Riga Easter training camp

The first camp in the framework of the Project took place in Riga from April 8 to April 10. Italian Nirvana Verde club arrived at Riga bringing along (as we used to joke) their sun and warm weather.

The first activity carried out together was photo orienteering in the Old Town. Our intention was to show the old town to our Italian friends. Everybody was given a map, an answer sheet with pictures and a task sheet with the assignments. The time limit was two hours. The principle of choosing the controls to visit was the same as in rogaine. The biggest challenge was not finding the controls but to find the exact object on the picture to look for at the location. The whole group was divided into three teams, the younger participants could use their orienteering skills and lead the others to the control locations. Some were able to find all the controls the others succeeded partly but everybody was happy about the experience. We also could feel ourselves a bit like tourists looking for the controls and objects with real excitement.

Quite a significant part of our orienteers skipped the first training session because of Riga Cup competition in Baldone. After they returned there were more of us, and we started with warm-up games to get to know each other better and to release the stress. Our children turned out to be open and there was no language barrier.

The first task that was a bit trickier was running along the “line” and finding the controls on it. There are control markers placed at different distinct points along each dashed line. The task is to highlight where these are situated. The teacher reminds students to “thumb your map.”

While the youth were busy orienteering, the parents could try SPORTident game which was more complicated than it might seem. There were 5 options of different levels of complexity. Looking at the strategies, specialists could observe the level of competence. Later the children also tried and enjoyed the game.

SPORTIdent O-Starter Set. O-Starter is a system for training body and intellect. The system consists of orange SPORTident stations, SI cards, over 1000 prepared exercises, and the evaluation software EasyGec. O-Starter brings fun and alternation into training and leisure. It is suitable for every age group, no matter whether just starting schools or students, whole families, sports clubs, or companies. Starting with simple exercises up to complex tasks, which could also be solved by a group, O-Starter trains:

  • Simultaneous training of body and mind
  • Trains both logical and abstract thinking skills
  • Ideal for education at schools and universities
  • Exercises suitable for every age group
  • Environmentally friendly exercises
  • Very easy and quick to set up and operate
  • Many varied exercises that are fun to do.

The training session ended again with games and laughter. So, the afternoon training gave some rehabilitation after Riga Cup to those who participated there and enhanced the friendship with the Italian friends.

The second day of the camp stared with an Easter Run in the Open-Air Museum.

The training session was again based on the principle of rogaine. The task was to visit all the controls choosing the order freely and at the same time to memorize what was depicted on the each of the controls. This task improved visual memory that is important for orienteers. It was easier for the local orienteers as the terrain had been used for training before. However, they had to choose the right strategy to fulfil the task fast as possible. After the run there was an excursion around the Open-Air Museum simultaneously getting acquainted with Easter traditions. Later in the afternoon there was a common dinner with discussions concerning the Project and joyful games as well.

The last day of the camp started with “Easter Cup” in Purvciems District of Riga. After getting to know each other better we wanted to show our friends how orienteering races are organized in Latvia. At the same time orienteering in urban environment is easier than in forest which is favourable for beginners. Children had already befriended each other and were communicating actively. We had to remind to all of them some specific sprint rules and then it went off. Everybody got cheered at the finish line and there were more games after. Hugs, pictures, and plans to meet again in Italy.

After the sprint run our Italian friends did more sightseeing in Riga.

Thanks to the parents of our children, coaches, partners, and good luck to everybody!

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ORI-YOEU is an international project to improve orienteering practice for kids  and trainers network.
The project is co-funded by the European Union.