Over 60 attendees arrived early and packed out the Fourways High School auditorium in eager anticipation of the SAOF’s first-ever Level 1 Teachers’ Training Course in Orienteering. The course was opened with a welcome from the SAOF’s vice-president for Development, Garry Morrison, who was warmly recieved by the rows of eager faces.
Course architect, Tania Wimberley, couldn’t have had a more pleasing reward for her incredible effort in putting the course together. Not only were there attendees from many schools in Gauteng, but there was also a strong contingent of Life Orientation supervisors from Limpompo province, a handful from the Northwest province and even a delegate from Swaziland.
The course is aimed at equipping teachers with the skills and confidence to supply basic orienteering instruction to learners at their schools. The course was formulated to provide attendees with both theoretical understanding of the sport of orienteering and also first-hand experience of the basic skills through practical exercises. Each delegate left with a resource pack that should enable them to conduct a number of exercises that teach foundation skills in orienteering.
Following closely on the successful Level 1 Mapping course held in Johannesburg at the end of 2010, this course is another component part in the SAOF’s strategy to grow and develop orienteering in South Africa. In order to grow the sport in South Africa, the SAOF understands that it needs to overcome the high barriers to entry of a technical sport like orienteering. At a grassroots level this means training up as many people as possible to be able to provide entry-level instruction in orienteering.
In presenting the course, Tania was ably assisted by co-presenter Michele Botha, who is the current chair of the SAOF’s Coaching Commission. After each presentation section, the attendees were herded into a number of groups and lead through the relevant practical exercises by a team of willing assistants, all of whom are highly experienced orienteers. Thanks go to Jessica Hemer, Lisa de Speville, Richard Lund, Sarah Pope, Stephanie Courtnage and Zoe Brentano.
After stretching their legs and more importantly their minds, the attendees were rewarded with a fine selection of snacks and treats by the ever-dependable catering team of Denise Courtnage and Val Brentano.
The SAOF hopes that this will be the first of many courses as we attempt to spread the word about this great sport of orienteering, which we all feel so passionately about.