STAG's Micro 'O' Series Pre-WOC 2024

Stag micro maryhill

Stag micro maryhill

Posted: Sun 7 Jul 2024

In the first week of July, originally 9 venues were identified but by the closing date only 4 had received any interest.

There are numerous reasons why this might be the case but for now lets stick to the positives which were encouraging.

Maryhill Park 11am Monday 1st July 2024

3 signed up and 3 turned up on a wet Monday morning travelling from the south side of Glasgow - 5 year old Emmy accompanied by her Grandparents who were on holiday from Stratford upon Avon.

The 1 hour session was split into a warm up around the 2 disused bowling greens where it was simply an introduction to O flags and clippers and the need to be observing constantly. 7 flags/clippers were used.

After a short break a grid of 15 cones (3 lines of 5 cones) was used to introduce the concept of symbols (overhead view) and the importance of setting the map to north (where Santa lives!). I was amazed how this young girl grasped the concept immediately and completed all 5 courses with 3 controls without error. The task was to remember the 3 code numbers in order.

The final part of the session offered a White Course with 5 controls around the main track. As Bernie briefed Emmy, Granny Margaret and Grandpa Pat on the main symbols being used I jogged round and chalked MN arrows on the ground.

Bernie then shadowed a short distance behind collecting in the controls as I packed up the rest of our resources.

Margaret and Pat were very generous in their praise for our efforts as we headed off to Victoria Park for Micro 'O' 2.

Victoria Park 2pm Monday 1st July 2024

15 signed up but only 3 appeared on the day - Karen, Shaun and Calvin. For this session Christine came along to assist and with Bernie they put out the Micro Course as I set up the Warm Up once again on disused bowling greens.

The weather seemed to be taking a turn for the better so after the Warm Up we decided to move right onto the Micro O and all controls were visited in around 25 minutes but then it got competitive.

For this 2 short X/Country courses were used but with electronic timing units. It was Father v Son and then swop courses. Father Shaun came out on top but only just.

A wee bonus was the visit from Steve and Colin from the 'Friends of Victoria Park' which allowed me to explain the limitations and issues related to setting up or refurbishing the POC which I feel were understood.

STAG looks forward to working with FoVP on future projects. The hour session again lasted a wee bit longer and Karen, Shaun and Calvin thanked us for the session and we were all packed up by 3:30pm.

Tuesday's sessions at Stonehouse and Strathaven were cancelled as there was no interest.

Glasgow Green 12 Noon Wednesday 3rd July 2024

This was going to be the biggest session for the week and maps were printed by Dave Ritchie, Your 'O' Maps however the best laid plans can sometimes not reach their fruition.

Arriving @ Glasgow Green I was able to find a parking space but then noticed the high wooden fences around the Gardens @ The People's Palace and thought that the refurbishing work must have begun.

I was completely wrong! What was happening was the setting up for TRANSMT happening in 10 days time. Access was therefore not possible to 7 of the 15 controls :(

Improvisation then became the name of the game and the internal thought (fingers crossed) that the projected entry of 50 would surely not happen and we could cope.

Blair and myself had to retie all the cones as the wind kept on blowing them away. The Micro O controls were then set out by Christine and Blair and Bernie arrived just as the heavens opened.

For this session Blair had very kindly travelled from Lanark and between the 4 of us - Bernie, Christine, Blair and myself - we improvised and coped with the windy and rainy conditions.

The majority of our 30 participants were from an After School Group - ages from 5 yrs > 11 yrs based at Wellshot Primary School which is within 50m of Tollcross Park! If only we had known beforehand we could have relocated and saved the group the hassles of public transport!

The Drying Green's 36 clothes poles were used with cones / simple maps, then clippers and finally electronic punching.

Audrey was again very complimentary and said the children had great FUN!

3 down 1 to go!

Ravenscraig Park, Motherwell 11am Thursday 4th July

And so the final session dawned on an incredibly windy day- 5 had signed up but 7 turned up!

What a surprise we got when as Bernie briefed Lynsey and her family members, I noticed over my shoulder 2 adults wearing what I knew was Swedish O Kit. Mats and Lotta were on a 3 week tour of the UK and on their way to the Hebrides then returning to Edinburgh for WOC Tour then off to the Welsh 5 days. They are members of Kornas IF OK.

The wind played havoc with any use of cones so we adapted the format into a map walk using our New Coaching Boards from Advertisigndirect and the STAG DoE permanent course on site.

Due to the small area in use, we were able and confident to have a Map Memory Control Pick but discovering that Bernie had accidently already visited 2 of the controls this was cut to just 5 legs.

By this time Mats and Lotta had completed the Micro O course and we wished them well and suggested a visit to the cafe was in order.

To round off the session a head to head race was organised after I had explained the fable of 'The Hare and The Tortoise' and how important the map was rather than pure speed and things happened as I expected with the girls finishing 20 seconds before their cousins.

Our thanks to Lynsey Malone for bringing her immediate family along and STAG intend to offer support as required.

Friday 5th July's venues at Peel Park (Kirkintilloch) and Garrowhill Park (Glasgow G69) were cancelled.

I am indebted to the support offered from Bernie, Blair and Christine mot forgetting STAG's PR Guru, Scott McKendrick for creating the digital certificates.

If similar help is available a similar project may happen during the October School Holidays later this year,