It's nearly the end of the 2019 Orienteering season! Trident has had students travelling to Rotorua after school every week on a Wednesday night during term 1. This year we have limited the club numbers to 2 school vans full. It was first in, first served, more students wanted to join this popular sport, but logistics would only allow us 2 vans per week.
Mr Rowland has been running Orienteering since arriving at Trident 10 years ago! Over the decade, that is a lot of students who have been exposed to the sport who have learnt to be better navigators. Orienteering is a growing sport, mainly in Rogaining which is a particular type of Orienteering and is firmly on the map as a popular choice for New Zealanders. (Rogaining is a mix of navigation, adventure, strategy, and fun. It can be done on foot, MTB, kayaks or skis, depending on where the venue is).
Luckily for us, we have a brilliant local club in Rotorua OBOP which allows us to enter 20 plus students per night. The maps they provide are excellent, well worth the running and brain power to race them. The club runs a summer series in Feb and March each year using a 1 hour Rogaine style of course, in a mixture of parks, forest and Urban areas around Rotorua.
In a rogaine you’ll be given a map with marked checkpoints/controls which are given different scores and your challenge is to get the highest score within a set time by visiting as many controls as possible. But note, you will have points deducted if you are late. Everyone finishes around the same time so the event centre is always a social spot.
The shortest rogaine events are one hour, and the national and world Championship events are 24 hours, but any set time limit can be used. Longer events will often have a shorter duration option available. In the longer events there will also be a dark component to add to the navigation challenge.
In a rogaine you are given the map before you start, and everyone has the same amount of planning time – around 5 minutes for a one hour event and 3 hours for a 24 hour event. This means that you and your teammate need to put your cunning strategies into place as to the most efficient method to collect maximum points versus minimum distance travelled within the competition time.
In a rogaine you can return to the event centre any number of times, and can finish whenever you like. Recording your visits to control sites is done with an electronic punch (NAVLIGHT or SPORTident), a clipcard and punch, or by writing down the answer to a question or copying a short code. At the end of the event your score is counted, points deducted if you are late. If there is a draw on points between competitors, the quickest time wins.
Mr Rowland says the constant navigation skills needed to succeed during a Rogaine are extremely beneficial to young students development. Often competitors are making 200 carefully thought out decisions (all with consequences) during an hour of running. Thats a great pay back for brain development!
As more adventure races are appearing locally like soakedinadventure and the 6 hour series, also nationally like spiritedwomen and Godzone, Rogaining is becoming a first choice sport for New Zealanders.
This year we are planning to extend the Trident Orienteering Club into MTBO (Mountain Bike Rogaining).
Trident is very lucky to have so many teachers like Mr Rowland who not only dedicate themselves to teaching but also to helping our students be involved in sport, going out of their way year after year to provide opportunity for our students. Mr Rowland is passionate about getting students involved in Orienteering and we thank him for the past decade that he has worked with our students in this sport!