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Tweet Monday 26th June 2017

British Orienteering Independent Director Vacancy


We are a dynamic and forward-thinking organisation, within the region of 10,800 individual members. We are striving to build on our past success by expanding our participation base into new markets as well as developing our athletes to compete at the highest level in international competitions.

In 2016 we finalised a new strategic plan for the development of Orienteering up to 2025.

To ensure that the strategic leadership of British Orienteering is equipped to meet the new challenges the composition of the Board was, in 2014 changed to be composed of six member-elected directors and three non-executive Independent Directors plus the Chief Executive Officer. We are now seeking to appoint an exceptional candidate to fill one Independent Director vacancy. This is a fantastic opportunity to help shape the implementation of the strategy for the development of orienteering in the UK at a key time in the history of the sport.

We are looking for experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Marketing, particularly digital and/or social media
  • Public and media relations
  • Fundraising and sponsorship
  • Commercial income generation
  • Disability sport
  • Safeguarding of vulnerable individuals

No prior experience of orienteering is required, although knowledge or experience of the sports or outdoor activity sectors would be an advantage.

We currently hold four full-day face-to-face Board meetings per year at the British Orienteering national office in Matlock, Derbyshire. Occasionally, where required, Board teleconferences take place in between these meetings. The Independent Director roles are voluntary and unpaid, although all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses will be refunded.

The appointee will serve an initial term of office of two years until Easter 2019. The appointment is potentially renewable for two further periods each of three years.

British Orienteering is an equal opportunities employer, and applications are welcome from all suitably qualified individuals. We are particularly interested in achieving gender parity and greater diversity generally on our Board. We, therefore, welcome applications from individuals who can help us achieve this.

As these appointments are for Independent Directors, candidates must not have been employed by British Orienteering, been Directors of British Orienteering, or have been involved in any national-level committee or group of British Orienteering in the ten years prior to their application.

Individuals wishing to discuss the roles further prior to application can contact the current Chair of British Orienteering, Judith Holt at

To obtain an application pack, please contact Applications must be returned to before Monday 24th July 2017. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interviews, which will take place as soon as possible after the closing date.

Tweet Friday 23rd June 2017

World Orienteering Day - A continued success

On Wednesday May 24th 2017, the second World Orienteering Day took place all over the world. It has proved an even greater success than last year, with over 288, 000 participants all around the world taking part in an orienteering event. This is a new record, with 35, 000 more participants than last year.

In the end, 288, 007 participants at 2265 locations in 79 countries have been part of something bigger, World Orienteering Day. Turkey is showing a fantastic result and has increased the number of participants with more than 75% compared to last year. As a final result, Turkey registered 86 436 WOD participants. Amazing!


From Antarctica to Greenland, from Singapore to Cameroun, from Ecuador to Kosovo, from Indonesia to Cyprus, hundreds of thousands of youngsters participated in World Orienteering Day. Following the idea “Be part of something bigger-Colour the World”, people all over the world took part in locally organised orienteering events, and celebrated the biggest world-wide orienteering event ever. World Orienteering Day is a very important tool to attract young people to the sport of orienteering, and it has been a success even in many countries where orienteering is not so well-known.

Hard work paid off

"Trying to repeat and surpass a successful first event is always daunting, as was the prospect of World Orienteering Day 2017. A lot of hard work has gone into building on last year’s achievement, and I am very happy to see that it has paid off. World Orienteering Day would not be possible without the initiative and dedication that can be found in the orienteering community, so I want to say a great thank you to everyone who organised a WOD event, as well as to our generous sponsors who helped make the event possible for many of us. I hope you all had a great day of celebration of our sport and congratulations on beating the World Record together!" says Leho Haldna, the President of International Orienteering Federation (IOF).

There are many great examples from a lot of countries with increasing participants compared to last year. Amongst them were Serbia and the young IOF member Egypt, who did fantastic work with WOD this year and increased their number of participants by 103% and 43% respectively. This is a remarkable improvement! The largest WOD event was implemented at Hunan University in the city of Changsha in China with 3160 participants and the smallest one was carried out in an apartment in USA. This is orienteering; you can do it everywhere and anytime!

Reaching new territories

We also have to welcome new countries and territories as Cambodia, Lebanon, Philippines, Kosovo, Isle of Man, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mauritius, Luxembourg and Antarctica. Without World Orienteering Day it has been quite difficult to get all these countries involved in orienteering.

"The global reach of the World Orienteering Day project made it clear already last year that it is an important way to spread orienteering, especially to young people. This is particularly important as it is in line with the key objective of the IOC Olympic Agenda 2020: engaging youth through sport. It has been inspiring to follow the many events on the WOD website and to see the wide spread of events. I am already looking forward to next year’s event", Leho Haldna concludes.

