There are many orienteering clubs already being enjoyed by many students at their Universities whilst studying across the UK. University Orienteering is a great place to either continue involvement in the sport or start it from new.
Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer, caught up with Briony Kincaid at Edinburgh University Orienteering Club. Briony now Secretary of Edinburgh University Orienteering Club tells why she continued to enjoy the sport of orienteering even when she left her home club to start University.
Briony Kincaid, Secretary of Edinburgh University Orienteering Club, said:
“When I was choosing which university to go to I was determined that orienteering would not be a factor in my decision. Having been orienteering since I was about 10 and having been in the Scottish Junior Squad I already knew many of the orienteers at the University of Edinburgh and I was determined that I wouldn’t just fall in with the people I already knew and liked, and not make new friends. I still managed to end up in Edinburgh though and the orienteering club has been a large part of my time here. I’ve met new orienteers from all over the world who have been drawn to Edinburgh and we have a great time, although, I should say, I have made some other friends too.
The University Club offers something for everyone. We have complete beginners, both of the super speedy and the jogging kind, those who have dabbled in it and only really taken it up at University, people who have been doing it for as long as they can remember, and the top athletes who train hard, race hard and despite their partying hard, still manage to win. We’re a small club in comparison with the likes of the university’s hockey club, we’ve got 47 members this year yet of these 47, most are involved in much of what we do. This means that everyone gets to know each other very well, and it is a bit like a family.
Edinburgh University Orienteering Club is a busy club with organised training on Tuesdays (intervals), Wednesdays (long run) and Thursdays (orienteering). We also have our weekly social pasta night on Wednesdays. In addition to this about once a month we set off for the weekend, this for me is the best bit. We set off on a Friday evening usually for some part of Scotland or the Lake District with some good terrain for training or competition or a mixture and I return on a Sunday evening reinvigorated and ready to face the city again. And if all these trainings don’t fulfil your quota of Edinburgh University Orienteering Club time, people often post on our Facebook group about what other training they’re doing and ask for companions. Then we have socials and summer trips and we even host our own event, the Big Weekend in January. Entries are now open for this event by the way.
Being on the committee last year and this year has enabled me to see much more behind-the-scenes of orienteering. I understand more about British Orienteering and the Scottish Orienteering Association and how these bodies function now. Whilst I perhaps haven’t greatly improved my orienteering since coming to university, I’ve seen it in a different light. It’s not just something that you get a lift to with another family at a weekend or go along to a local event. Or even going on junior tours. All the organisation and time which is given by all these people who love the sport is impressive. I think orienteering is a wonderful sport and I’ve been able to share this with so many people. When I graduate I’ll definitely be taking happy memories with me.”
Thank you, Briony. This is really insightful. It is great to hear your continued enjoyment for the sport of orienteering.
Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport that exercises both the mind and the body. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace.
Here are details of these orienteering clubs with contact links for each:
More information about these clubs can be found here.
If you are interested in setting up a University Orienteering club or group and would require support and advice, please email the National Office.
Interested in orienteering, but just want to know more? Find out more here.
Photo credit: Rona Lindsay