Intense IOF development camp conducted at Idre in Sweden

Last week a number of athletes returned to Idre Fjäll, the site of the Orienteering World Cup round 2 in 2021, for an intense training camp aimed at developing their skills in Scandinavian terrain.

The development camp was in fact a follow-on to the successful World Cup Event in Sweden last year. The Idre Fjäll resort had provided free accommodations and meals for a training camp for 20 athletes as the overall team prize from last year’s World Cup. The award was won by the Swedish Team and an agreement followed between the IOF and the Swedish Orienteering Federation enabling the IOF to utilize this opportunity and invest in a training camp for promising athletes from second tier nations.

Hinako Inage (JPN) and Karolin Ohlsson (SWE) – Photo: William Hollowell

Over 70 applications to join the camp were received at the end of last year. The IOF selected athletes in cooperation with member federations, with the goal of reaching promising athletes from as many nations as possible. 21 athletes from 11 nations were finally accommodated for the training camp. In addition, 10 athletes from the Hungarian, Japanese and Slovenian teams attended their own training camp in parallel with the IOF camp, utilizing the same maps and training courses.

The camp activities were conducted through a cooperation with the local club Idrefjällens OK and were led by Johan Runesson and members of the Swedish national orienteering team. The camp utilized a training program which mimicked a similar program conducted by the Swedish Team prior to the World Cup last year. The idea being to give the participants access to the resources of one of the leading teams.

Johan Runesson (SWE) and Hiroki Komaki (JPN) – Photo: William Hollowell

From Wednesday afternoon through Sunday morning the athletes took part in 6 organised training sessions and 2 optional training sessions, with presentations, discussions, and analysis sessions each evening. For the organised training sessions GPS tracking and analysis was used, and 2 sessions were held as timed training events on courses run by the Swedish team. This allowed for additional analysis and the ability to compare with some of the world’s best orienteers. An additional feature of the camp was that each of the selected athletes was shadowed by one of the 5 members of the Swedish Team who were present at the camp.

– It was impressive to see the dedication of all athletes and the interactions between athletes aiming for performance improvements, says IOF Council Vice President Tom Hollowell who was present at the camp. – The sharing of knowledge and experience is truly a credit to our sport and I would specially like to thank the Swedish national team for their strong support for the camp.

Zsófia Sárközy (HUN), Tamara Miklusova (SVK), Kika Basarán (ESP) and Hinako Inage (JPN) analysing the days training together – Photo: William Hollowell

The IOF will now assess the camp organisation and setup, together with the participating athletes and the organisers, to determine if a similar camp should be held in future years and what the areas of improvement might be.

Top photo: Katja Babic (SLO) 

Go to Training guide for the camp

Links to GPS-tracking from the training sessions:

Photos from the camp – William Hollowell