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Tweet Tuesday 30th March 2021

Bringing Orienteering back ‘real’ in a newly adapted normal – Lincoln Orienteering Group’s Stoke Rochford, East Midlands event 11th April

With Lockdown restrictions being eased across all areas of England as the country moves to Step 1 of the Government's roadmap. This will mean that organised outdoor orienteering, including competitions and coaching, can resume in England from Monday 29 March 2021.

Report by Alison Wright, Publicity Coordinator, Lincoln Orienteering Group

Stoke Rochford is a beautiful location for Orienteering events, and a site we are very privileged to have access to use. There is a stunning Victorian mansion set within landscaped gardens, idyllic countryside, and woodland areas. This event forms part of the East Midlands Orienteering League and is a colour coded middle distance event. It definitely is a popular event and entries have already sold out in record time!

The decision to go ahead with this event has not been taken lightly, despite the success of our last event prior to the second lockdown. For many this event will be too soon, there will be various concerns, and we respect other points of view, and interpretations of the guidance available.

For many a return to ‘real’ orienteering will provide Orienteers with those positive benefits which we promote orienteering on, and why we take part. Defined as ‘a challenge of mind and body’ our sport teaches vital life skills such as problem solving, relocation, resilience, and endurance. As well as improving mental health and emotional well-being, alongside fitness and health.

We are confident that we are able to provide an environment in which those that feel comfortable can do the sport we love in the safest way possible. You can never truly eliminate risk, but we are actively reducing it as effectively as we can as hosts of this event. 

Those that are attending we are kindly asking to ‘Ready - Run - Return’.  So, competitors turn up ready to run, go straight to the start, run their course, download, and return home. Congregating is discouraged but even seeing members of the O community from afar or a brief hello whilst out on the course is going to uplift us. No entry on the day is available, it is pre-paid, and start times are allocated. The use of SI Entries has been a great asset in providing the capability to achieve this, and it has moved the sport forwards into a cashless era. The start lanes are larger, and only two participants per start time ensure we can adhere to social distancing guidance. Participant entries have been limited, and this site will be used for participants only with no other public access in this area. An advantage of the current situation – having a stunning location like this to ourselves. Live results will not be displayed at download but available online via a QR code printed out at download. Another step forwards in modernisation and technological advancement within Orienteering. It’s these little changes for the positive that the current situation has brought, which will make us more attractive to new members, and help counteract the declining numbers seen by British Orienteering in recent years.

We have already trialed and tested these adaptions, and they were a huge success in our Summer series and East Midlands Urban event. Feedback from competitors was very positive, citing it had given them the ‘boost needed’.

We can’t expect for life to return to old ‘normal’, but we are learning to adapt and change, and still live within this one.




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Calling all England clubs. 
Is your club planning a re-start event or club orienteering activity for club members?

For all the latest guidance and support documents, visit our COVID webpage.

Lincoln Orienteering Group in England gets set to host event