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Tweet Monday 3rd May 2021

Fermanagh Orienteers (FERMO) putting their best FOOT forward!

Seven months of adventurous orienteering challenges across Fermanagh Omagh supported by Fermanagh Omagh District Council.

Councillor Diana Armstrong, Chair Fermanagh, and Omagh District Council, comments:  
"The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged us to look at innovative ways of delivering programmes and the Fermanagh and Omagh Orienteering Trails (FOOT) series is an excellent way of affording people the opportunity of discovering some of the wonderful orienteering courses which the district possesses in a safe, socially distanced manner while remaining local.

The FOOT series is a wonderful initiative and Fermanagh, and Omagh District Council is delighted to be supporting Fermanagh Orienteers and British Orienteering in this ambitious programme.”

The FOOT Series is a FREE exciting adventure programme across the Fermanagh Omagh Council Area. This is DIY Orienteering, making good use of MapRun – all you need is your smart phone, an orienteering map, and a sense of adventure! Participants register via Fermanagh Orienteers website (https://fermoblog.wordpress.com/) and each month they receive two courses to complete in their own time and pace that month.

The programme launched on the 1st April and will continue right through to the end of October! To date, Fermanagh Orienteers (FERMO) have had 1197 people register for the programme. There is also a photo competition running which has been a super way for the cub to connect with participants and created a buzz on social media which can often be difficult with virtual programmes like this.

Raymond Finlay, stalwart of FERMO says:
“At FERMO, somewhat enviously, we learned of the popularity of a MapRun initiative promoted through social media and aimed at newcomer families and individuals over in the East of the province. This had been instigated by our part-time British Orienteering / Northern Ireland Orienteering Association Development Officers Juls Hanvey and Ric Gamble. So, when Juls contacted us and suggested we try something similar in our area of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council we jumped at it; the FOOT (Fermanagh Omagh Orienteering Trails) initiative began. Because the scheme was local and COVID compliant the Council quickly came on board and offered us funding towards upgrading and geo-referencing the series of maps needed. It was this aspect which has proven particularly challenging for our very small club which has no OCAD proficient mappers and very limited MapRun experience. The learning curve has been steep for the three club members, Robbie Teresa and myself (all retired!), who volunteered to set the scheme in motion. Webinars have been watched (it’s still not as simple as those competent and proficient people make it look!); maps are being brought up to date (and boy did some of them need it!); check sites are being visited to ensure phones can get a signal. One major difference between the FOOT and the scheme over in the East, serviced by Lagan Valley Orienteers (LVO), is that theirs seem mostly urban or town parks; ours are more rural and woodland settings across our extensive district council area; something which appealed to the council’s aims of encouraging its population to exercise outside getting to know the beautiful places within the district.”

Juls Hanvey Sporting Clubs Coordinator NI, says:
It has been amazing to see the interest from the people of Fermanagh Omagh to get out and explore the beautiful place they call home. We are very grateful for the support of Fermanagh Omagh District Council in getting this programme up and running! FERMO is a small club with huge heart and thanks to the dedicated and highly skilled club members the residents of Fermanagh Omagh now have accessible opportunities for adventure. We hope to see a transfer into club activities and events through the FOOT Series.”

To keep up to date with The FOOT Series head over to the Fermanagh Orienteers Facebook page for all the updates:  
https://www.facebook.com/FermanaghOrienteers

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Celebrating the re-start of orienteering across all nations!
What orienteering activities or events has your club already put on?  What is your club planning to do next?
Have you recently attended a re-start event?  How did you find it?
Have you enjoyed a new Permanent or Virtual Orienteering Course as an alternative route to your usual walk or jog?

British Orienteering wants to hear from clubs as well as individuals, families and schools who are enjoying getting back to orienteering again. Let's join together and celebrate the return of our fantastic sport by sharing our orienteering experiences with each other. 

Please send your orienteering news, snippets, and photos to:  jtaylor@britishorienteering.org.uk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To view the current British Orienteering Guidance visit:  
https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/COVID19_Safe_Orienteering

#StaySafe

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