Source: International Orienteering Federation

Take a look at a snapshot of events and activites that took place throughout the United Kingdom here. Or read the successful World Orienteering Day for the British Army Orienteering Club here.

Tweet Friday 23rd June 2017

British Orienteering supporting Women in Sport Week

19-25 June 2017

Photos above (left to right):
Charlotte Ward from Humberside and Lincoln Orienteers (Photo credit: ActivNorth Photography).
Fiona Bunn from Thames Valley Orienteering Club (Photo credit: ActivNorth Photography).
Alice Leake from Southern Navigators (Photo credit: Rob Lines).

Above photo:  Clubs competing in a Women's Relay orienteering event.  (Photo credit:  Rob Lines)

In support of Women in Sport Week - here are two testimonials from two women who have got involved with the sport of orienteering.


A busy Mum of two boys aged 9 and 6 years old living in Sheffield, Susan tells of how she took up the sport of orienteering.

Susan’s Story...

“I am a busy Mum with two boys aged 9 and 6 years old. We live in Sheffield and are members of South Yorkshire Orienteers.

Both boys regularly compete and take part in coaching sessions run by South Yorkshire Orienteers.

Pre children I used to go to the gym at least twice a week and occasionally played badminton with friends. Having children has changed my participation in sport. I no longer have the time or the finances to pay for the gym on the ad hoc basis that it would happen. I do enjoy exercising but it never is a top priority as a result of work and family life.

I discovered the sport of orienteering when I attended a small school in West Cumbria who had a teacher who regularly competed so I started at the aged 10. My first orienteering experiences were when the school teacher would take small groups of us to the local permanent orienteering courses at Whinlatter, Grizedale and Ennerdale and coach us. Those of us who were enthusiastic would then take part in the Cumbrian Gallopen and local club events run by West Cumberland Orienteering Club, Lakeland Orienteering Club and Border Liners orienteering Club.

We would go out in pairs and on our own, it was always an adventure and gave us all a great sense of freedom and independence. We competed in the Cumbrian Schools Championships and as a very small school had a lot of success in a 5 year period.

I gave up orienteering at 13 years old as my next school did not participate and my parents were less willing to drive around Cumbria to take me to events, instead I played Hockey and went fell walking.

In 2014, I then took the boys to the Longshaw Estate National Trust; Derwent Valley Orienteers were running a ‘come and try it’ event in the summer holidays. The boys were 6 and 3 at the time and we toddled round the course they seemed to enjoy it. From that event we then went to the South Yorkshire Orienteering Schools league event and then the Midlands Championships also at Longshaw. By the Christmas my eldest and I were members of South Yorkshire Orienteering Club.

It gets us out and about; we head out orienteering whatever the weather and in the boy’s case the muddier it is the more fun it is. I am exercising without paying attention to the miles I have done or how fast I have done it’s just the challenge and enjoyment of getting round the course. It also helps clear the mind and most of the time you are in new areas you have never been to before and would like to explore again. I am unlikely to come first, as I did as a child, but completing the course successfully with few errors and not being the last is my motivation.

The Jan Kjellstrom International Festival of Orienteering is held in different parts of the UK each year. I have participated in the event at Ulpha Fell in the Lake District. I was trying to keep an eye on my son. I lost him at one point as he is far faster at running than I am but I found him eventually! I got round at the Northern Championships this year and I competed in the British Long Championships in May this year. All of which I have the mantra just to get round and complete the course.

I love this sport for the challenge, I am not a natural runner at all, but that doesn’t matter. The art of reading a map is easily learned at a local club. You really don’t need to do the most technical courses to be successful. Getting out in the countryside be it open fell, woodland, moor or parklands makes you feel so much more happier and stress free. Plus it is a family friendly activity that you can all do your course and escape life’s pressures.”

Photo above:  JK International Festival of Orienteering Event at Lancaster University (Photo credit: Rob Lines)



As a busy Mum of 3 children Jacky from Sheffield tells of how she took up the sport of orienteering.

Jacky’s Story...

“Two of my children orienteer. Although I did a variety of sports when I was younger, once I started working I didn't do any regular sport. I was very busy looking after my young children and didn't do any sport.

I enjoy exercise provided I don't realise that I'm doing it!

My son had been introduced to an orienteering taster session at school and then encouraged me and my daughter to go along to some after-school sessions run by South Yorkshire Orienteers. I only went because I had to accompany my son and it was a flat fee per family.

