Club Coaching 2020

Last chance to book a place on the Rough Close coaching activity on Saturday 22nd February.  Deadline is Wednesday 12 February by email to

A coaching activity aimed primarily at juniors but also open to adult beginners will take place at Rough Close Scout Camp on Saturday 22nd February from 10:30 to 12:00.  Courses have been planned to the White, Yellow and Orange standard and support will be available for those who want it..  This activity should be especially useful to those juniors who plan to compete for the club at the Yvette Baker heat on 8 March near Bedford and in the School Championships on 14 March at Ryton Pools Country Park.  Pre-printed maps and EMIT electronic timing units will be supplied. Bring a compass if you have one.but compases and whistles will be available.

The subsidised cost is £2 per person.  Places are limited and must be pre-booked by 12 February deadline by email to :     

Enquires can also be sent to 


Club Coaching 2018

Three club coaching activities are scheduled in the period October to December 2018 and two more are scheduled in for early 2019. They are aimed at club-members and prospective members.  This set of activities is intended to help beginners and improvers master the orienteering basics.  More details can be found on the Coaching Schedule page.  

A club coaching away day took place on Saturday 28th April 2018 at Cademan Woods in Leicestershire. I invited the WMJS and EMJOS to share the day to make best use of the materials.  Thanks to LEI for allowing us use of their area and for being so accommodating.  Thanks also to Kirsten & Harriet for control hanging and to Bruce for updating the map.  The day went very well apart from the persistent rain.

Club Coaching 2017

Four club coaching activities are scheduled in the period September to December 2017.   They are aimed at club-members and prospective members from the age of 10 upwards.  This set of activities is intended to help beginners and improvers master the orienteering basics.  More details can be found on the Coaching Schedule page.

Several local coaching activities have been scheduled for the first part of 2017, several of which have now been delivered.  Please check the Coaching Schedule page for more details.  Currently there are still spaces available for the coaching on 8th April alongside the Kingsbury Water Park Saturday morning event. 

The Lake District Traing Day took place on Dockney Parrock near Bouth on Saturday 25th February.  It was an excellent area ideally suited to coaching.  If only we had areas like it in OD land!  Thanks to Mark Saunders (BOK) and Richard Tiley (LOK) for making it possible.

With spring around the corner there are lots of good O events (and week-ends) coming up.  That makes it difficult to plan and deliver any more coaching sessions so club coaching will now take a back seat until the autumn, although "event specific" coaching activites may be slotted in on request. 

Further news will be sent out by email to the OD email tree.  Andy.

Introduction to Orienteering

Five "Introduction to Orienteering" activities are planned for autumn 2016.    They will be aimed at beginners and those who already understand the basics and are ready to take the next steps. They are scheduled on the following Saturdays; 10th September, 24th September, 22nd October, 5th November and 3rd December.  The venues can be found on the "Coaching Schedule" tab. Details will be emailed to the OD tree ahead of each activity and will also appear in the  Droober magazines.

OD Juniors - Yvette Baker Trophy Final Map Geeking - Tuesday 21st June 2016

A map geeking session to look at a previous map of the area to be used for the Yvette Baker Trophy Final on 3rd July will take place at Kenilworth Wardens on Tuesday 21st June. The area, Wormley Wood in Hertfordshire, was used for the Brit Schools Champs in November 2010 and I will be showing the map, the courses and the routes taken by several juniors on that day to help our junior team learn the area and know which routes are good and which to avoid.

The map geeking will run from 7pm to 8pm at the latest. Snacks will be provided. There is no charge for this session.

Would anyone who would like to attend and who has not already been in touch please contact me before Tuesday at

Thanks, Andy Club Coach

OD Juniors - Yvette Baker Trophy Coaching - Saturday 14th May 2016 at Coombe Abbey

This coaching session is primarily for OD juniors who intend to participate in the Yvette Baker Trophy qualifier at Pooley Fields at the start of June.  It will run from 10:30 to 12:00 on Saturday 14th May 2016.  I shall plan exercises at Yellow, Orange, Light Green and Green standard (so far as that is possible at Coombe) to match the YBT course difficulties.

