Event report: Primary School Championships
Wednesday, 30 August 2023
Manning Park, Spearwood
The Orienteering Association of Western Australia (OWA) held the 2023 WA Primary Schools Go for 2 & 5 Orienteering Championships at Manning Park on Wednesday 30th August. The organising team and participants enjoyed the beautiful spring weather. Over 90 students from four schools participated. Twenty volunteers from OAWA helped run the event and Nathan Johnston from the City of Cockburn ensured the event went smoothly.
Feedback from the students and their teachers was very positive. We tried a new format to help ensure more students completed their course. The 10 pairs and 11 to 12 pairs ran a score event, and all of these 48 students had a result which was very pleasing. The vibe when the pairs mass started was exciting for the students and spectators.
Several students reported seeing snakes as they ran their courses. Happily, for everyone, snakes and children took a wide berth of each other.
The results of the Christchurch Grammar School and St Bridget’s Primary School students showed that Anthea Feaver and Mike Sibbald’s coaching really made a difference to their orienteering skills. Mike explained that the winner of the W10, from St Bridget’s Primary School, was only eight years old so she definitely demonstrated an aptitude for orienteering.
Overall, St Bridget’s Primary School retained their position as Champion School (with 90 points) from Christchurch Grammar School (30 points), while Rosalie Primary School was third with 6 points. The St Bridget’s Primary School students were absolutely delighted with their win.
As with past schools championships, a large and wonderful team of current and past OWA members worked hard on the event. There are simply too many to list, but you know who you are and thank you for giving up your time to introduce orienteering to primary school students. Nick Dale visited Manning Park many times to update the map and set the courses. Melinda Richards and Rosalie McCauley organised the event. Christine Howitt was the Start Manager. Ken Brownlie was the Controller. Jan and Ian Fletcher provided valuable help and advice to Nick, Melinda and Rosalie.
Sincere thanks to: Schools Sports WA for helping promote the event, Healthway for sponsoring the event, teachers for their participation, the City of Cockburn for allowing access to the map area and facilitating the event, and to OWA for sponsoring the event.
Photo: Winning school - St Bridget's Primary School. Taken by Christine Howitt.