If Will Tidswell's dedication is an indicator it's no surprise he will become the youngest Kiwi to compete at the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Hungary in July.

The Havelock North High School Year 11 student will still be 15 when he tackles the July 7-14 champs which cater for orienteers under 21. He will be one of six males in the Kiwi team and his 17-year-old sister, Jenna, who will be one of six females, was the youngest member of last year's New Zealand team in Finland.

Although Will will have been home for only a day after completing a 22 hour and 30 minute flight from Budapest to Auckland he will travel to Christchurch the following day to represent his school at the national secondary school championships.

"I want to try to help our school qualify for next year's world secondary school championships in Estonia," Will explained.


That doesn't mean Will isn't focused as much as he should be on the Hungary assignment.

"I'll still be eligible for another five of these junior worlds but if I can finish in the top 100 in each of the three disciplines it would be amazing," Will said.

He was the most outstanding athlete at last year's national secondary school championships in Wairarapa and is considered an all-rounder in the sport. Long-time Hawke's Bay Orienteering Club publicity officer and Havelock North High School teacher Steve Armon wasn't surprised when Will got the call last week.

"He has developed early and, like Jenna and so many others from the Bay who have gone on to national titles and New Zealand selection, he was coached in the early days by David Barclay at Haumona School. With his strength and endurance I can see him doing really well in long-course events in future."

More than 200 males will be in action in Hungary and almost as many females.

A member of the Havelock North High School team which won the world junior teams title in 2015, Jenna made the middle distance B final in Finland last year.

"A finals in all three disciplines have to be the goal this time," Jenna said.

"I like the sprint because it is so fast but I'm pretty versatile."


The winner of numerous national and Oceania titles pointed out the junior worlds will be staged on sandy and flat terrain as well as in dense forests.

"We're prepared for anything."

Jenna's biggest concern is the uncertainty surrounding accommodation.

"In Finland we were housed in shipping containers and the air conditioning wasn't the best."

Although she intends to pursue university studies out of Hawke's Bay next year Jenna said she will continue to do orienteering at her new place of abode.

The New Zealand team will be coached by Auckland-based Hawke's Bay Orienteering Club member Devon Beckman who has had plenty of input into the progress of the Tidswells over the years. Beckman's mother and clubmate, Karen Beckman, will manage the Kiwi contingent.

The Tidswells will represent Hawke's Bay at an inter-regional event in Auckland at Queen's Birthday Weekend. This will be their last major event before travelling to Hungary.

However, there will be several club events including the Hawke's Bay schools relay championships so they won't arrive in the northern hemisphere under done.

They are also keeping busy with fundraising events as they have to contribute $6000 each towards the trip. One of their projects has been baking gingerbread men which have been decorated by a compass.

It's easy to gauge they get just as much out of their sport as they put into it.