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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 Wednesday 16th August 2017

Peter Palmer Junior Team Relays 2017

Closing date fast approaching! 

Entries close:  Sunday 3 September 2017

9 – 10 September 2017 in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham.

City of Birmingham Orienteering Club are organising the Peter Palmer Junior Team Relays which will take place on 9 – 10 September 2017 in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham.

The event is named after one of Britain’s finest orienteering coaches, Peter Palmer. This annual event aims to give the opportunity for juniors to experience competition with other juniors from across the country.

The event was created by Glynn Roberts Former City of Birmingham Orienteering Club Chairman and was first held in Sutton Park in 1993. This year sees the 25th Peter Palmer event. In British Orienteering’s 50th anniversary year, which club junior teams will be raising the Peter Palmer trophies in this events 25th year!

City of Birmingham Orienteering Club invites entries from clubs around the UK to compete for the three trophies.  Last year 22 junior teams took part. 

Teams of six to eight M/W 12 – 18-year-olds start at around 4.30am – so the first 2 legs are run in the dark!

Team entries can be made via Fabian4 here.  
Closing date is 03/09/17.

More information about this event is available here.

Photos by Rob Lines

Juniors competing in 2016
Tweet Thursday 15th June 2017

Mike Bushell BBC One Breakfast Sports Presenter takes part in orienteering!

British Orienteering was delighted to welcome Mike Bushell BBC Breakfast Sports Presenter to take part in an exciting orienteering course taking him around Media City.

A great night of orienteering at Media City, Salford, Manchester - with Mike Bushell (centre) BBC One Breakfast Presenter

Jennie Taylor, Marketing Manager at British Orienteering, said:

“This is an exciting year in which British Orienteering is celebrating 50 years. We were delighted to welcome Mike Bushell BBC One Breakfast Sports Presenter to come along to an orienteering event and have a go in the urban location of Media City.
We had a beautiful sunny evening and it was great to see Mike joining in the fun alongside other adults and children orienteering around Media City last night.”
Extract from the BBC Media City orienteering map!

Thanks goes to the South East Lancashire Orienteering Club and volunteers for hosting this event.

Thank you to Mike Bushell for filming at our South East Lancashire Orienteering Club orienteering evening last night at Media City.

Watch Mike Bushell taking part in orienteering at Media City! 
The filming will be shown on BBC One Breakfast this Saturday 17 June 2017.

Scheduled timings (as at 15 June 2017): 

6.30am, 6.35am, 7.30am, 7.35am, 8.30am, 8.35am.