Conrad & Sam

M40 winning relay team

Best Senior Relay Team: M40s – Pete T, Andy, Nick B & Oli
Best Individual Junior Relay Performance: Oscar
Best individual Senior Relay Performance: Kim
Best Male Junior at the British Schools: Jamie
Best Female Junior at the British Schools: Ella
Best Male Junior Performances: Robbie & Euan
Best Female Junior Performances: Freya & Anna
Best Overseas Performance: Cat
Best Senior Male Performances: Andy
Best Senior Female Performances: Amanda
Best Veteran Male Performances: Martin
Best Veteran Female Performances: Jenny P
Most improved junior: Conrad
Most improved senior: Simon H
Best performance in the UKOL: Peter G
Wooden Spoon Award: Lorraine!

Most Improved Junior

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 (Ian, Pete T, Peter G and Charles) 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  Jacky D won 'Senior Volunteer of the year' for organising the Peter Palmer relays, regularly coaching at training sessions and club night, keeping tabs on everything to do with membership as membership secretary and organising the hordes of juniors into competing at junior competitions in her role as SYO junior club captain.

Senior Volunteer of the Year

Charles was awarded the trophy for the 'outstanding contribution to orienteering’ for his long term services in mapping to the club alongside the many roles he has fulfilled as planner and controller. Finally thanks were given to the planning and organising team of Kris, Peter, Louise and Lynden for the fabulous job on this year’s club champs.

World Schools Orienteering Championships

Friday, 23 November 2018 15:07

BSOC logo

Congratulations to all the SYO juniors selected to represent England at the World Schools Orienteering Championships, which will take place in Estonia in May 2019. The boys from High Storrs (Jamie, Olmo, Euan, Alfie, Benjamin & Dylan) have been selected as the English Schools Junior Boys' team whilst Dom, Alex E, Isabelle H, Sam C, Max, Imogen and Alex C will be part of the English Select Teams.

Medals galore at the British Schools Champs

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 15:01

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Wow – what a day!  Over 100 Sheffield School pupils travelled to Witton Country Park on Sunday 17th November and took 31 podium positions across the whole school, team and individual competitions at the British Schools Champs!

In the whole school competitions there were 4 podium positions for Sheffield Schools. In the primary category Nether Green and Hunters Bar scored the same number of points but Nether Green took the trophy on a count back to the 5th runner, knocking Hunters Bar down into 2nd place. In the Large Secondary category High Storrs took 3rd behind Ulverston and Cockermouth, knocking Torquay Boys Grammar down into 4th. In the small secondary category Birkdale picked up 3rd spot.

There were also plenty of medals and sweets in the age class team competitions with Hunters Bar, Nether Green, High Storrs, Sheffield High School, Notre Dame and Tapton all gaining podium positions.

In the Individual categories there was plenty of success for SYO members; well done to:

G5 1st Ella, 2nd Charlotte, 3rd Alice
B5 2nd Lawrence
G6 1st Anna, 2nd Sofia
B6 2nd Robbie
G7 1st Freya
G8 2nd Imogen
B8 1st Jamie, 3rd Conrad
B9 1st Euan
G11 3rd Alex E
B13 2nd Ryan

Check out the SYO facebook for photos of the day. Next year’s British Schools Champs will be held on Sunday 17th November in the South Central region. 

SYO win the Compass Sport Cup

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

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

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

Podium Success at the British Sprints & Middles

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 15:12

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The British Sprint & Middle Champs were held over the weekend of 1st / 2nd September in the south west. Many members travelled to compete with a large number achieving podium success over the weekend.

The Sprint Champs was held at Bath University on the Saturday with the qualifying heats held in the morning and the finals in the afternoon. SYO members performed exceptionally well producing 10 medallists. Congratulations to:

M10 - 1st Robbie, 2nd Joseph
M12 - 3rd Conrad
M14 - 3rd Euan
M50 - 1st Bill E, 3rd Martin
M70 - 1st Peter G
W10 - 1st Anna, 3rd Ella
W12 - 3rd Freya

Well done (and commiserations) to those that just missed out on a medal in 4th place - Max (M14), Colin B (M70) and Imogen (W14).

M W10 prize winners

Sunday saw the turn off the Middle Distance Championships at Stockhill in the Mendips. SYO members saw even more success here with 13 medallists. Well done to:

W10 - 1st Ella, 2nd Anna
W14 - 1st Imogen
W50 - 2nd Jenny P
W65 - 3rd Judy
M10 - 2nd Robbie, 3rd Oscar
M14 - 1st Euan, 2nd Max
M40 - 2nd Andy P
M50 - 1st Bill E, 3rd Martin
M70 - 2nd Peter G 

Again there were 4 club members who just missed out on a medal, finishing 4th - Pete T (M40), Pauline T (W45), Nick L (M55) and Freya (W12).




White Rose 2018

Friday, 31 August 2018 17:51

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Over the August bank holiday weekend, a large contingent of SYO members travelled to North Yorkshire to take part in the annual White Rose competition. This year the 4 day event was held at Duncombe Park, which provided a stunning setting for the event campsite. As in previous years the races were all held within walking distance of the campsite, with the added bonus this year of the lovely town of Helmsley being within a stone’s throw.

The weekend began on the Friday night with a 30 minute night score around the parkland of the Duncombe Estate. A few keen SYOers took part and there was a well-deserved victory for Oli in the Vet’s class, a 2nd place for Chris L in the Senior class and a 3rd for Paul B in the Super Vet’s class.

