Club Profile – Counties Manukau Orienteering Club

Brief club background:

Counties Manukau Orienteering Club (CMOC) sees orienteering as a special sport that you can participate in from almost any age, and over your whole life. It has the potential to be an integral part of our communities’ wellbeing, both physically and mentally. The Club has a deep passion for removing or minimising barriers to participation (in particular cost).

CMOC has a commitment to developing youth orienteers, with a successful Sprint Series held annually in the Eastern and Southern zone schools which regularly attract upwards of 500 students. We also hold training events and have club members dedicated to the promotion of orienteering within schools at all levels. Our weekly youth running group attracts a number of students who are keen to increase their physical fitness on varied technical terrains.

Our Development Academy financially supports youth orienteers to develop their skills and compete at national and international levels. We are aiming for a fun, and healthy orienteering community to build the leaders of tomorrow.

Meet some of our key club members:

The following notables are critical to our club’s success – but there are so many more:

  • Brian Long and Unni Lewis (both life members) hold a wealth of knowledge and lead our East Auckland communities/schools orienteering program across the suburbs, eg the annual Eastern Zone Sprint Series.
  • The South Auckland communities’ orienteering is led by Val and John Robinson (also life members) who were themselves full time athletes with a deep knowledge of orienteering and athletics. This is reinvested back into our youth, in particular through Val’s orienteering leadership and training in schools.
  • Bev and Lyndsey Shuker, who have been volunteering for CMOC events (since 1976), arriving hours beforehand with the equipment for setup and also for takedown at the end of an event. Their immeasurable contribution has likewise been recognised with life membership of CMOC. They’ve also contributed a further two generations of CMOC supporters.
  • Bruce Peat and his whole family. Bruce brings setting and controlling expertise to our club. Members of his family also provide support remotely for our website, Google drive, and event systems.
  • Renee and Tony Motion are involved in youth orienteering, and Renee serves as our Club Secretary, keeping us organised and on-task.
  • Rosalie McGuire, our Treasurer, manages our accounting with grace and accuracy.
  • Katherine Granich is our Communications Manager (traditional, digital, and social media), and is supported by Brian Long with our website and a host of others with deep skills in particular application technology sets.

We couldn’t exist without the wonderful volunteers who bring their passion for orienteering and their helping hands to our events and training days throughout the year.

President(s):

We’ve elected two Presidents to work together and support each other. Our Co-Presidents are Jo Wood and Anthony McGivern.

Jo says, “To complement Anthony’s life long association with orienteering, I’m a relative newcomer, joining the club due to Val Robinson’s investment in primary schools, which hooked my eldest child in 2016. Rather than just being the driver and sitting in the car, I decided to get involved too. With a bit of distance running in my background and even a stint as a cartographer, I’m not sure why it took me so long! Anthony and I are now in our second year as Co-Presidents, bringing our different strengths to the role, while sharing the responsibilities certainly makes the job a lot easier.”

Anthony says, “I studied engineering, but have since evolved my career to leading performance and transformation across the corporate world. I enjoy giving back to our communities and am also the Treasurer for the Mt Albert Residents’ Association and on the exec of the Eden Park Residents’ Association. I have been coaching others since the age of 16 (when I got my first degree Black Belt) and enjoy helping others to realise their potential.”

Key club events: (recent and in development…)

  • The Auckland Youth Development Camp (December 2021) is a multi-day (non-residential) training and development event for our youth. We designed the event to include a coaching and development framework for the staff and volunteers who created and delivered the events.
  • The Youth Academy Rogaine (March 2022): We recently completed an event that John and Val Robinson organized across the urban and park areas of Pukekohe township for a Rogaine.
  • The annual King’s College Inter-House challenge in May of each year.
  • We’re collaborating with Auckland Orienteering Club and Northwest Orienteering Club to develop multi-level maps and an Auckland-wide charity youth sprint event throughout Eden Park’s stadium and grounds. (Stay tuned…)

Membership in the club:

198. We welcome absolute beginners to grizzled veterans and everyone in between.

What events do your members enjoy?

We have noticed a roughly even split from members who like urban (sprint), park, and those who prefer forest-style events. We’re also engaging with the current unserved communities (and organisations) to understand their thoughts as we look to pivot orienteering into new and innovative formats for the future.

Terrain / maps on offer:

We’re blessed with incredibly varied terrain in the region, from sandy dunes, thick forests, widespread parkland, rolling farmland and complicated urban sprint venues.

Absolute favorite local terrain / maps:

The limestone maps (eg Ponganui Road map – see below) offer some really unique and interesting terrain to test ourselves on. We get great feedback every time we run in these areas.

About Contributor: Christo Peters

General Manager of Orienteering New Zealand

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