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Tweet Tuesday 30th May 2017

Looking back to another successful World Orienteering Day!

Wednesday 24 May 2017, saw the second ever World Orienteering Day took place.

It proved to be a great success again this year here in the UK!


Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands. 

Colin Matheson, Events Manager for the Scottish Orienteering Association, says: 

"Inverness College Outdoor Pursuits students planned and organised an event under the watchful eye of Johannes Petersen, the Scottish Orienteering Association’s Regional Development Officer for the North.
Using a superb new map of the Beechwood Campus, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, there were three sprint courses ranging from an Easy 800 metres off-road to a Hard 2.2 km around the extremities of the area. Courses went near the new Golden Bridge, “gateway” to the north that crosses the A9. There was a great take up of the orienteering by competitors of all ages – students were actively encouraging any passers-by in the University of the Highlands and Islands foyer to come and have a go."










Above:  Map extract of the Beechwood Campus map (right) and (left) one of many students taking part at the event on the day .  

Below:  Competitors ready to start (right) and (left) the final control point.

With an excellent map, good course planning and electronic timing this was a great introduction to orienteering.

Johannes Petersen, Supply Lecturer, Inverness College, says: 

"Here at Inverness we had a group of students on our Outdoor Pursuits course who had planned and organised an event at the new Beechwood Campus. They did everything and even had their fingers crossed for a good turnout on the day.  However, they weren't disppointed.  It's a brand new map which the College funded especially for the big World Orienteering Day."





John Paul Academy and St Andrew's Orienteering Club (Glasgow)

Terry O'Brien  St Andrew's orienteering Club Hon. President and PE Teacher at John Paul Academy, says: 

"With St Andrew's Orienteering Club's assistance, John Paul Academy have been Orienteering in PE periods all week. Approximately 500+ students have sampled Orienteering with 350+ getting the Electronic Sportident experience x 2. 
Specifically on World Orienteering Day 2 x S2; 1 x S3 National; 1 x S1 & 3 x S3 took part in orienteering during the day."








St Andrew's Orienteering Club also hosted an evening event in Pollok Country Park in the evening.


St Brigid's School and Eryri Orienteering Club

The course was set up by Eryri Orienteering Club's, Jim Wood, a volunteer with the cadet force. 

Jim Wood from Eryri Orienteering Club, says: 

"St Brigid's School Combined Cadet Force took part in World Orienteering Day during a field day at a local training area in North Wales. After spending the night in improvised shelters, 33 young people ran around a short 13 control course, set up by Eryri Orienteering Club's Jim Wood, a volunteer with the cadet force."






South Yorkshire Orienteers put on an event!

Photos by Katherine Bett, South Yorkshire Orienteers

Bristol Orienteering Klub held an orienteering taster session

Peter Maliphant from Bristol Orienteering Klub and Avon Schools Orienteering (ASO) League, says: 

"We held an orienteering taster session for 85 Primary School children from Bristol and Bath, as our contribution to World Orienteering Day. In addition to a large contingent from Red Maids' High, winners of this season’s ASO Primary Schools Orienteering League, pupils from Christ Church, Elm Lea and Oldfield Park Primary also came along.
In warm sunshine in Oldbury Court, a Bristol park, the children enjoyed a map symbols relay and cardinal cones, before moving on to two simple orienteering courses, delivered by a team of 15 members of Bristol Orienteers Klub.
Running in pairs, the first course took them round a large open area, to get used to the map and using an SI dibber, before moving on to a ‘proper’ 1.3km White course. Downloading and receiving their splits for each course caused great excitement and every child took home their own professionally printed course map, as well as copies of several other local orienteering areas and details of upcoming events."















Avon Schools Orienteering League exists to promote orienteering to young people. 

Bristol Orienteering Klub hopes that some of the schools attending will be tempted to give their ASO Schools Orienteering League a try next season.


Lagan Valley Orienteers

The 4th Lagan Valley Orienteers Wednesday Evening Event of the 2017 series was held on Wednesday 24 May in the grounds of the Stormont Estate, East Belfast. Stormont is a relatively small public park with a mix of long lawns bounded by easy open, deciduous forest and shrubs running up the hill towards Stormont Parliament Buildings. The linear nature of the park combined with good network of paths and the wide main avenue makes large scale navigation very easy for experienced orienteers but, conversely, is well suited for “come and try it” events like the Wednesday Evening Event (WEE) series.

The planner, prepared two courses - Long/Orange 4.1km and Short/Yellow at 2.1km plus a “challenge” event run on the Long course but as map-memory exercise. Challenge runners were given a look at the map at the start and then they had to refer to a number of maps arranged along the central avenue allowing them to divide the course into clusters of between 4 and 7 controls.

