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:
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 email@example.com.
To obtain an application pack, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be returned to email@example.com before Monday 24th July 2017. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interviews, which will take place as soon as possible after the closing date.
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
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)
“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)
“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.
Highlighting some of the key milestones achieved along the way!
1930’s: Early records of orienteering in Britain.
1940s: Outbreaks of orienteering activity but not on a coordinated basis.
David Lee (North Gloucestershire Orienteering Club) recalls an occasion in 1959:
"In the spring term we arrived for our usual training session to be told that we were going to 'orienteer'. Black-and-white O.S. maps were doled out and a course was marked on the map. We were also given a compass.”
1960’s: Organised orienteering started in Scotland.
1960’s: The first orienteering maps were black-and white-photocopies.
1960’s: New-drawn black and white maps, some with a few symbols introduced.
1960’s: Self-inking stamp used on a first-generation control card.
1960’s: A ladder of wooden strips with individual results pasted on.
1961: First recognisable event in Scotland held on the Penicuik Estate on 16 April.
1962: Scottish Orienteering Association founded on 24 June.
1962: Laurie Liddell appointed first Scottish Orienteering Association President.
1962: Growth in the south-east of Scotland began.
1962: District courses for Instructors organised in Scotland.
1963: West Midlands Orienteering Association inaugurated on 21 November.
1963: Second Scottish Orienteering Championships held.
1963: First 'proper' orienteering event held in England at Whitewell near Clitheroe.
1964: Orienteering featured in a 7-minute film on Scottish TV.
1964: First club formed in England – South Ribble Orienteering Club.
1965: 'Know the Game: Orienteering' book was first published.
1965: Schools Association was formed in Scotland and activity was growing in many different areas.
1965: Ex-athletes – Roger Bannister, Chris Brasher, John Disley, Martin Hyman, Gordon Pirie and Bruce Tulloh started orienteering following a Surrey Education Committee course led by Disley.
1965: Southern Navigators Orienteering Club was formed - the first southern club.
1965: Formation of the English Orienteering Association at a meeting in Bishops Castle on 31 October 1965. Five regional associations were represented.
Executive Committee set up: Chris Brasher (Chairman), Gerry Charnley (Secretary) and John Disley (Treasurer).
1966: The International Orienteering Federation insisted that a British Federation be formed to enable a British team to compete in the World Orienteering Championships.
1966: Government agencies required British Orienteering Federation to comprise four national associations plus English regional associations using boundaries standard with other sports.
1966: Chris Brasher's influence was immense in all aspects of orienteering's development in the early days in the UK.
1966: John Disley developed course planning, mapping and training standards.
1966: Races organised in North Wales, South-West of England and the Peak District.
1966: First World Orienteering Championship participation.
1966: (May) the International Orienteering Federation Council accepted both England and Scotland as temporary members, pending formation of a British Federation.
1966: The English Orienteering Association paid an IOF affiliation fee of 400 Swedish Crowns, and selected a team of ten athletes to take part in the World Orienteering Championship.
1966: Chris Brasher led the GB team to the World Orienteering Championships, Finland.
1967: The Scottish Orienteering Association and the England Orienteering Association met to consider affiliation to the International Orienteering Federation. The meeting was held in March 1967 in Dalbeattie, in conjunction with the 1966 Scottish Championships.
1967: The joint meeting agreed on the need to form a British Orienteering Federation.
1967: Extraordinary General Meeting in April 1967 agreed disbanding of the English Orienteering Association.
1967, British Orienteering Federation's National Office ran out of 3 Glenfinlas Street Edinburgh.
18 June 1967: First British Orienteering Championships took place in Hamsterley Forest, Co. Durham.
The 10.2km course was won by Gordon Pirie in 1:51:50
Carol McNeill won the Senior Women course by more than 11 minutes!
Southern Navigators won the Senior Men's Team Trophy.
1967: First British Orienteering Federation logo produced.
1967: Sponsor: Guinness (to 1972).
1967: British Orienteering Federation First Chairman: Chris Brasher – Olympic Gold-medallist in 3,000m (to 1969).
1967: Chris Brasher and John Disley, Olympic medal-winners, both championed the sport.
1967: First Individual event took place on 19 March 1967. (SEOA).
JK Overall Champions: Gordon Pirie and Jenny Tennant.
1969: Chairman: John Disley (to 1972).