Can any juniors who wish to attend please contact me at  by 24th April so I can print the right number of maps.  The cost will be a maximum of £1.50 per participant.  Booking is essential for this session and priority will be given to those who will represent the club in the YBT qualifier.

Thanks,  Andy Emmerson, Club Coach.

OD Junior Night-O Coaching - Wednesday 6th January 2016 at Rough Close

Julie Emmerson is running a night-O coaching session just for OD juniors on Wednesday 6th January at Rough Close. It is hoped this will be followed by a junior social organised by Kimberley Lunn and Harrison McCartney - more details will follow.

The coaching will offers several exercises (all less than 1km) planned at the yellow and orange standard followed by a team relay to add a bit of spice. Starts will probably be from 5:30pm, wrapping up by 7pm to give time for the junior social.  It will be fully dark at 5:30 so head torches will be essential!  This activity will be advertised by email but juniors may register for the coaching at any time over the next 3 weeks by email  We'll try to  keep the cost to £1 per junior for this activity. Please direct any enquires to the same email address too.

Thanks, Andy Emmerson, Club Coach.


OD Club Coaching - Saturday 28th November at Hartshill Hayes Country Park

The next club coaching will take place on Saturday 28th November at Hartshill Hayes Country Park, near Atherstone.   The session will run from 10:30 to 12:00 or thereabouts.  The cost will be £1:50 per participant.  

Hartshill Hayes has not been used much for several years but it has opened up considerably and now provides some good orienteering. There is very little bracken and brambles are only found in isolated places.  It has a well defined ditch / stream network and associated contour detail.  I have planned 6 loops of varying difficulty to suit primarily those moving from yellow to orange and from orange to light green in the colour standand. But those who are already orienteering at light green will be able to practice their skills and there is something for bold beginners too, so I can cater for most abilities.

There is a proper cark park (£2 pay & display) and toilet facilities close to the meeting point. As usual pre-booking is essential so if you are interested please email me at to register (by Wednesday 18th November please).    Final details will be sent to registered participants nearer the time.

Thanks.  Andy Emmerson, Club Coach.

PS. 16 people attended the coaching at Hartshill. The rain held off and the terrain was a joy. Thanks to everyone who came to run and to Liz Phillips for supporting the session. 

OD Club Coaching - Saturday 31st October at Brueton Park, Solihull starting at 09:30

This will be a very basic instruction/coaching session aimed primarily at runners who are taking part in the Brueton Park Run but it will suit any new members / beginners who also wish to attend.  Brueton Park is situated off Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 3HW.  Details of the Brueton Park Run may be easily found on-line. 

 Thelma Spalton will lead this session and has already emailed club members who should confirm their attendance directly to her email address.  If any non-members are interested in taking part please send an email to and it will be passed on.  Prior warning of intended participation will help us have sufficient maps available on the day.  Thanks.  Andy Emmerson, Club Coach.

OD Club Coaching activity on Saturday 10th October at Abbey Fields, Kenilworth is full.
Updated 04 October 2015. Please note this coaching session is now full and so EOD is not possible.  Final details will be emailed to participants on Thursday.  
I am delighted that Kirsten Strain will be sharing the coaching duties with me on Saturday.  Without her I could not have accommodated so many participants.  Thank you again to everyone who has signed up.  AndyEmmerson, Club Coach.
The next OD Club Coaching activity will be on Saturday 10th October at Abbey Fields, Kenilworth.

Abbey Fields is an easily accessible area that is great for beginners and those fairly new to the sport but but by adding lots of controls, omitting some control codes, masking off parts of the map and by manipulating the control "circles" a far greater challenge can be provided to interest more seasoned orienteers.

This session will run from 10:30 to 12:00.  The cost will be £1:50 per participant to cover map costs.

More details have been posted on the email tree.  If any club members or prospective new members are interested please contact me by email to to reserve a place (pre-booking is necessary for this activity).  Thanks.  Andy Emmerson, Club Coach.  

