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Tweet Monday 21st August 2017

National Fitness Day – Wednesday 27 September!

National Fitness Day is back for 2017 to deliver the biggest and widest reaching campaign ever!  The aim is to engage with new audiences from the inactive to the already active across a range of settings from the home to the high street, the office to the gym, while also encouraging people to just pick up their old trainers and get moving.

In 2016, 18,000 events took place across almost 6,000 venues – getting more than one million people across the UK to be physically active and celebrate the fun of fitness.

Plans for this year include a mass morning workout in London led by Strictly Come Dancing judge and former Principal of the Royal Ballet, Darcey Bussell CBE. As well as an initiative to support 10,000 schools to get their pupils moving for 10 minutes at 10.00am.

What orienteering activity are you doing to take part in
National Fitness Day? 

“Orienteering is a great way for everyone to get outdoors, explore and have fun whilst being active which makes it the perfect activity for National Fitness Day. This is a huge opportunity to take part in a national campaign, reach new people, increase awareness and raise interest in the sport across the UK. To get involved simply decide what you want your event to be, register your event on the National Fitness Day website, promote your event using the free marketing materials provided and put on a great session on the day!”



As part of National Fitness Day, ukactive will run the social media campaign:  #Fitness2Me

The #Fitness2Me campaign celebrates what fitness means to people, promoting that keeping physically active means something different to us all. ukactive aims to make #Fitness2Me the biggest movement in breaking down the barriers that stop people being active, showing that fitness is for everyone.

To Get Involved:

Don’t forget to also register your event in the event fixtures on the British Orienteering website here.  Please start the event title with ‘National Fitness Day’ – this will ensure your event is included in promotional activity planned by British Orienteering.

Any #Fitness2Me shared on social media will be featured on the ukactive media wall on the National Fitness Day website.

Tweet Thursday 17th August 2017

Summer Fair Orienteering!

Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer caught up with Rachel Leathwood from Bristol Orienteering Klub who has recently been busy providing an orienteering activity at her children’s summer fair.

Rachel Leathwood from Bristol Orienteering Klub said:

“My children's summer fair took place at Birdwell School in Long Ashton, North Somerset.  Instead of organising and manning the usual tombola or 'guess the weight of the cake' stall, my husband and I organised an orienteering course around the school grounds.  It was great fun and really rewarding as the kids loved it.  I recommend anyone with a link to a school or youth group to give it a go!

My husband has done lots of urban mapping for BOK events including the recent Euro City urban event in Bristol which meant we already had the school mapped as part of a local evening urban event a couple of years ago.  However, we simplified the map further, expanding it.  We didn't provide a scale, but probably about 1:500, adding some labels to help people orientate themselves for example, which said 'playground', 'school hall' standardising walls and fences to the same thick uncrossable line.  This is a primary school with kids aged 4-11 years and needed to be as simple as possible.  A hand sketched map would have worked just as well if you wanted to host an event where the area hadn't already been mapped. 

BOK has a set of stand-alone Orienteering kit that is used within Avon Schools and Jackie Hallett encouraged us to use this kit.  The kit links to a standalone printer, with no link to a computer so no power on site or technical knowledge is needed (phew!).  You just put out the controls, hand out dibbers and ready to go.  At the end, each person gets a print out which all children are excited about!

David Hunt, a BOK colleague, offered to help us which proved invaluable. 

We put out 10 controls around the school grounds and then created 4 courses to avoid a trail of people following each other and to enable those keen enough to keep having another go.  Maps were A4, put into plastic wallets and reused.  We had some of the older children going solo or with a friend and lots of family groups going around together.  At 50p a go, we didn't make a vast amount of money, nothing compared to the raffle.  However, £45 meant we'd introduced 90 children and their families to Orienteering, and their 50p had lasted 20 minutes.

While I still had the club kit, I went back to school the following week and spent an afternoon with my children's year group of 7/8-year-olds and let all 60 children have a go.  One of the teachers had already orienteered as a child down in Southampton with her family and therefore did the explanation of what to do.  We then showed them the map which we had projected on the school white-board.  We then released 30 children at a time. 

Children enjoying taking part in the orienteering activity provided. Photo supplied by: Rachel Leathwood

It was a very hot afternoon, and the children may not all have known where they were going, but every one of them ran as fast as they could in one direction or another!  All of them managed to finish one of the courses.  The beauty of the stand-alone system is that the printer just records where you've dibbed. There are no mis-punches or DNF recorded.  Everyone was happy!” 

