Round Square at Abbotsholme

Round Square Adventure Race Victory


Two Abbotsholme teams, each of six Year 9 pupils, took part in this year's Round Square Adventure Race. One of the teams won the event, bringing home the coveted trophy to Abbotsholme for the 4th time in the 12 year history if the event.

This event pitches teams of Year 9 and 10 pupils from Round Square schools across the UK against each other in a weekend competition of demanding outdoor challenges. This year's event was held in the Cairngorms, in the north of Scotland, hosted by Gordonstoun School.

On the Saturday, teams completed a run, a self-guided navigation race by open canoe raft on Loch Morlich, a mountain bike and problem solving activity, and a run to and from a climbing venue, where they completed a number of rock climbs.

On top of that, they were being assessed for camp craft and cooking. In the evening they headed to Glenmore Forest to compete in a night orienteering challenge. Split into pairs, the teams raced round the forest visiting orienteering control points, making decisions between high-scoring distant controls, and low-scoring nearer ones. After being in the go from 6.45am until 10.30pm at night, they finally headed back to camp, for a well-earned rest. On the Sunday they faced a 12km mountain challenge - a fell race up the 800m hills behind their base camp at Badaguish.

Both teams worked with great determination and team spirit, showed incredible resilience and faced the rigours of the weekend head on. The event is undoubtedly rare for the demands it places on the participants, in physical fitness, organisation and outdoor skills. Whilst both teams performed really well, the achievement of one team in winning the event is a huge achievement. Abbotsholme places great emphasis on outdoor education, building skills progressively from an early age. In addition, the adventure race squad undergoes a training programme in preparation, which involves the pupils working hard, in day and night-time training activities. This year's teams contained a number of pupils who have been taking part in orienteering events regularly since Year 5. It is very heartening to see the fruits of this.

Besides being a competition, the event is also a celebration of adventure amongst Round Square schools and the atmosphere is friendly and supportive, with pupils and staff from the different schools enjoying the get together and emphasising to all participants their success in simply completing the challenge. At the finish line, the victorious Abbotsholme team waited to welcome in and encourage each team as they finished.

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