A new project developed in the North West of Northern Ireland to combine Orienteering, Athletics and Triathlon.
The project recognises the crossover in the three sports and hopes that this collaboration will bring a new way of training and connecting for young athletes and their families.
Photo (left): North West Orienteering Club Coach Anthony McGonigle.
Photos (middle and right): City of Derry Spartans session in action.
North West Orienteering Club has teamed up City of Derry Spartans and North West Triathlon Club on an ongoing project that hopes to bring young people back to sport and encourage new participants particularly after a drop off in youth participation due to the events of the last year.
City of Derry Spartans is heading up the project that is supported through Sport Northern Ireland’s Build Back Better funding.
Bridgeen Byrne is the Project Coordinator and has been the driving force behind it all, she says:
“At City of Derry Spartans we were concerned that we were losing athletes because of the prolonged lockdown and after speaking with parents we realised that some athletes were lacking in confidence and morale in general was low. We approached Athletics NI and Action Mental Health for support and ideas of how we could bring athletes back and attract newcomers and Jackie Newton came up with the idea to partner with North West Orienteering Club(NWOC) and North West Triathlon Club (NWTC). Jackie and Juls Hanvey were fully on board from the start. This led to us bidding for funding from Sport NI under Project Reboot and the OATS project came to fruition. We are delighted to have been successful and to be working closely with the guys from NWOC and Shauna Mullan and her team from NWTC. Orienteering is definitely a big draw for the parents and young people as they are excited to be learning these new navigating skills and planning something different outdoors as a family.”
Bridgeen goes on to explain the set up further:
“So far the project has facilitated 60 young people aged 11-17 getting back outdoors, learning new skills, and making new friends.
These young people have come from 7 different schools in Derry / Londonderry also making this a cross community initiative.
We have just completed our first OATS (Spring) 4-week Project and we are now planning our Summer, Autumn and Winter Projects with 60 new participants in each. We are super excited to see what each season will bring for all our young people and their families across the city."
North West Orienteering Club made use of the MapRun app in their training with the young people, which was a big hit! The club also plans now to put on further club sessions for young people to attend with their families as a next step into the sport.
Photos above: Young People getting the hang of the map.
To keep up to date on the project you can follow North West Orienteering Club on Facebook here. https://www.facebook.com/nworienteering
British Orienteering is delighted to see this initiative working well across all three of the sports - Orienteering, Athletics, Triathalon.
Fantastic work, well done all.
If you would like to know anything more about this project, or how you might be able to set up something similar at your club, contact Juls Hanvey, NI Development Officer who will be happy to share her knowledge with you. Email: email@example.com