 OD Coaching - Saturday 12th September at Burton Dassett Country Park - now fully subscribed!

Updated 28 Aug 2015. Please note this coaching session is now full. Thank you to everyone who has signed up.  Sorry, but EOD will not be possible.  Andy
The next club coaching activity is  “contours” coaching at Burton Dassett Country Park, commencing at 10:30 am on Saturday 12th September. The charge will be £1:50 per participant to cover map printing costs etc. 
The coaching will be suitable for any club member who would like some contour practice, and as the area is open and compact it will suit beginners and juniors too.  It is not the intention to make people toil up and down the hills so all ages can take part without fear of blowing a fuse! 

This coaching activity will be planned and led by Julie Emmerson who is working towards her UKCC Level 2 coaching qualification. I shall also be present as mentor, first aider and general dogsbody.

The coaching has already been advertised on the OD email tree so if you have not seen the relevant email and want to take part please get in touch.

Could anyone else who is interested in joining this coaching session let me know by Friday 28th August please, by email to    

Please note that you do need to pre-book this coaching as maps will be printed in advance, so “entry on day” is not possible.

Thanks,  Andy Emmerson, Club Coach

OD Junior coaching for the 2015 Yvette Baker Trophy Final

This will go ahead at Warwick University on Saturday 13th June and will be in two parts, starting with a classroom map-geeking session followed by a set of orienteering exercises to put the theory into practice.

A more detailed email has already been sent to club members. If you have not received it and are interested in participating please read on.

I have 14 confirmed participants and can accommodate a few more juniors but I do need to know my final numbers by the end of Sunday 31st May to order the right number of maps. If any other club junior would like to join us please email me before the deadline at

The cost will be £1 per participant. You will need a compass (if you have one) plus trainers and other suitable outdoor clothing including warm and waterproof garments. As with all my coaching, I want the emphasis to be on accuracy rather than speed so racing kit is not needed!

Please note this coaching is only available to club members who register with me by Sunday 31st May.

Thanks, Andy

RYTON POOLS COUNTRY PARK     Saturday 16 May 2015  11am – 3pm

As part of Warwickshire’s ‘The Big Day Out’ the local orienteering club OctavianDroobers, are staging a special event to introduce the outdoor fun adventure navigation sport for everyone, all ages, 5 – 85 years, and abilities.

Instruction/coaching is availablebefore you try a course

There will be two short courses 1km (easy) and 2km (medium) suitable for beginners.

Maps and electronic timing units supplied. Bring a compass if you have one.


plus refundable deposit of £5 for loan of timer



Beginners Coaching, 21st March 2015

There will be another Beginners coaching session on Saturday March 21st at Burbage Common near Hinckley (this will be more convenient for people living in the North of our area but it is close to the M69.) aimed at White to Orange competitors.

Depending on who wants to attend I can tailor the coaching to your needs if I have enough notice.

The sessions will take place starting at 10:30 a.m. and will last approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours.

There will be a small charge of £2 per person.

If you are interested in attending either session please get in touch with me at thelma.spalton(at) and let me know of your orienteering experience, so I can pitch the course at the right level.

If you would like some coaching but these dates and venues don't fit in with you please get in touch and perhaps we can arrange something else.


Thelma Spalton

Club Coaching on the Gower, 28th Feb 2015

The club coaching weekend on the Gower in South Wales has been booked for the weekend of 28th February and 1st March 2015. 23 Droobers have signed up.  If anyone else is interested please contact me ASAP.  Andy

Club Coaching in the Autumn of 2014

Please be advised that the Rough Close coaching session on 6th December is now full!  Thanks to everyone who has supported this set of "sold out" sessions - it makes the effort well worthwhile.  If anyone would like me to cover any specific topics in future sessions please let me know. I have no future sessions planned at present, apart from my UKCCL2 assessment coaching activity in January, but there should be one or two coaching sessions in the new year that will be advertised in due course.  Andy

The final club coaching session of 2014 is due to take place at Rough Close (the Scout camp on the western edge of Coventry) on Saturday 6th December.  In keeping with the previous three linked coaching sessions, this final session will also be aimed primarily at Yellow and Orange standard orienteers.  I hope the opportunity to run on one of our best local areas will encourage most of those who have attended any of the first three coaching sessions to come along, but I already know that a few cannot make it so I should have room for others to join in too.

