This summer has seen another busy period of Xplorer events being delivered and managed by over 120 of our local community partners. Using a simple map, the aim is to find a number of markers that are located around the park. At each marker, children need to identify what is pictured and enjoy learning a fun fact or answering a multiple choice question.
Xplorer is a perfect grass roots participation product for our community partners (such as local authorities and friends of the park groups) as preschool and primary aged children can have an adventure with their family whilst running around in a safe and friendly environment. It also introduces them to a fun, easy to deliver form of Orienteering at an age where they are too young to join our traditional Orienteering Clubs.
Natalie Weir, Lead Development Officer for Xplorer, says: “We believe Xplorer works well because of the simplicity, confidence and resources that it provides, as well as the ability for it to be tailored to a variety of markets and demographics. Some interesting statistics have come out of Xplorer over the last 4 years such as a higher % of females participating in contrast to traditional club membership – emphasising how perfect it is for mums and kids.”
A snap shot on the Xplorer statistics of the past 4 years can be found here
What funding changes have meant for Xplorer
Whilst British Orienteering has been able to secure funding from Sport England for the next 4 years this is a reduction of 53% on the previous 4 years. As such a cost has had to be onto the setup and resource provision of Xplorer to enable us to continue to provide Xplorer. Going forward there will be an annual service charge for existing delivery partners and a setup cost for new partners. We are pleased that irrespective of these changes, the value that has been created has meant we have still seen new partners come on board.
New partner success; getting active with Xplorer in Slough
Over 300 families in Slough have been getting active outdoors this summer taking on new mapping challenges in Herschel Park and Salt Hill Park.
The Council’s Active Communities Team worked with British Orienteering on a participation project called ‘Xplorer’. Five designated ‘Xplorer’ events ran across August with families taking on different navigational challenges each week.
Co-ordinator Ciaran Crean said, “the project combines a healthy mix of physical activity and decision making, something the whole family can enjoy together”.
Using a simple map the aim is to find a number of markers that are located around the park, at each marker, children identify what animal is pictured and learn an interesting fact”. It’s just been brilliant to see so many families out together exploring their local parks, the response from everybody who’s tried ‘Xplorer’ has been really positive, from children and parents!” We will certainly be delivering more ‘Xplorer’ days, we have plans for special Halloween and Christmas themed events- so watch this space”.