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Tweet Tuesday 19th September 2017

Did you know there are over 400 British Orienteering Permanent Orienteering Courses across the country?

Permanent Orienteering Courses are a great way to get outside and go orienteering at a time and place that suits you. Courses offer a huge range of variety, from urban courses in city centres to rural routes through beautiful scenery. They are on your doorstep or further afield helping you to discover new places.

Whatever the level of experience and fitness you are there are courses to suit you.   Whether it's a walk with the family, exploring the area whilst on holiday or simply just adding variety to a training run, Permanent Orienteering Courses can help you explore.

To find out more about Permanent Orienteering Courses and how to get the best from them check out this video – it explains all you need to know here.

At a pace and time that suits you, grab a map and go!

You can find a course local to you – here

Are you interested in orienteering, but don’t know enough about the sport?

This set of Frequently Asked Questions will help you find out more.

Tweet Monday 18th September 2017

British Schools Score Orienteering Championships 2017

South Yorkshire Orienteers are set to host the 2017 BRITISH SCHOOLS SCORE CHAMPIONSHIPS on Saturday 14 October 2017 at Rother Valley Country Park, Sheffield. S26 5PQ, on behalf of the British Schools Orienteering Association. 

All schools are welcome to enter a team to compete at this year’s British Schools Score Championships event being held in Sheffield.  This is a navigational competition where participants score points by visiting as many controls as possible in any order within a pre-specified time limit. 

Children need to be able to read an orienteering map and be confident in using basic navigational techniques, as well as having competed in at least three orienteering events at the appropriate standard for their age.

Children are welcome to attend independently of their school but the entry form must still be signed by the Headteacher.

Entry Forms are to be returned postmarked no later than
Friday 29th September 2017
to:  Emily Pieters, 24 Taptonville Road, Sheffield S10 5BR

OR by email to


If you have any enquiries email:  Peter Guillame

Event details and Entry Forms are available here.

Further details can be found:
British Schools Orienteering Association website
South Yorkshire Orienteers website

Please note:  Under BSOA rules, Rother Valley Country Park is out-of-bounds for competitors, their parents and teachers/supervisors until the event.

Details of the areas concerned will be on the British Orienteering website.

Another date for your diary!

British Schools Orienteering Championships 2017
19th November, New Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean

Tweet Friday 15th September 2017

Beat the Street has arrived!

Jennie Taylor Communications Officer caught up with Northern Ireland Orienteering Association Secretary and active Lagan Valley Orienteers member, Stephen Gilmore.    

Stephen Gilmore says: “You may have heard of ‘Beat the Street’ which came to the greater Belfast area last autumn. It’s now back again this year and Lagan Valley Orienteers have formed a partnership with Beat the Street to encourage active participation with a grant from Active Belfast.”

Please tell us, Stephen, what is ‘Beat the Street’?

Stephen continues: “It could be best described to an orienteer as a gigantic semi-permanent urban score course with electronic punching.

Gigantic refers to the game area which covers most of Belfast and stretches out to Lisburn, Newtownabbey and Holywood.

It is a semi-permanent course and the controls are out for a 7 week period between Wednesday 13 September and Wednesday 1 November 2017.

It is a score course with around 400 controls which are placed in the urban environment. You can start and finish at any control. The first control does not count, but every control you visit thereafter is worth 10 points each.

Electronic punching is used but not SI or Emit.  Credit card sized Beat the Street cards are freely available from Leisure Centres, Libraries and Tesco along with free Beat the Street maps. These are also being distributed to schools in the area and Lagan Valley Orienteers have a stock. The controls are about the size of a shoe box, mounted mostly on lampposts. When the card is touched against the control it beeps, or burps or makes another rude noise which kids love! The boxes are linked to the internet so that the visit is recorded on-line within seconds.”


This all sounds great!  How are Lagan Valley Orienteers linking in with Beat the Street?
Stephen explains:  “Okay, so Lagan Valley Orienteers are linking with Beat the Street in a number of ways.

Beat the Street can, of course, be used for an individual personal training challenge to visit every control. 

When you register your Beat the Street card you basically select your school or organisation. Lagan Valley Orienteers is also listed as an organisation to choose and this lets the score be added to the club’s total.  You can then see all the scores and how you fare in the overall league table.

Beat the Street will promote the Wednesday Evening Events (WEE) Series and in turn as the WEE Series progresses Lagan Valley Orienteers will promote Beat the Street.”


I understand that Lagan Valley Orienteers will be running informal orienteering activities on Sunday afternoons for a number of weeks, starting this Sunday?
“Yes, during the challenge Lagan Valley Orienteers will be providing informal score activities on Sunday afternoons from the 17 September through to 28 October each starting at 3.00pm.  These activities will be held from a suitable point such as a café.  Organisers are still needed for these activities. This is generally an easy role which requires hardly any orienteering experience and involves simply choosing a café in an area which can be surrounded by controls.  Importantly also making sure the management are happy to host the activity, of course!  The Organiser will then begin the score activity by giving a friendly briefing to everyone participating prior to them setting off in a mass start.  Initially, the Beat the Street maps will be used.  However, towards the end of the time, we would like to be using orienteering maps with the Beat the Street controls marked accurately on them.

From Sunday 5 November Lagan Valley Orienteers plan to continue with the momentum we have already built up. We are hoping to use urban orienteering maps with a similar score format. However, following a recent demonstration in Lisburn, we have been shown an easier way to have an urban score activity without using SI.  This alternative way has a question with a multiple choice answer at each control site. For example, when arriving at the control participants will be faced with a question to answer.  The question could be something like: ‘What’s the number displayed on the lamp post at this control?’  The participant will have to choose the correct answer from the multiple choice list of answers.  For example, multiple choice answers could be listed as being:  a) 12, b) 16 or c) 24.  The participant will then choose the answer and then move to the next control on the map.

One other thing I would like to highlight if I can is that I am personally delighted that Lagan Valley Orienteers have been awarded a grant for additional urban mapping and coaching to supplement their existing map of Belfast.  The mapping team is currently working on an area of North Belfast and soon will move to cover an area of East Belfast.”


Thank you Stephen – this all sounds great! Best wishes to you and all Lagan Valley Orienteers as you roll out these orienteering activities over the next weeks.

The challenge continues and takes place over the next 7 weeks through to Wednesday 1 November 2017.

The Beat the Street website is now LIVE and you can find out more details and how to get involved here

Juls Hanvey Northern Ireland Active Clubs Officer says: “We are really excited to kick off this project making orienteering accessible to so many. Looking forward to watching it grow and change into the autumn and the lead up to our North and East Belfast Community Orienteering Hubs after the Beat the Street challenge.”

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.