1969: Four of the first clubs to be formed were:
Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club
Edinburgh University Orienteering Club
South Ribble Orienteering Club
1969: First JK Relay race introduced. Kielder (NEOA). JK Relay Champions: Men’s Team – Edinburgh University Orienteering Club and Women’s Team – no race.
Photo (left): Chris James (left) with Jeremy Denny (middle) and John Disley (right). Credit: F.Ashford
Photo (middle): Chris Brasher (left) competing in the 1975 Northern Championships. Credit: T. Astbury
Photo (right): First self-inking stamp. Credit: Sheffield University archive
British Orienteering Federation logo revised.
Unusual now to compete with a black and white map.
Orienteering maps changed to 3-colour maps - black, brown and blue.
4-and 5-colour maps were becoming commonplace.
Standard competition scale at many events was 1:20,000.
1:15,000 soon after became standard scale for 'classic’ distance orienteering races.
Photogrammetry used along with aerial photos led to over-detailed mapping.
Map making tools introduced.
The pin-punch used on a next-generation control card often a different colour-card was used for each course.
New technology for displaying results: the 'washing line' carrying multiple control card stubs.
1971: Pen-ultimate Association formed – Northern Ireland Association.
1971: First President, Sir Francis Chichester appointed (to 1972).
1972: Last formed – East Anglia Association.
1972: Chairman: Bob Climie (to 1975).
1972 (May): First Professional Officer Tony Walker appointed.
1973: John Disley became a member of the International Orienteering Federation Council (until 1984).
1974 (April): National Office within Lea Green Centre, Derbyshire.
1974: First British Relay introduced. Brierley South (SWOA). British Relay Champions: Men – Piz Hasi (Switzerland) and Women: Fjaras (Sweden).
1974: National Office based in Matlock area of Derbyshire onwards.
1975: Range of international standard map symbols established.
1975: Chairman: Chris James (to 1978).
1976: Great Britain staged the World Orienteering Championships in Scotland.
1976: Chris Brasher was the Event Director for the World Orienteering Championships in Scotland.
1976: Standard of map drawing in the UK improved rapidly.
1976: Maps for World Championships 1976 drawn by Robin and Sue Harvey reaching new levels of detail and accuracy.
1976: Brian Porteous appointed as Professional Officer.
1976: President Sir Roger Bannister appointed (to 1979).
1976: Sponsor: Wm. Younger (to 1978).
1977: Maps printed on waterproof paper introduced - used at the JK at Leith Hill.
1978: First Harvester event introduced. Ecclesall Woods (YHOA).
1978: First British Night Championships introduced. Ash Ranges (SCOA).
1979: Major sponsor: Robinsons Barley Waters (to 1982).
1979: President The Earl of Moray appointed (to 1983).
Photo below: Original - style results display with Gordon Pirie, another pioneer who was a house-hold name athlete (Silver medal in 5,000m at Melbourne Olympics, and John Disley. Credit: Source: John Disley
1980s: Sponsor: Novotel.
1980s: Sponsor: Peter Dominic.
1980: National Office moved to 41, Dale Road, Matlock, Derbyshire.
1981: Chairman: Toby Norris (to 1979).
1981: Change to British Orienteering Federation Limited - a Company limited by guarantee. Management Committee formed.
1981: Sponsor: Batchelors Cup-a-Soup.
1981: Chairman: Clive Allen (to 1984).
1982: The Orienteer was combined into CompassSport.
1983: Sponsor: Rank Xerox (to 1984).
1980s: Great Britain contributed to International Orienteering Federation’s work, in Council, on various Committees and in other ways through the 80s and 90s.
1983: Sue Harvey became the International Orienteering Federation Secretary General (to 1986).
1984: Chairman: Ian McMillan (to 1987).
1985 (August): Sir Chris Bonington became President and still is today!
1985: Sponsor: West Bromwich Building Society.
1987: Chairman: Roger Lott (to 1988).
Helped greatly by the publicity gained from the World Orienteering Championsips in 1976, orienteering grew rapidly and became firmly established in all parts of the UK.
1987: Sponsor: Rank Xerox.
1988 (or thereabouts): British Orienteering Federation's office moved to Riversdale, Darley Dale. Since then the office moved to another office nearby in Darley Dale.
1988: Chairman: Clive Allen (to 1989).
1988: Sue Harvey was elected as International Orienteering Federation Vice President.
1988: Sponsor: TSB (to 1991).
1989: Chairman: Anne Braggins (to 1992).
1990's: Course print-outs pasted on to boards or scrolling screen displays in the early days of computing.