The weather on Wednesday evening was warm and sunny and the city location of the park ensured a good turn out from orienteers and new comers alike. The Long course took 79 entrants (including map-memory runners) and the Short attracted 20 people. Almost half of the participants were new or occasional orienteers which made this event a fitting way to mark World Orienteering Day.

As for the competition, times ranged from 30min to 112min on the Long/Orange and 18min to 58min on the Short/Yellow. There was a very good mix of participant age and gender with 19 people under 16 yrs all the way up to 5x 65 year olds. 27% of the group were female. The map-memory challenge was popular with the more experienced orienteers who wanted to make the most of the learning opportunity provided from an otherwise relatively simple Orange course. Some competitors even did it both ways and the c 10 Missed Punches were a reminder that even the seasoned orienteer has something to learn.

Mark Pruzina, Event Organiser, Lagan Valley Orienteers, says: 

"The event was also a good development opportunity for the volunteers with several new hands offering to help with duties such as starts, computer timing and control collection with plenty of time for instruction and guidance from the old hands.
At the end the evening everyone agreed it was a “great wee event” and all went home looking forward to the next one."







Above:  The view from close to the course start and the course finish. 
Credit:  Wilbert Hollinger

Quickly recapping on other World Orienteering Day activities and events which have already been reported on.  These included:


British Orienteering's National Office joined in!

The National Office made the most of glorious World Orienteering Weather to run a fun Xplorer event around the grounds of the Head Office at Scholes Mill in Tansley during lunchtime.

Natalie Weir, Development Officer at British Orienteering, said:

"The development team enjoyed doing their utmost to get as many people from around the industrial estate to come out on their lunchbreak and give orienteering a go.  One person taking part from one of the other offices came and had a go and said "I didn’t think I would enjoy is as much as I did, it was good to get out of the office for a bit and would definitely take part again.”





British Army Orienteering Club did World Orienteering Day 2017!

Lt Col Chris Huthwaite, Chairman of the Army Orienteering Association, writes:

The British Army Orienteering Club delivered an individual military training orienteering competition, on World Orienteering Day at Longmoor Training Area.

The orienteering map had been updated and Colin Dickson from British Army Orienteering Club planned three excellent courses. A very technical Blue, at 6.7 km with 225 m of climb; a great Light Green at 4 km with 135 m of climb; and a Long Orange at 4.8 km with 110 m of climb. The courses were part of the Army Inter Unit Orienteering Championships, with a classic cross-country race on Day 1 (Wednesday 24 May 2017 - World orienteering Day and a Harris Competition on Day 2 (Thursday 25 May 2017).

We were blessed with a beautiful day and were fortunate to be kept cool in the glorious foliage of the training areas trees. The controller, Colin Holcombe (British Army Orienteering Club), ably assisted by Kieran Devine (Southamption Orienteering Club) ensured the controls were accurately placed in the very physically demanding and technically challenging driver training area. The organiser, Captain Brett Green arranged a super assembly area, with a covered Registration (Allan Farrington EMIT UK), clothing and accessory from Ultrasport (Ian Kevan BEM); and food from Tom's Burger Van (Tom and Julie Wilkinson).

The start was within 200 m of Registration and the finish, well placed, less than 200 m in the other direction. With 305 competitors Richard and Bobby Baldwin did a sterling job, controlling the eager soldiers and civilian competitors, who took off at speed into the forest. In addition, orienteering training was arranged in the morning by Colin Metcalfe (British Army Orienteering Club), and well over 40 soldiers attended the initial 1 hourr briefing on the map and skills; after which 20 plus young men and women took to the forest for a 'walk & talk' skills session.

The atmosphere in the assembly area was electric, as soldiers and civilians compared, congratulated and commiserated on their runs.

A great team event, relying on a Team Leader to allocate 'Other' controls to his team members. World Orienteering Day has been a huge success, with numerous World Orienteering Day shirts, hats and snoods on display. The British Army looks forward to participating in WOD18..!

See photos from these two events here.

British Orienteering would like to take this oportunity to say a big thank you to all the orienteering clubs and schools who took part in World Orienteering and helped to make it the success it was!  

We would love to report on more World Orienteering Day events and activities which have taken place in the UK. 
Please email: - with the details and photos of what you did to celebrate World Orienteering Day!


To read about other orienteering events and activities which have taken place across the world for World Orienteering Day - click here.


Save the date! 
World Orienteering Day 2018 will be taking place again on the 23 May 2018.