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Tweet Thursday 29th March 2018

British Orienteering and RAF100 Celebrations – the RAF Baton comes to JK

During the Jan Kjellstrom Festival of Orienteering that takes place across the Easter Weekend, the Royal Air Force will be celebrating their 100 year anniversary. One of these celebrations will be to launch an ambitious 100-day Baton Relay that will see currently serving personnel, cadets, veterans and supporters navigate their way around the United Kingdom visiting 100 sites linked to the Royal Air Force. One of BO’s member associations, RAF Orienteering is leading the planning and execution of this navigational challenge.

There are three significant milestones in the same 12 month period for orienteering in the Royal Air Force:

  • 25 years since the creation of the Royal Air Force Orienteering Association and its club known in the sport as RAFO.
  • 50 years since the creation of British Orienteering Federation, the sport’s national governing body.
  • 100 years since the creation of the Royal Air Force.

As orienteers, we are privileged to have the RAF Baton visiting JK on Friday, Sprint Race day, when it will be on show in the RAFO tent in the Assembly Area for the orienteering community to see before it commences its 100-day journey on Sunday. There will also be a formal presentation with British Orienteering’s CEO.

The RAF100 celebrations and the Baton Relay will formally launch on 1 Apr in London. Following the Founder’s Day Service in St Clement Dane’s church, the Chief of the Air Staff will hand over the RAF Baton to 94-year-old veteran Charles Clarke who will then pass it to Aircraftsman Wood, the RAF’s youngest member. Charles Clarke is no stranger to navigational and physical challenge; as a PoW he was forced on the Jan 1945 Long March during the coldest winter in memory, covering over 50 miles in extremes of weather. The 1 Apr event will also involve many Air Cadets, the RAF’s next generation. AC Wood will run on the first leg of Day 1 of the relay, accompanied by a small group of RAF athletes, most of whom are currently serving RAF orienteers.

The RAF100 Day 1 celebrations will be covered on BBC News channels with updates throughout the morning and the Baton Relay’s launch take place at 1330. Please follow Royal Air Force social media channels for updates on RAF100 during the day and @RAFOrienteering as they support the relay over the next 100 days.

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