Daylesford POC Official Opening

Daylesford POC opened by Mayor Licia Kokocincski

Mayor Licia Kokocincski opeing the Daylesford Permanent Orienteering Course

On Thursday 6th February, at the courses’ Start/Finish adjacent to the Cornish Hill lookout, the Mayor, in front of a very pleasing attendance of 33, officially opened our Daylesford Permanent Orienteering Course. Present were representatives from two of our three grantors, Daylesford District Community Bank and Hepburn Shire Council. (Mayor at left, Blake Gordon of Eureka Orienteers at R, photo Dale Gordon)

In her address, the mayor expressed particular appreciation of the value that arose from the active co-operation of community groups in the project and also in the project’s attention to inclusiveness.

Community support

The community groups contributing to the success of Eureka Orienteers’ project, included the Cornish Hill Committee of Management, Friends of Cornish Hill, Friends of Daylesford Community Park, Skate Park group. On the day, the Daylesford U3A bushwalkers tried out the short course prior to the opening.

Official opening (photo Ian McKenzie)

Grantors

The project would not have been possible without the financial support of grantors. Daylesford District Community Bank and Hepburn Shire Council got the project off the ground. Sport Australia enabled us to complete the project to the desired standard and print a supply of free maps for our public. (In case you are wondering, our project did not deprive another group of funding).

Inclusiveness

  • The short and medium courses can be completed without going off track thus making them suitable for many.
  • The availability of MOBO app for the courses appeals to youth and millennials.
  • A version of the paper map is suited to the most common forms of colour vision impairment.
  • Parts of the course were designed for inclusion in the TrailRider off-road wheelchair map.
  • Gender inclusion was easy as orienteering has always appealed to and catered for female and female.
  • Similarly age inclusion has always been present in orienteering with babies carried or wheeled by parents through to 90+ year olds taking part even competitively.
U3A adventure walkers at control 2
U3A adventure walkers at control 2 (photo Dale Gordon)

We’re done, except…

On 13th December the final grant acquittal was completed. We are slightly under budget. Barring any queries arising from our valued grantors, the only outstanding item is the official opening.

Control 39 adjacent to Friends of Cornish Hill info station

With holidays and Australia Day monopolising January, the first week in February is likely.

Hope to see you there. Thank you to the many who have expressed support for the project, especially our grantors below.

Entry Station Installed

At last, the entry station sign was delivered. Today it was installed by our contractors adjacent to the Cornish Hill lookout.

Now we can wrap up the remaining aspects of the project such as map & promotional material printing, contact schools and community groups and maybe stage an opening ceremony.

As you can see by the rocks & stones at foot, this is not an easy place to dig.

More project completions

The entry station signage arrived on 26th. Unfortunately due to it being a day late, we have to wait some weeks until the installation contractor is again available.

Following on from the traditional paper map tests by Wesley College, Clunes campus students, a family group tested the Android and iPhone MOBO apps on the short course – photo gallery below. As a result an improvement will be made to the online instructions for acquiring the apps.

The photo gallery above shows use of both the traditional paper map as well as the MOBO mobile phone app.

In coming weeks, schools and community groups will be invited to use the permanent orienteering course. Resources will be available to assist those users in use of the facility. Schools may also be interested in having school orienteering maps updated or developed through funding and resources available for 2019.

Multi courses for Wesley College

Third cohort

For the third and final cohort from Wesley College Clunes, we created 6 longer and more challenging courses. This reduced overall time by allowing all the groups to start together. They started and finished at the Daylesford Community Park which has the facilities needed for hosting such a group.

The Skate Park at the park is undergoing a massive transformation. Hard to believe so many skate features can fit in such a small area. And a hoop court.

We are very grateful to the Wesley College Clunes instructors for choosing to use our brand new Permanent Orienteering Course (POC) as we learnt from their experiences. The results will be reflected in our final maps, courses and information.

Further groups welcome

Over the next month we will be contacting schools and outdoor oriented groups especially youth. Orienteering Victoria has an information set useful to group leaders and some of our local orienteers may be available to assist on occasion.

Opportunities are there for combining orienteering with experiencing the Smiths Creek natural environment and the Cornish Hill mining history. The former is managed by the Friends of Cornish Hill and the latter by the Cornish Hill Committee of Management.

School Facilities at the Permanent Orienteering Course

Wesley Clunes session 2

A new cohort of students from Wesley College Clunes campus experienced the Daylesford POC at Cornish Hill on Monday.

The Skate Park again proved an ideal staging point with suitable parking for a coaster coach, toilets, a shelter with bbq and recreational equipment.

Improvements made

Based on observations from the college’s first day, we designed 3 further moderate courses. The students did the Short course first for familiarisation with basic navigation techniques, especially map orientation. Alternate groups of 3 did it in reverse to enable more groups through in a shorter time overall.