The British Orienteering Championships was re-enacted on the 25 Anniversary (1992); the first day with the old map and courses and the second as a modern event.
1992: Chairman: David Thomas (to 1994).
1993: Great Britain won its first World Orienteering Championship medals in Foot Orienteering, with a bronze for Yvette Baker (nee Hague) and silver for the men’s relay team.
1994: AGM passed a restructuring proposal ('subsidiarity') but it was never implemented.
1994: Chairman: Richard Speirs (to 1997).
1994: Sue Harvey became International Orienteering Federation President (to 2004).
1995: Yvette Baker (nee Hague) won two silver medals at the World Orienteering Championships.
1995: Electronic punching: EMIT was first used widely in international events. No more control cards! SI introduced a little later.
1997: Chairman: David Peregrine (to 2000).
1998: Goran Andersson was appointed Performance Director.
1998: First British Middle Championships introduced. Tarn Hows (NWOA).
1999: Yvette Baker (nee Hague) won the gold medal in Short Distance at the World Orienteering Championships held on home soil.
Growth and development in the new century saw British Orienteering Federation moving with the times.
Domestic championship events began to grow in number as in the International Orienteering Federation.
2000: Chairman: John Woodall (to 2003).
2001: JK2001 cancelled; outbreak of the epidemic of Foot and Mouth Disease.
2003: Chairman: Bob Roach (to 2006).
2003: Jamie Stevenson became World Champion in the Sprint by winning gold at the World Orienteering Championships, 2003 in Switzerland.
Urban orienteering became a popular alternative to outings in forest and open terrain.
2004: First British Sprint Championships introduced. Haverthwaite (NWOA).
2004: Sue Harvey was awarded International Orienteering Federation Honorary President for Life.
2004: Great Britain TrailO team won gold in the World Orienteering Championships.
2004: Brian Porteous became a member of the International Orienteering Council.
2005: Great Britain TrailO team won gold in the World Orienteering Championships.
2006: British Orienteering Federation Chairman: Neil Cameron (to 2010).
2006: Dave Gittus won gold in TrailO World Orienteering Championships.
The First JK Sprint on Good Friday was introduced. Temple Newsam, Leeds (YHOA).
October 2007: Extraordinary General Meeting agreed new management structure of Board and Directors. Working name changed to British Orienteering. New logo introduced.
2008: First Directors appointed.
2008: The Men’s Relay team won gold in the World Orienteering Championships.
Photo (left): Kristian Jones (Forth Valley Orienteers / Swansea Bay orienteering Club) competiting in the Sprint race at the JK 2016. Credit Rob Lines.
Photo (right): Megan Carter-Davies (Mid Wales Orienteers) Credit: Ben Mitchell.
2010: Chair: Lyn West (to 2013).
2012: Great Britain staged the World TrailO Championships in Scotland.
2012: Brian Porteous became the second International Orienteering Federation President from Great Britain and held office from 2012 to 2016.
2013: First Independent Directors appointed.
2013: Chair: Martin Ward (to 2016).
2013: Xplorer launched.
2015: Touch-free electronic punching!
2015: British Orienteering's National Office moved to Tansley, near Matlock.
2015: Great Britain staged the World Orienteering Championships in Scotland for the third time.
2015: Live results and GPS tracking.
2016: Xplorer Schools launched.
2016: Plas y Brenin becomes the first British Orienteering Recognised Centre.
2016: Emily Benham won two gold medals in the Mountain Biking orienteering World Championships.
2016: Brian Porteous awarded International Orienteering Federation Honorary President for Life.
2016 (April): Public Memorial Service celebrating the life and achievements of John Disley CBE took place in London.
2016 (May): First ever World Orienteering Day takes place with record breaking results!
2016: Chair: Judith Holt (to present).
2017: New British Orienteering Strategic Plan 10 year plan (to 2027).
2017 (14 April): Cutting of the 50th Anniversary cake by Chris James (North Gloucestershire Orienteering Club) and Judith Holt (Chair) representing all the volunteers over the 50 years who have contributed to growth and development.
2017 (24 May): Second ever World Orienteering Day 2017 takes place.
It is exactly 50 years since the British orienteering Federation came into being.
The occasion is being marked by the production of a short film and a special multi-page feature in British Orienteering’s member magazine Focus.
BBC One Breakfast Sport Present Mike Bushell took part in the orienteering course held by South East Lancashire Orienteering Club at Media City.
Have you got any additional milestone which you think can be added to this timeline?