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brescia house planners report


As a first time planner, I must admit I tried adhering to the GOC standards as closely as possible. For me, defining a path in orienteering planning means firstly, to get the basics right. Armed with sheets of printouts on the how’s and what-to-do’s with regards to planning an event, Paul Wimberley (my controller at the Brescia House Valentine’s Day event) and I kick-started our initial meeting with a preliminary survey of the ‘terrain’. Our day was concluded with Paul saying, “Have a good holiday, and remember to plan your routes when you are sitting on the plane!” Talk about pressure! I was almost certain Paul did say that in jest but it was enough to plant the seed of responsibility into my head. When I departed for my two-week, long anticipated holiday to Germany a week or so later, I had nine maps (three copies per course – just in case I made a mess) in my hand-carry luggage. Whilst other passengers were sleeping, I had my night light on overhead, trying to mark out ‘good route choices’. What a novel way to start a holiday…


Regardless, the big day (14 Feb) came and went pretty smoothly. The event attracted a good turnout in spite of the erratic weather. Friends rocked up to show their support, which was encouraging. My confidence was also bolstered by compliments received afterwards. Shopping for spot prizes the previous day was fun, and I had my partner labor over the cutting of red paper hearts late into the night (just to add a special touch to the V-day event).


Below are some random notes to Self about the Brescia House event:


·         108 entries in all!

·         Variety of symbols used for control descriptions were well-received

·         The ‘tricks’ worked! (I had controls purposely set up in similar areas which only appeared later in the course, in the hope of throwing people off J)

·         Comment from a seasoned orienteer where he usually runs through courses but in this event, he actually had to slow down and think (thumbs up for technicality!).

·         Note and indicate crossable barriers on both the maps and information board.

·         Danger tape placed around square man-hole in the park for safety as there was a control next to it. Last thing I wanted was people disappearing into a smelly abyss.

·         Similar distances for Women’s and Men’s courses, with only a 100m difference between both. I tried to make both courses equally technical and with similar number of controls. Paul’s guiding words were, “Make the Novice course as easy as possible, and make the Men / Women’s courses as hard as possible!”………. Well, I hope I managed to achieve that!

·         Fastest competitor times were 19:08 mins (Novice), 22:08 mins (Women) and 20:57 mins (Men)… Compared against the recommended winning time of 20 mins, this tells me that the courses were ‘just right’ and neither too simple nor too difficult.

·         Ensure neighboring controls maintain a minimum distance of 15m apart as per recently updated GOC standards.

·         Popularity of the Men’s course – we ran out of maps so used ones had to be ‘recycled’ for new competitors.

·         The cloud cover and cool weather we had during the event was a blessing in disguise to help cool down the orienteers.

·         Assisted orienteering, by means of drawn lines (indicating the route to take while exiting and re-entering the school gate) marked on the Men and Women maps. Necessary or unnecessary?

·         I learnt how to set up start boxes and finish funnels!

·         Minimized use of line features for navigation in the school, using them more in the park, like the river, to guide the orienteer.

·         Extra touch to the day with the special lucky draws organized by the tuckshop ladies.

·         There was ample parking for everyone

·         The Toilet situation…… The tuckshop toilet was closed and people had to be redirected verbally to the next available one. Maybe we should have toilet signs next time.

·         Extreme Gratitude for the efficient and knowledgeable helpers who knew exactly what to do on the day!

·         ‘Extreme-r’ Gratitude for the juniors who helped to collect controls at the end of the event (I was exhausted…).

·         ‘Extreme-st’ Gratitude to Paul, my controller, mentor and physical laborer (he was carrying most of the heavy equipment during set-up the day before) in course-planning J


All in all, this was a great experience which helped me to develop a deeper appreciation for the people who take time and effort to create an event – there is SO much that goes into it! Thank you to all you planners/controllers/organizers/helpers for volunteering each time in order to make every event such a unique one for so many others to enjoy!


Meilin Tan