I only started orienteering myself because I had to accompany my son and daughter to events and got bored standing on the side lines. I don't specifically remember the first experience. However I do recall mud and bogs and realising that white trainers weren't useful! Proper sturdy shoes with grip were needed.

I have now been orienteering for 6 years and I am a member of South Yorkshire Orienteers.

The benefits I feel I have found from taking up orienteering is that I actually 'run'. I love going out on my own in unknown terrain and finding my way back to the finish.

I still feel nervous at the start of a big race - despite the fact that I'm never going to do that well, so on the face of it there's nothing to lose. But in a way, the adrenaline rush is all part of it. When I am orienteering I feel fantastic! There's nothing else which would induce me to set off for 5km and slog over physical terrain and I love the mental challenge.

I've already become an orienteering coach and have great satisfaction in seeing improvement in young teenage girls and boys.

I have now competed in various regional or national British Orienteering Major Events, such as the Jan Kjellstrom International Festival of Orienteering and the British Champions. I have also taken part in the British Nights and have enjoyed orienteering in the dark with a head torch! I didn’t do that well, but happy with my results, although there is plenty of room for improvement.

The fantastic thing about orienteering is that it truly is a 'mind and body workout'. So, you don't have to be the fastest, but you have to think. It's great to get a bit of time entirely to yourself, and just challenge yourself. Even if you are the last in the race, if it's an improvement on the previous race, then that is success. In orienteering you can set your own challenge.”

Photos above: Left:  Jacky enjoying taking part in orienteering (Photo source: J. Dakin).  Right:  An orienteering control point (Photo: British Orienteering).


British Orienteering is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year, 50 years as a Federation!

With the 50 year celebrations underway it is certainly a good time to take a closer look at the sport of orienteering. Most orienteering takes place in forests or moorland often in stunning scenery. However there are now several city-based orienteering courses too. There are many permanent orienteering courses installed around the country and local orienteering clubs across the UK. 

Find out ways in which you can enjoy this sport and go orienteering here.


Tweet Tuesday 30th May 2017

Looking back to another successful World Orienteering Day!

Wednesday 24 May 2017, saw the second ever World Orienteering Day took place.

It proved to be a great success again this year here in the UK!


Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands. 

Colin Matheson, Events Manager for the Scottish Orienteering Association, says: 

"Inverness College Outdoor Pursuits students planned and organised an event under the watchful eye of Johannes Petersen, the Scottish Orienteering Association’s Regional Development Officer for the North.
Using a superb new map of the Beechwood Campus, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, there were three sprint courses ranging from an Easy 800 metres off-road to a Hard 2.2 km around the extremities of the area. Courses went near the new Golden Bridge, “gateway” to the north that crosses the A9. There was a great take up of the orienteering by competitors of all ages – students were actively encouraging any passers-by in the University of the Highlands and Islands foyer to come and have a go."










Above:  Map extract of the Beechwood Campus map (right) and (left) one of many students taking part at the event on the day .  

Below:  Competitors ready to start (right) and (left) the final control point.

With an excellent map, good course planning and electronic timing this was a great introduction to orienteering.

Johannes Petersen, Supply Lecturer, Inverness College, says: 

"Here at Inverness we had a group of students on our Outdoor Pursuits course who had planned and organised an event at the new Beechwood Campus. They did everything and even had their fingers crossed for a good turnout on the day.  However, they weren't disppointed.  It's a brand new map which the College funded especially for the big World Orienteering Day."





John Paul Academy and St Andrew's Orienteering Club (Glasgow)

Terry O'Brien  St Andrew's orienteering Club Hon. President and PE Teacher at John Paul Academy, says: 

"With St Andrew's Orienteering Club's assistance, John Paul Academy have been Orienteering in PE periods all week. Approximately 500+ students have sampled Orienteering with 350+ getting the Electronic Sportident experience x 2. 
Specifically on World Orienteering Day 2 x S2; 1 x S3 National; 1 x S1 & 3 x S3 took part in orienteering during the day."








St Andrew's Orienteering Club also hosted an evening event in Pollok Country Park in the evening.


St Brigid's School and Eryri Orienteering Club

The course was set up by Eryri Orienteering Club's, Jim Wood, a volunteer with the cadet force. 

Jim Wood from Eryri Orienteering Club, says: 

"St Brigid's School Combined Cadet Force took part in World Orienteering Day during a field day at a local training area in North Wales. After spending the night in improvised shelters, 33 young people ran around a short 13 control course, set up by Eryri Orienteering Club's Jim Wood, a volunteer with the cadet force."






South Yorkshire Orienteers put on an event!