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Saturday saw the start of the main competition; the results of which are obtained by adding together the time taken on the Middle and Classic distance races. First up was the Middle Race through the wooded slopes of Duncombe Park. The latter part of the courses in particular offered a technically challenging control pick through World War 2 remnants. Later starters benefited from the elephant tracks trampled through the nettles and bracken by those first out in the forest. (In an orienteering first I was even offered a very tempting glass of red wine by 2 elderly gentlemen relaxing by the river, as I emerged from head high bracken. Not sure what that says about my general racing demeanour!)

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Next on the itinerary was a wonderful sprint race in the late afternoon sun around Helmsley Castle. Hundreds of orienteers charging around the ramparts was a fabulous sight. Winning times were super quick and there were some excellent results by our members. It is particularly nice to see some of our newer members sweeping up the prizes. Well done to:

Young Junior Men – 1st Lawrence, 3rd Sam T
Young Junior Women – 2nd Anna
Junior Men – 1st Euan, 2nd Sam C
Junior Women – 2nd Isabelle H
Vet Men – 1st Andy P
Vet Women – 2nd Amanda
Super Vet Men – 3rd Steve
Ultra Vet Women – 1st Judy

Overnight there was a dramatic change in the weather and Sunday dawned with dark grey rainclouds overhead. Before long the rain was bucketing down and it didn’t stop all day. This didn’t deter most people though from heading out to the start of the Classic distance race. Like the previous day early starters were hampered by the summer vegetation, although the planner made the best of the ominous sounding “Windy Pits!” Running at the same time as the Classic race there was also the trail orienteering competition, although long start windows meant ‘keen beans’ could manage both competitions.

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Although the trail orienteering competition didn’t produce any SYO winners, there were plenty in the overall competition. Again, it was fantastic to see many of our new members and very young juniors collecting their White Rose mugs on the podium alongside our normal prize-winners. Congratulations to:

M10B – 1st Stanley, M14A – 1st Sam C, M16A – 1st Euan, M21L – 1st oli, M35L 3rd Matt, M40L 1st Andy, 3rd Pete T, M45S – 1st Tony, M65S – 1st Neil, W10B – 2nd Hannah, W10A – 1st Charlotte, W12A – 2nd Anna, W14A – 1st Freya, 3rd Alex, W16A – 2nd Isabelle, W21S – 2nd Rose, W40L – 3rd Jenny J, W40S – 1st Louise, W50S – 2nd Robyn, W65L – 1st Sheila, W70S – 1st Monika.

In the Water Trophy, which is presented to the family with the best results over the weekend, Pete, Euan & Freya Tryner picked up 2nd place. The podium places in the quiz were a clean sweep by DVO (perhaps we need to work together better as a club next year) and sadly there were no SYO winners in the photo O competition either.

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As the rain continued to fall some less hardy members headed for home but a fair few brave souls stayed a further day for the team competition. The Guillaume / Preston family got a well-deserved 3rd place in the ‘plus 1 women’ class and Paul B & Mo picked up a 3rd in the hotly contested ‘160+’ category. In the M/W12 minus class Alex J, Stanley, Will P and Hannah all collected mugs!

Many thanks to Steve Rush for the fabulous photos. Next year the White Rose will be based in Scarborough for a more ‘urban feel’ and will come at the end of the ‘Race the Castles’ week that will begin the previous weekend in Lincoln and South Yorkshire. Put the date in your diary!

2017/18 Schools Orienteering League Prizegiving

Wednesday, 08 August 2018 12:01


On Saturday 7th July the prizegiving for the 2017/18 schools league was held in lovely sunshine at the Cliffhanger outdoors festival on Devonshire Green. It was great to see such a fabulous turn out by the schools' league competitors. Medals were presented to the first 3 in each age class and everyone, who competed in 5 or more events, was awarded a certificate. Those juniors that had taken part in all 9 of the events were also specifically recognised and were awarded a prize. The first 3 year group teams in each age class were also awarded with prizes.

all 9

 SYO members featured heavily in the podium positions. Well done to:

G5 - 1st Ella, 2nd Beth
B4 - 1st Oscar, 2nd Rafferty
G5 - 1st Anna, 2nd Sofia
B5 - 1st = Robbie, 3rd = Caspar
G6 - 1st Freya, 2nd Ciara, 3rd Lotte
B6 - 1st James, 2nd Isaac, 3rd John
G7 - 1st Imogen, 2nd Millie
B7 - 1st Conrad, 2nd Jamie
G8 - 1st Josie, 3rd Carys
B8 - 1st Euan, 2nd Matthew, 3rd = Freddie & Dylan
G9 - 1st Naomi, 2nd Phoebe
B9 - 1st Will, 2nd Alfie
G10 - 1st Alex E, 2nd, Isobel, 3rd Hannah
B10 - 1st Jack, 2nd Sam
G11 - 1st Isabelle, 2nd Ailsa
B11 - 1st Dom
B12 - 1st Ryan

In the overall schools competition, Hunters Bar lifted the primary trophy with Nether Green in 2nd and Dobcroft 3rd; whilst in the secondary competition High Storrs won with Notre Dame 2nd and Tapton 3rd. 

Huge thanks to GBR team member Charlotte Ward for presenting the prizes. The 2018/19 Saturday Series kicks off in Endcliffe Park on September the 8th.