“Very inspiring to be on home ground”

Posted on | July 11, 2007 | Category: News

Vanessa Round and Simon Uppill have looked forward for a long time to competing in JWOC on home ground. The two Aussies have also done very well. In the long distance they were both among the six best.

The two 19-year-old juniors have both taken part in the two previous JWOCs and both have improved a lot in the results. Simon had 22nd as his best individual result in the two previous JWOCs. In the long he was fourth this time. Vanessa had 61st as her best before this year’s games. She was sixth in the long. “I started orienteering at school five years ago and have made good progress. And I have got a lot better just in the last couple of months before JWOC! The Championships have come just at the right time”, smiles Vanessa. Simon has grown up in an orienteering family and has participated in the sport all the time.

Both think the experience from previous championships is very valuable. For three years they have been thinking about the championships in Dubbo, and for the past year they have been working very hard for it. “I have maybe not done more physical training, but I have trained more on the technical side”, tells Simon.

Even though the terrain for the championships hasn’t been used for orienteering before, there is other similar terrain in Australia. That has given the two juniors from Adelaide a lot of confidence ahead of the championships. They knew they could do well. From the Australian 5-Days in the middle of winter they saw that they were at a good level when they competed against runners from other nations. The two have also done well in competition with seniors in Australia. Next year they are both thinking about taking part in the WOC for seniors in the Czech Republic; after this year they will both be seniors.

Why are you doing so well?

“I enjoy doing well. I work to achieve that”, says Vanessa.

“I like the sport. I want to do as well as I can”, says Simon.

They are both studying full-time and are also looking for the chance of staying in Europe for a shorter or longer stay. “I want to stay in Australia, but I am thinking about going to Europe for half a year or even maybe a full year. But I think it’s possible to manage OK, staying in Australia”, Vanessa says. “You become a better orienteer in Australia through taking part in competitions abroad. Last year I took part in O-Ringen in Sweden and learnt a lot that is helping me be a better orienteer here at home”, Simon says.

Hanny Allston is joint coach for the Australian juniors during JWOC. Last year she won gold medals at both WOC and JWOC. “She’s a big inspiration for both us. She has shown what’s possible”, say Vanessa and Simon.

These two young orienteers are doing well – and aspire to do even better in the future.

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Vanessa Round on her way to sixth place in the long.

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Simon Uppill was fourth in the long distance.

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