Photos by Katherine Bett, South Yorkshire Orienteers

Bristol Orienteering Klub held an orienteering taster session

Peter Maliphant from Bristol Orienteering Klub and Avon Schools Orienteering (ASO) League, says: 

"We held an orienteering taster session for 85 Primary School children from Bristol and Bath, as our contribution to World Orienteering Day. In addition to a large contingent from Red Maids' High, winners of this season’s ASO Primary Schools Orienteering League, pupils from Christ Church, Elm Lea and Oldfield Park Primary also came along.
In warm sunshine in Oldbury Court, a Bristol park, the children enjoyed a map symbols relay and cardinal cones, before moving on to two simple orienteering courses, delivered by a team of 15 members of Bristol Orienteers Klub.
Running in pairs, the first course took them round a large open area, to get used to the map and using an SI dibber, before moving on to a ‘proper’ 1.3km White course. Downloading and receiving their splits for each course caused great excitement and every child took home their own professionally printed course map, as well as copies of several other local orienteering areas and details of upcoming events."















Avon Schools Orienteering League exists to promote orienteering to young people. 

Bristol Orienteering Klub hopes that some of the schools attending will be tempted to give their ASO Schools Orienteering League a try next season.


Lagan Valley Orienteers

The 4th Lagan Valley Orienteers Wednesday Evening Event of the 2017 series was held on Wednesday 24 May in the grounds of the Stormont Estate, East Belfast. Stormont is a relatively small public park with a mix of long lawns bounded by easy open, deciduous forest and shrubs running up the hill towards Stormont Parliament Buildings. The linear nature of the park combined with good network of paths and the wide main avenue makes large scale navigation very easy for experienced orienteers but, conversely, is well suited for “come and try it” events like the Wednesday Evening Event (WEE) series.

The planner, prepared two courses - Long/Orange 4.1km and Short/Yellow at 2.1km plus a “challenge” event run on the Long course but as map-memory exercise. Challenge runners were given a look at the map at the start and then they had to refer to a number of maps arranged along the central avenue allowing them to divide the course into clusters of between 4 and 7 controls.

The weather on Wednesday evening was warm and sunny and the city location of the park ensured a good turn out from orienteers and new comers alike. The Long course took 79 entrants (including map-memory runners) and the Short attracted 20 people. Almost half of the participants were new or occasional orienteers which made this event a fitting way to mark World Orienteering Day.

As for the competition, times ranged from 30min to 112min on the Long/Orange and 18min to 58min on the Short/Yellow. There was a very good mix of participant age and gender with 19 people under 16 yrs all the way up to 5x 65 year olds. 27% of the group were female. The map-memory challenge was popular with the more experienced orienteers who wanted to make the most of the learning opportunity provided from an otherwise relatively simple Orange course. Some competitors even did it both ways and the c 10 Missed Punches were a reminder that even the seasoned orienteer has something to learn.

Mark Pruzina, Event Organiser, Lagan Valley Orienteers, says: 

"The event was also a good development opportunity for the volunteers with several new hands offering to help with duties such as starts, computer timing and control collection with plenty of time for instruction and guidance from the old hands.
At the end the evening everyone agreed it was a “great wee event” and all went home looking forward to the next one."







Above:  The view from close to the course start and the course finish. 
Credit:  Wilbert Hollinger

Quickly recapping on other World Orienteering Day activities and events which have already been reported on.  These included:


British Orienteering's National Office joined in!

The National Office made the most of glorious World Orienteering Weather to run a fun Xplorer event around the grounds of the Head Office at Scholes Mill in Tansley during lunchtime.

Natalie Weir, Development Officer at British Orienteering, said:

"The development team enjoyed doing their utmost to get as many people from around the industrial estate to come out on their lunchbreak and give orienteering a go.  One person taking part from one of the other offices came and had a go and said "I didn’t think I would enjoy is as much as I did, it was good to get out of the office for a bit and would definitely take part again.”





British Army Orienteering Club did World Orienteering Day 2017!

Lt Col Chris Huthwaite, Chairman of the Army Orienteering Association, writes:

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 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 and a Harris Competition 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 (Southamption 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 accessory 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 hourr 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.

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 WOD18..!

See photos from these two events here.

British Orienteering would like to take this oportunity to say a big thank you to all the orienteering clubs and schools who took part in World Orienteering and helped to make it the success it was!  

We would love to report on more World Orienteering Day events and activities which have taken place in the UK. 
Please email: - with the details and photos of what you did to celebrate World Orienteering Day!


To read about other orienteering events and activities which have taken place across the world for World Orienteering Day - click here.


Save the date! 
World Orienteering Day 2018 will be taking place again on the 23 May 2018.