Lagganlia 2013 Laura King
Lagganlia is an annual, weeklong orienteering training camp for up to twenty-four 2nd year M/W14s. It is based in the Cairngorms National Park at Lagganlia Centre for Outdoor Learning in Glen Feshie near Aviemore.
I first found out I had been selected for Lagganlia by a letter through the post. To be eligible you had to have gained at least one Championship standard of which I now had four. My friend, Lucy Haines, had also been selected so that meant we could travel on the train together.
I met Lucy at Ilkley train station ready to get on the 0910 to Leeds. After we had said bye to our parents we set off on our journey. We changed trains at Leeds and then at Edinburgh. Here we joined other junior orienteers, some heading to the Deeside camp for M/W15s and others to Lagganlia.
At Aviemore station there was a minibus waiting to take us to the activity centre where we were staying. The centre was made up of a collection of chalets of which the girls and boys had one each. The girls were in rooms of two and I was with Lucy. After tea we sat in a circle and played some getting-to-know-each-other games.
The following day was probably the most tiring of all. We started by travelling to an area called Uath Lochan. Here we worked out our personal pacing measures, first on a track and then on terrain. Afterwards, we walked to a different part of the wood to do some training exercises involving pacing.
It was nice getting to know your group members a bit better. In my group I had a Scottish girl and two boys, one English, one Scottish. Plus two coaches, one senior, one junior. The coaches would shadow you around the exercises and then help you improve before sending you out onto the next exercise.
In the afternoon we did a timed kilometre run along a path and then another on terrain. We then calculated our personal ratios and whether, during a competition for example, we would be faster taking a short cut through terrain or running round the paths.
Next we did some activities in a really confusing patch of woodland. See below. The coaches had to stand around the wood and try to distract us, however, we didn’t know what they were doing so thought they were helping! This made us realise that we had to concentrate and learn not to get distracted. In the evening we had an hour to sit down with our coaches and review the day. This involved talking about what we had learnt and completing race analysis sheets.
On the other days we travelled to areas such as Little Mill, Moor of Alvie and North Granish to practice lots of different orienteering skills and techniques. My favourite training exercise was the sketch map. The night before we went to North Granish we were given a map of the area with a course on. We then had to redraw the map picking out only the bits of information we needed. This exercise taught us how to simplify the map. We arrived at the area the next day and had to run the course only using our own sketch maps!
Halfway through the week we had a rest afternoon where we went to Loch Morlich for a swim and into Aviemore for ice creams – which was great!
I’ve made loads of new friends and had so much fun. I learnt many new skills and was surprised as to how much more detailed the sport of orienteering is.
I would like to thank the Jack Bloor Fund for the grant that helped me go on this tour.