IOF Intensive Development Camp conducted in Idre, Sweden

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

The development camp was actually a follow-up to the World Cup success in Sweden last year. Idre Fjäll resort had provided free accommodation and meals for a training camp for 20 athletes as last year’s overall World Cup team prize. The prize was won by the Swedish team and an agreement followed between IOF and the Swedish Orienteering Federation allowing IOF to use this opportunity and invest in a training camp for the 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 by the end of last year. The IOF has selected athletes in cooperation with member federations, with the aim of reaching promising athletes from as many nations as possible. 21 athletes from 11 nations were finally welcomed for the training camp. Additionally, 10 athletes from the Hungarian, Japanese and Slovenian teams participated in their own training camp alongside the IOF camp, using the same training maps and courses.

Camp activities were carried out through cooperation with the local club Idrefjällens OK and were led by Johan Runesson and members of the Swedish national orienteering team. The camp used a training schedule that mimicked a similar program conducted by the Swedish team ahead of the World Cup last year. The idea is to give participants access to the resources of one of the management teams.

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

From Wednesday afternoon to Sunday morning, the athletes took part in 6 organized practices and 2 optional practices, with presentations, discussions and analysis sessions each evening. For the organized training sessions, GPS tracking and analysis was used, and 2 sessions were organized as timed training events on courses organized by the Swedish team. This allowed for additional analysis and the ability to benchmark against some of the best career pathfinders in the world. An additional feature of the camp was that each of the selected athletes was followed by one of the 5 Swedish team members present at the camp.

– It was impressive to see the dedication of all the athletes and the interactions between the athletes aimed at improving performance, said IOF Council Vice-Chairman Tom Hollowell, who was present at the camp. – The sharing of knowledge and experience is a real credit to our sport and I would especially like to thank the Swedish national team for their strong support at the camp.

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

The IOF will now assess the organization and setup of the camp, together with participating athletes and organisers, to determine if a similar camp should take place in future years and what could be areas for improvement.

Top photo: Katja Babic (SLO)

Go to Camp Training Guide

Links to GPS tracking of training sessions:

Camp Photos – William Hollowell

Dino J. Dotson