The 4 Moderate courses enabled even greater dispersal of the groups especially as some reverse courses were used. Fastest time for the 2+ km course was 40 minutes which was very good. From a course planner viewpoint is was great to see the varied route choice.

For the 3rd Wesley session we will be providing the reverse course maps with the controls sequenced incrementally just to reduce the possibility of confusion by students. The college has also asked for some slightly longer so they can send pairs on a course appropriate to their perceived ability.

Special courses for schools, groups

All these courses will be available for other schools to use. We expect to develop similar for primary schools. As well as pdf maps, we provide a template for the control card, an all controls map for the instructors who patrol and a link to the OV’s Resources for Schools web pages including the excellent Orienteering in Schools document.

Council and student to the rescue

Students nearly went on a diet as the electric bbq appeared not to be working. Instructor Zoe found it unplugged after use by nearby contractors but still no joy. A quick trip to the Hepburn Shire Council service centre in Duke St and just after I got back, one of their service persons arrived! He was able to reset the mains but we still couldn’t get it going so he put in a call to the electrical service company. A little later one of the students suggested trying a really long push of the start button and lo! it lit. An electrician arrived later and he said that it required a 30 second button push and unfortunately could not be adjusted. You are forewarned.

1st Use of Daylesford Permanent Course

Wesley College, Clunes Campus goes orienteering

21 Students and 4 teachers from the college were the very first users of the new Daylesford Permanent Orienteering Course. They used the traditional paper maps and control cards to record their visit to the specified controls.

Note: The paper maps are not yet available in the Daylesford Visitor Information Centre. However individuals and small groups can participate using the MOBO app.

Smiths Creek rapids in full flight

They were welcomed by Friends of Cornish Hill. Wesley College is an annual participant in the work of the Friends clearing and revegetating along Smiths Creek. As you can see from the photo, these rapids in that creek are in full flight.

Then local orienteers Anitra & Ken Dowling of Eureka club and John Chellew of Bendigo club assisted the teachers with course patrol to help out any of the 5 groups. While the occasional lapse required some re-orientation guidance it was evident each group had some good map readers. All appeared admirably fit, pre-existing injuries excepted.

After completing the Moderate course well within maximum time, all groups then tackled the Short course as a warm down. Now really into swing, performances were impressive.

More schools orienteering

Wesley College really like the area for schools orienteering with a plus being the bbq shelter and toilet facilities in the adjacent Daylesford Community Park. A bigger plus is that the area is well defined on all sides by residences and/or roads making it less likely that students will stray outside the map area.

We struck the first day of renovation work at the park. Thank you to the workers who ceased concrete cutting while we completed introductions and instructions at the shelter.

Wesley College will be back for 2 more sessions at fortnightly intervals. Both Wesley and the POC crew will be enhancing some aspects for Wesley’s next visit. Those enhancements will be beneficial for other schools in our area.

MOBile Orienteering is Open

MOBO courses

The Daylesford permanent orienteering course (POC) is open for use using the mobile app MOBO. With MOBO, you record your arrival at a control marker post by snapping with the app, the QR code on the post.

Three suggested courses of Short, Moderate and Long are available along withy the D.I.Y. course which has 18 control sites available for you to construct your own course.

Beginners are advised to start with the Short easy course and work your way up to longer and slightly more complex courses.

Find out more on the Daylesford Permanent Orienteering Course page.

Traditional paper maps

Paper maps will be available free from the Daylesford Visitor Information Centre sometime in August.

Downloads of pdf maps will also then be available .

School and Community Group use

Schools wishing to use the course can contact poc@eurekaorienteers.asn.au to arrange map pdfs for printing in school and to discuss any other requirements.

Currently, limited funding may be available for schools and groups in Hepburn Shire that have not applied for SportAUS funding for orienteering.

POC short course installed

The control marker posts for the Short course were installed this week along with a number of posts for the Moderate and Long courses. All will be completed when the weather permits.

To avoid proliferation, we use existing Cornish Hill, Lerderderg Track & TrailRider posts when feasible. Thanks to Cornish Hill Committee of Management, Great Dividing Trail Assn & Daylesford Visitor Information Centre for making that possible.

What goes around comes around … it turned out one of the TrailRider posts we were to use was rotten. So we replaced it with one of ours and transferred their sign plate.

Temporary Start - Finish control marker post

An interim POC entry station has been installed beside the lookout carpark. The final sign enters production this week.

The Short course is currently being set up for the MOBO smart device orienteering app and we expect it to be available next week. Once it is tested satisfactorily, the other courses will be progressively added.

Printed maps will become available from the Visitor Information Centre after all courses have been satisfactorily tested with the MOBO app.