The coaching will run from 10:30 to approximately 12:00. Toilets are available close by.
The coaching cost will be £1:50 per participant. To help me order the correct number of maps would anyone wishing to attend this coaching session please email me at in the next few days?

Importantly, please be aware that every map has a printing cost and therefore anyone who books a coaching place and who has not withdrawn by the time I send the map file for printing must pay the full coaching fee, whether they subsequently attend or not.  Andy.

The third Autumnal club coaching session in Oakley Woods on Saturday 15th November is fully subscribed.  Final details have been sent to all registered participants.  The final coaching session in this set will be at Rough Close on Saturday 6th December.  I'll issue an invitation by email via the club tree after Oakley.       Andy

The second Autumnal club coaching session in Wainbody Woods on Saturday 25th October is fully subscribed.  Final details have been sent to all registered participants.  Sorry, but I cannot accept anyone else!  Andy

The first Autumnal club coaching session in Abbey Fields on Saturday 4th October is now fully subscribed.  As a reminder please note that all club coaching must be pre-booked to allow the correct numbers of maps to be printed and to ensure an adequate coach:participant ratio.  Please do not turn up on Saturday if you have not received confirmation of a place on the Abbey Fields coaching from me! Thanks. Andy.

Four coaching sessions have been scheduled in the October to December period for club members and prospective members whose experience ranges from beginner up to the orange colour standard (which is when you start making route choices and going off-paths into the woodland).

The sessions are already well subscribed and whilst I am happy for more people to declare an interest please do note that once a session is full I will not add any more names.
 The sessions will be linked to provide a learning pathway for those who attend all four.
The dates chosen are:  Sat 4th Oct at Abbey Fields, Kenilworth, Sat 25th Oct at Wainbody Wood to the south of Coventry, Sat 15th Nov at Oakley Wood to the south of Warwick & Sat 6th Dec at Rough Close to the west of Coventry. Each session will run from 10:30 to around 12:00.  The cost is expected to be £1:50 or £2 per participant per session, depending on map printing costs.

Please note that you must register with me in advance (and be given a place) to take part.  On the day participation will only be possible if I have spare capacity, which is unlikely.  

I can be contacted by email to Thanks, Andy

Club coaching at Bentley Woods on Saturday 17th May.

The final session in my set of six UKCC Level 2 coaching sessions will take placein Bentley Woods on Saturday 17th May.  The topic will again be “route choice” with the emphasis on planning longer routes in more demanding terrain.  Please note that this coaching is for OD Club Members only.  Further information has been sent via the OD email tree.  Please contact me if you have not received it.  Andy.

 Club coaching at Sutton Park on Saturday 12th April.

The 5th of my set of 6 UKCC Level 2 coaching sessions will take place in Sutton Park on Saturday 12th April.  The topic will again be “route choice” with the emphasis on attack points and planning “backwards”.  Please note that this coaching is for OD Club Members only.  Further information has been sent via the OD email tree.  Please contact me if you have not received it.  Andy.

Club Coaching at the OD Warwick University event on Saturday 5th April

Please note that the Warwick University coaching on Saturday 5th April is now fully subscribed.  Thanks. Andy.