Rachel continues:  “My next task is to try and build on this enthusiasm and encourage some of the children to come along to some appropriate BOK events in the future.”

If you want to share orienteering with others more information and resources are available here.

If you have a similar orienteering story you would like to share with others, please email:

Tweet Wednesday 16th August 2017

British Orienteering are supporting Parents in Sport Week 2017

British Orienteering is supporting Parents in Sport Week, which takes place on Monday 2 to Sunday 8 October 2017. The week aims to showcase the valuable role parents play in facilitating young people’s enjoyment and development in their chosen sport.

Parents in Sport Week aims to encourage sports organisations and clubs to recognise and promote the positive and important role parents play in helping young people reach their full potential and enjoy their time playing sport.

The Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) will be publishing a list of all organisations who signed up on our website in early September to showcase the organisations that have pledged their support to the campaign.

The CPSU has a range of resources which are available for clubs to download and use to promote parental involvement in orienteering.

For more information and to access the resources available – click here.

For more information and to find out more about how your club can get involved with Parents in Sport Week – click here.

Tweet Thursday 25th May 2017

The British Army takes part in World Orienteering Day 2017!

Yesterday saw only the second ever World Orienteering Day with thousands of participants taking part in different events and activities throughout the UK. 

The British Army Orienteering Club delivered an individual military training orienteering competition, on World Orienteering Day at Longmoor Training Area.

Lt Col Chris Huthwaite, who is Chairman of the Army Orienteering Association describes their day of action:

"The British Army Orienteering Club delivered an individual military training orienteering competition, on World Orienteering Day at Longmoor Training Area.

The orienteering map had been updated and Colin Dickson from the British Army Orienteering Club planned three excellent courses. A very technical Blue, at 6.7 km with 225 m of climb; a great Light Green at 4 km with 135 m of climb; and a Long Orange at 4.8 km with 110 m of climb. The courses were part of the Army Inter Unit Orienteering Championships, with a classic cross-country race on day 1 (Wednesday 24 May 2017 - World Orienteering Day).  The Harris Competition is today on Day 2 (Thursday 25 May 2017)."

"We were blessed with a beautiful day and were fortunate to be kept cool in the glorious foliage of the training areas trees. The controller, Colin Holcombe (British Army Orienteering Club), ably assisted by Kieran Devine (Southampton orienteering Club) ensured the controls were accurately placed in the very physically demanding and technically challenging driver training area. The organiser, Captain Brett Green arranged a super assembly area, with a covered Registration (Allan Farrington EMIT UK), clothing and accessories from Ultrasport (Ian Kevan BEM); and food from Tom's Burger Van (Tom and Julie Wilkinson).

The start was within 200 m of Registration and the finish, well placed, less than 200 m in the other direction. With 305 competitors Richard and Bobby Baldwin did a sterling job, controlling the eager soldiers and civilian competitors, who took off at speed into the forest. In addition, orienteering training was arranged in the morning by Colin Metcalfe (British Army Orienteering Club), and well over 40 soldiers attended the initial 1 hour briefing on the map and skills; after which 20 plus young men and women took to the forest for a 'walk & talk' skills session.

The atmosphere in the assembly area was electric, as soldiers and civilians compared, congratulated and commiserated on their runs."

"Day 2 (today) looks set to be another exciting and challenging day. With teams of four competitors who start together and run simultaneously. It is a score event, with two sets of controls. 'Spine' controls (usually 8) must be visited by each and every member of the team; 'Other' controls (usually 30) need to be visited by only one team member; and the time of the last runner in counts."

"A great team event, relying on a Team Leader to allocate 'Other' controls to his team members. World Orienteering Day has been a huge success, with numerous World Orienteering Day shirts, hats and snoods on display. The British Army looks forward to participating in WOD 2018..!"

This is just one example of the many events and acitivities that took place during World Orienteering Day yesterday, if you would like to share your orienteering activities which you took part in on World Orienteering Day, please email:   

Also via social media using #WorldOrienteeringDay and mentioning British Orienteering or @GBROrienteering

British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity of saying thank you to the British Army Orienteering Club and to Lt Col Chris Huthwaite for their contribution to World Orienteering Day 2017.

Photos:  by Andy Johnson.