Orienteering is a relatively new sport at Jeppe, but it’s one that’s growing quickly and the team produced some excellent results at the recent end of season Gauteng provincial finals.
The senior boys took 1st and 2nd place in their race at the provincial finals and our top junior came third. There were five Jeppe boys in the first 10 seniors home.
Dylan Fenthum won the senior race, with Brett Harzon coming second. Matthew Leishman came 4th and Timothy Lincoln 5th.
Jeppe came 4th overall in the league for the season, and with between 12 and 15 schools competing each week, that is an excellent result.
Matthew and Timothy say they are both hooked on the sport. Matthew has been doing it for two years now and he persuaded Timothy, his friend from the pipe band, to join in.
“We are so busy with the pipe band in the second term that there’s no time for any winter sports involvement,” Matthew said. “So it’s great to represent the school in a team sport in the 1st term and to get some exercise.”
Timothy says he enjoys the combination of a physical and mental challenge. “I’m not such a fast runner,” he said, “but I can make up for that with my map-reading skills and technical ability.”
Mr Rob Faltermeier runs the club and he has played a big part in getting it to grow from humble beginnings to a stage where there are now 15 to 20 juniors and 12 seniors involved. The boys are coached by Jeppe old boy Carl Holmes, who has South African colours for the sport.
“We train twice a week,” Matthew and Timothy explained. “One session is given over to fitness and speed work, and the other to mapwork and the mental skills required.”
Orienteering has become an official school sport and the aim is to offer it as an option to boys who like the unique challenges it poses and who do not want to play the traditional games the school offers.
The performance of the athletes at the provincial finals shows that it’s becoming established and has a bright future.