 Club Coaching at the OD Warwick University event on Saturday 5th April

I shall run a coaching session at the Warwick University event on Saturday 5th April (details on the OD website), that will be aimed at helping anyone from beginners up to those who have tackled courses planned at the Orange colour standard.  Thelma Spalton will co-run this session with me, which means we can offer a more personal service.  This coaching is also open to non-OD members.
This is a very safe and accessible area yet it provides a challenge that can catch out even experienced orienteers when they are running at speed.  Depending upon who comes, I shall talk about map orientation, the urban orienteering mapping style and symbols, and the type of route choices that can be encountered.  I shall plan several short / very short loop exercises for people to have a go at before they tackle one of the main event courses planned by Anne Straube.  To that end the coaching session will run between 10:00 am and 11:00 am so that participants do have time to take part in the main event too.
The cost will be £1 per participant (not £2 as stated in the last Droober magazine).  Juniors are welcome but I ask that parents do stay at the coaching to provide support and to remove the need for form filling.  
Would anyone who would like to come please email me over the next few days so I can structure my planning and print the correct number of maps?
Thanks, Andy


Saturday 1st Feb 2014 - Calling all beginners.

 I intend putting on a coaching session at Pooley Fields on Saturday 1st February for White and Yellow standard orienteers and is suitable for beginners.

The session will take place starting at 10:00 a.m. and will last approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. There will be a small charge of £1 to cover materials.

You will be able to run a course at the Saturday morning event afterwards to practise your skills.

If you are interested in attending this session please get in touch with me at and let me know of your orienteering experience, so I can pitch the course at the right level.

Please note that there is a car park charge at Pooley Fields which you can pay at the machine near the visitor centre, or you can do it on-line late if you wish.


Thelma Spalton


Saturday 9th November 2013 - Oakley Wood


An impressive turn-out of 19 juniors faced the rain and mud of Oakley Wood today for a “yellow plus” coaching session.  There was plenty of enthusiasm on display and I hope they all got something out of it, especially with the British Schools Champs next week-end.  Good luck with that!

I could not have done this without support and my thanks go to Mel Elkington, John Middler, Aimee Morse and Harrison McCartney for their help both out in the terrain and in debriefing the participants after completing their exercises.  Thanks to Mel & John for control collecting afterwards too.  Thanks also to Debbie Morse for keeping control of the activity attendance register, which with 19 juniors coming and going on 8 exercises could not have been easy, even before the paper was spattered with rain drops.

Finally thanks to the parents who brought the juniors to the event and hung around getting wet.  It is important that the coaching environment is positive and encouraging and parents have a responsibility in this respect as much as the coaching team.  You were all great.  Thank you.

Unfortunately I do not have time to put on another junior focussed coaching session before Xmas.  I shall have a think about it and will be in touch about it as soon as I can.  If any other OD coaches are able to offer any time in this respect please contact me – there is a demand!


Andy (OD Coach)

CANCELLED - Saturday 9th March 2013 - Tudor Grange, Solihull

Unfortunately this session (along with the main orienteering event) has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

The next coaching session will take place at the Saturday morning event on 9th March at Tudor Grange in Solihull.  The event details can be found in the usual place on this website (and possibly from a link visible to the left of this article).

The coaching will be run by Chris Mackenzie and Andy Emmerson.

The session will be aimed at both adults and juniors with limited or no experience.  It will consist of a few short, simple exercises and map related explanations as appropriate.

There will also be an opportunity for anyone to discuss aspects of technique with the coaches and to practice new ideas.

After the coaching participants should be able to tackle the pre-planned Saturday morning coures with improved confidence.

The session will start at 10:00am but assistance will be available across the morning.  

It would help for map printing and exercise preparation if anyone intending to come would email with their names, their age (if juniors) and their current level of orienteering experience.

 There is a charge of £1 per person for the coaching.

Pleas note that juniors must be accompanied by a responsible adult throughout.


Unfortunately resource limitations mean this will be the only club coaching session before Easter.

It is hoped to put on at least one further coaching activity in April or May, after which coaching will cease until the Autumn term.  

Any coaching in April or May is likely to be a two hour Saturday morning session that is run independently of any club event.  One option under consideration is to run a session for juniors prior to the Yvette Baker Trophy qualifier. More details will be emailed out and posted here in March.


Saturday 26th January 2013 - Wainbody Woods

At the request of Debbie Morse (Junior Co-ordinator), the Wainbody Woods session will primarily be aimed at juniors who are new to orienteering. Older juniors who are willing to help out by advising and shadowing are most welcome.  I can also accommodate adults who want the basics (and I know from emails that there are a few of you who would like a refresher).  The target area is therefore White and Yellow standard courses.  The content will include map setting and maintaining map orientation (without a compass), map colours and symbols, and navigation around a network of paths.  

