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Schools report to IOA AGM May 2013

Report of the Development officer to the AGM of the IOA,  May 2013.
The full report will be presented after the IOSG AGM in early June. This will be available on the IOA website. The Irish schools blog continues to be the focal point of results and reports until various glitches are ironed out with the IOA website.
1.      Fixtures
This year has been another busy and productive year on the schools front. 24 events took place.
a.      Leinster:  6 (3 Primary league, 3 Secondary league) + 2 provincial Championships = total 8
b.      Southeast:  4 introductory (County Kilkenny, County Wexford, County Tipperary and County Waterford) +2  regional championships. 2 Munster championships hosted by SE = total 8
c.       Cork:  2 introductory, 2 league (both primary and secondary), 2 county championships. 2 Irish championships hosted by CSOA = total 8

2.      Irish Schools Orienteering Championships (ISOC)
Reading the results from the Irish schools championships over the past 4 years, there are still 2 certainties: Midleton CBS win the Post Junior Certificate boys title, and Sinead O’Reilly supported by Faye Mansfield and Eileen Cronin help  St Mary’s Mallow to win their age category for the 4th year in a row as they win the PJC girls title. A new duel has arisen in the past 2 years where Robert Pim and Ruairi Long battle out their age category. It is 1 each to date.
St Mary’s Midleton led by Norah O’Brien wrested the 2nd/3rd year girls title from St Marys Mallow after 4 years dominance whilst Newtown got the better of both the Ursuline, Waterford and St Marys Mallow for the first time in the 1st year girls. The 2nd and 3rd year boys title went to Newtown, the 4th different school to win in the past 4 years. The same was the case in the 1st year boys where Clonakilty dominated.
·         In the Primary schools, whilst there are excellent individuals like Zoe Tyner (5th class girls winner), Ciaran Kearns (Cannistown 6th class boys winner) and Fionn Magner (Kilavullen, 2nd boys 6th class), there remains one overriding fact, that the girls of the Convent Primary in Mallow will dominate the team competition in both 5th and 6th class girls. In the other team competitions, there were wins for Bunscoil Chroist Ri in 6th class boys and Clonakilty in the 5th class boys. Well done to all concerned.
3.      Developments: these relate to the support systems being put in place to facilitate the development of orienteering.
a.      Basic Instructor’s Courses: courses in Waterford City (twice) and Clonmel allowed teachers, scout leaders and club members to upskill and  to be more confident to  train small groups in parkland settings. Tramore Oceanic Manoeuvres trained their instructors with a view to offering orienteering in their summer programmes. I hope to run courses soon in Lismore Heritage centre, Co. Waterford, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny and Courtown, Co. Wexford.
b.      Permanent Orienteering courses: reduce the need for expensive equipment in training young people. Allows centres like Castlecomer Discovery Park, Co Kilkenny and the Forest park Leisure centre in Courtown, Co Wexford to offer orienteering as an activity in their programme. Thanks to Pat Healy for mapping and planning courses for these two areas. The Castlecomer POC will be launched on May 12th at 11 just before Wato host a SE league event there. Please come along and support.
c.       The Waterford County Scout Challenge offered orienteering as one of their bases in their qualification for the Phoenix competition for the first time.  I mapped the WIT grounds at Carriganore for this event. 24 teams of 8 competed. Scouts have been supporting club events so it our chance to give something back for them.
d.      Summer term primary schools training days: this proved very popular and I hope to focus on 5 new schools in the month of June in Waterford city and surrounds.
4.      Barriers to development
a.      Cost of travel for primary schools
b.      Leinster schools unwilling to travel outside Dublin
c.       Strain of goodwill of Wato and CSOA club members in particular. It would not be possible without them and those who help Mary Healy at Leinster schools events. A huge thank you to all. I feel we need to finance some further development officers in other regions.
5.      The AGM of the IOSG will take place at the Kilcoran lodge hotel on Monday, June 9th at 7.30 p.m

Andrew Cox (development officer)