Travelling to international events can be tiring for humans and dogs, although as I mentioned in my last post, it's incredible how well dogs deal with these trips. Some of the juniors had 2-3 days travelling each way plus all the excitement of the competition.
After reflecting on the competition, our performance, how we prepared ourselves and the selection process I'm now starting planning for EOJ 2017 in Luxembourg.
Firstly I need to be sure we're going to get funding again. I'm quietly confident we will, given how successful the team were. Then I need to decide what support is required from the coaching team. Within the next few months I need to publish the selection process so handlers and parents know how next years team will be selected.
There is a general feeling in both the adult and the junior coaching teams that we should where possible, run the two teams close together. I believe there are a number of benefits of doing this including:
- The juniors have the opportunity to work closely with the top adult handlers;
- The Coaching Teams get a chance to spot which juniors will go on to the adult squad;
- I would like to develop a mentoring type arrangement between adults and juniors and,
- This will be a chance to gradually introduce juniors into how we prepare the adult squad.
Of course these grand plans need to be taken in the backdrop of we're all volunteers. I'm very conscious of the amount of the time, effort and resource the Coaching Team already put into supporting the team.
So while this is working away in the background my thoughts are firmly on planning for the European Open (adult team). This is just over a week away in Calais. We have another great team this year who I know have been doing a lot of preparation for this competition.
There is not a lot of information out yet about the event i.e. live streaming, running orders, schedule etc. although I'm hopeful it'll be posted in the next few days. In the meantime, you can keep up with the competition on the official EO web site and we'll be posting directly from the EO on the KC social media pages.
And finally, one of the parents (Tim Barrett) made this great video from the EOJ which I wanted to share with you. It captures the atmosphere and excitement of the event.