The coaching start and finish will be close to the main start (it's a small area) with exact location to be advised once I have planned the session on Phil Kirk's new map.  I want to start the session at 10:00am prompt so that people have time to complete it before attempting one of the Saturday courses.  If you would like to take part or have a group of juniors that you intent bringing please email me at by 13th January so I can accommodate everyone.  There will be a £1 charge to cover map costs.

Andy Emmerson

For event details see the Event Calendar.

Saturday 12th January 2013 - Pooley Fields

The Pooley Fields session will be based entirely on the slopes around the central mound that dominates the Country Park.  It will include aspects of contouring, catching features, attack points and vegetation interpretation.  It is therefore suited to those who are either progressing to Orange standard or who would like to practice aspects of their "O" technique outside of competition.   There are many club members who could find value in this coaching session but probably not those who are already comfortable navigating TD5 courses on challenging terrain.  Please note that this session will not be suitable either for beginners or for younger juniors, partly because of the terrain and partly because of the type of exercises planned.  If anyone is interested but unsure of the suitability please contact me in advance to discuss.

The coaching start and finish will be close to and visible from the main event start.  For those familiar with Pooley Fields, walk under the motorway, across the canal bridge and a banner will be visible near the base of the central mound about 100m to the NE.  I want to start the session at 10:00am prompt so that people have time to complete it before attempting one of Graham Urquhart's Saturday courses.  If you would like to take part please email me at in the next few days so I can accommodate you.  There will be a £1 charge to cover map costs.

Andy Emmerson

For event details see the Event Calendar.

Saturday 17th November 2012 - Abbey Fields & Kenilworth Castle

A coaching session organised by Chris Mackenzie and Amy Sarkies will run in parallel with this event .

Coaching session will start at 10:15
Cost - £1 to cover coaching maps

Email to attend or just turn up on the day (subject to maps).

If there is high demand there will be an early and late session and maps will be re-used.

Skills: Following on from compass work using aiming off, attack points, simplification, and an opportunity to try map memory.

For event details see the Event Calendar.

Saturday 3rd November 2012 - Borough Hill, Daventry

Jill and Andy Emmerson are running a coaching session commencing at 10 am.

The top of Borough Hill is flat and grassy and littered with small concrete bases, some flush with the ground and some slightly raised.  This provides a good opportunity to do some accurate compass bearing and pace counting work, and as many of you will know these skills are needed by all orienteers from beginners to the elite.
A measured 100m will be marked out to allow people to check their pace counting and three loops demanding careful pacing and bearing work will be available for anyone to tackle.  There will also be a competition to pace count on a bearing and plant a marker at the correct spot. A prize will be awarded to the winner, but note you have to take part in the coaching to do this competition!
There will be a £1 charge per person to help cover costs so please bring the correct change if you can. 

Andy can be contacted at

For event details see the Event Calendar.

Saturday 13th October 2012 - University of Warwick

Mark Beverley is running a coaching session in parallel with the event which will be aimed at helping people interpret the map and learn the skills needed to navigate around clusters of buildings when frequent changes of direction can cause confusion and cost time.  The coaching is in a small, intricate area with 3 short course variations on offer. 

People can turn up on the day but it would help if anyone who would like to spend some time with Mark could email him at ASAP so he can try to accommodate everyone.


Saturday 15th September 2012

At Brueton Park, Solihull, Thelma Spalton will be providing coaching from 10:00 to 10:45 for newcomers to the sport.

It will cover some basic orienteering techniques such as:

  • Orientating the map
  • Map symbols and colours including a map walk
  • Compass bearings
  • Pacing

Please contact Thelma in advance by email if you are interested.

In addition, following on from the coaching session Thelma would be willing to shadow one or two people on a course if she had a request for this.


For event details see the Event Calendar.

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