KYC: Helen Wheelwright

Name: Helen Wheelwright

Age Class: W60

What other orienteering clubs do you belong to or have you previously belonged to?
None. I used to belong to running clubs: Andover Athletics Club, Romsey Road Runners and Team Solent. Ten miles was my best distance.

When did you start orienteering and how?
We met Shirley Moss, a keen SOC member, on a cross-country skiing holiday in Norway in 1998 and she persuaded us to try orienteering.

How often do you go orienteering?
Once a week or fortnight or more often if I can get off work on a Wednesday.

What do you enjoy about orienteering?
I love being out in beautiful countryside, especially when the sun is shining. But when it is pouring with rain it is also makes you feel good to just get out and go for it.

What is your favourite SOC area and why?
The New Forest. It is always an adventure to be in the Forest.

What is your favourite orienteering discipline/distance and why?
I like to do a Green course especially when the planner has planned some lovely vistas along the route.

Car parking or controlling? What's your favourite orienteering volunteering?
I like to be on registration so I get to put a name to people's faces.

What is the high point of your orienteering career so far?
Just to finish any course in one piece is wonderful but on paper my 1st in W60S in the Devil's Punchbowl last year was a high point.

What other countries have you orienteered in?
None, But I have run a parkrun in Stockholm, sailed a Laser in Greece and canoed off Vancouver Island!

What training do you do?
I do a parkrun on Saturday when not orienteering and I do circuits on a Wednesday night.

What one piece of advice would you give other orienteers?
Never give up!

What keeps you busy when you're not orienteering?
I teach German A level at Barton Peveril and that keeps me very busy but I have lovely students so that is ok.

What book are you currently reading?
The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O'Brien.

Anything else you'd like to share with your clubmates?
I am retiring from Barton in the summer so I hope to be able to devote more time to the club after that. I have recently qualified as Level 2 Club coach and hope to do more coaching.