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Tweet Thursday 21st September 2017

Big Grant for a Small Club!

Sport England has awarded Sarum Orienteering Club a grant of £8,865 towards the costs of a project aimed at growing participation in the sport. The Sarum Greenshoots project will establish a weekly after-school junior club to give the experience of the sport to youngsters and families new to orienteering as well as those already involved.

Sarum Chairman Ian Peirce, said:  “We are delighted that Sport England has chosen to support this project which we hope will give youngsters and their families an experience of an exciting outdoor sport that is available to people of all ages and skill levels.”

Club Coach Liz Yeadon, said:  “This will provide us with the resources to provide entry-level skills and training for newcomers to orienteering as well as developing the capabilities of more experienced orienteers. The programme will provide opportunities for youngsters to move on to the regional squad and, potentially, into national and international competitions.”

Photos by Shane Wilkinson

The junior club will meet on Monday evenings after school during term times starting in September this year and will be lead by Junior Development Officer Phil Conway.  Phil, who has successfully run a similar project for Guildford Orienteers, said “Club members will learn the basic skills to navigate their way around a mapped area safely and confidently and in a fun and informative way. The programme will also include exercises to develop mental reasoning and problem solving as well as increasing the physical fitness of the participants.”

Further information on this and orienteering can be found on the website of Sarum Orienteering Club at

Peter Hambleton from Sarum Orienteering Club who successfully applied for the grant has kindly offered to help should anyone wish to get help with a grant application   If this is of interest please contact National Office who can provide Peter’s contact details. 
Email: or Tel:  01629 583037.

Tweet Wednesday 20th September 2017

2017 Northern Ireland Individual Championships and the Senior Home International Individual Event successfully hosted by Fermanagh Orienteers

Fermanagh Orienteers - Come west to see the best

Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer at British Orienteering, caught up with Philip Mc Goldrick at Fermanagh Orienteers who recently hosted an international event in Florencecourt and Castle Saunderson in Northern Ireland last weekend.

Philip told Jennie about the recent Northern Ireland Orienteering Championships and the Senior Home Internationals competition.

"Fermanagh Orienteers, known as Fermo, are a friendly Orienteering club based in the Fermanagh, Cavan and Tyrone area.  We hold regular orienteering and training events all of which can be checked out on our orienteering club Facebook page or on the Fermanagh Orienteers website.

We recently hosted the Northern Ireland Orienteering Championships incorporating the Senior Home International Competition between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.  We were pleased to receive many compliments about the quality and organisation of this event.” 

There were 220 competitors including the internationals with many coming from all over Ireland.  The Northern Ireland orienteering Championships saw two local champions in two of the age classes.  Ciara Largey from Omagh who won the women’s W21 Elite and Swanlinbars Garbhan Mc Goldrick who won the men’s 12

Left Photo: Ciara Largey winner of the W21 Elite. Photo supplied by Fermanagh Orienteers. Right Photo: Left to right:  Ben Cairns, Lagan Valley Orienteers (2nd place), Garbhan Mc Goldrick, Fermanagh Orienteers (1st place) and Oliver OKane, Lagan Valley Orienteers (3rd place).

Philip continued:

“The Senior Home Internationals competition was very close with England and Scotland in a tie at the end of Day One in the Individual race in Florencecourt with Ireland just ahead of Wales.

Day Two was held at Castle Saunderson and was the Relay competition.  Here England just pipped Scotland by the narrowest of margins.  Ireland finished in 3rd place and Wales in 4th.

Orienteering is a sport for all ages and abilities, an adventure sport, a sport which values the outdoors and treats the countryside it uses with the greatest respect.  We would like to encourage more people to give it a go.”


SHI Relays Results

Full results and legs split times are now available – here.


NIOC/SHI 2017 Results

Results from the 2017 Northern Ireland Individual Championships and the Senior Home International Individual Event – available here.


British Orienteering would like to thank Fermanagh Orienteers for hosting both of these competitions and for providing a great weekend of orienteering.  Congratulations to all who took part.

Tweet Wednesday 20th September 2017

The story of Xplorer 2013-2017

Xplorer Logo

This summer has seen another busy period of Xplorer events being delivered and managed by over 120 of our local community partners.  Using a simple map, the aim is to find a number of markers that are located around the park.  At each marker, children need to identify what is pictured and enjoy learning a fun fact or answering a multiple choice question.

Xplorer is a perfect grass roots participation product for our community partners (such as local authorities and friends of the park groups) as preschool and primary aged children can have an adventure with their family whilst running around in a safe and friendly environment.  It also introduces them to a fun, easy to deliver form of Orienteering at an age where they are too young to join our traditional Orienteering Clubs.

Natalie Weir, Lead Development Officer for Xplorer, says:  “We believe Xplorer works well because of the simplicity, confidence and resources that it provides, as well as the ability for it to be tailored to a variety of markets and demographics. Some interesting statistics have come out of Xplorer over the last 4 years such as a higher % of females participating in contrast to traditional club membership – emphasising how perfect it is for mums and kids.”

A snap shot on the Xplorer statistics of the past 4 years can be found here

Snapshot of the Xplorer Infographic

What funding changes have meant for Xplorer

Whilst British Orienteering has been able to secure funding from Sport England for the next 4 years this is a reduction of 53% on the previous 4 years.  As such a cost has had to be onto the setup and resource provision of Xplorer to enable us to continue to provide Xplorer.  Going forward there will be an annual service charge for existing delivery partners and a setup cost for new partners. We are pleased that irrespective of these changes, the value that has been created has meant we have still seen new partners come on board. 

New partner success; getting active with Xplorer in Slough

Over 300 families in Slough have been getting active outdoors this summer taking on new mapping challenges in Herschel Park and Salt Hill Park.

The Council’s Active Communities Team worked with British Orienteering on a participation project called ‘Xplorer’. Five designated ‘Xplorer’ events ran across August with families taking on different navigational challenges each week.

Co-ordinator Ciaran Crean said, “the project combines a healthy mix of physical activity and decision making, something the whole family can enjoy together”.

Using a simple map the aim is to find a number of markers that are located around the park, at each marker, children identify what animal is pictured and learn an interesting fact”. It’s just been brilliant to see so many families out together exploring their local parks, the response from everybody who’s tried ‘Xplorer’ has been really positive, from children and parents!” We will certainly be delivering more ‘Xplorer’ days, we have plans for special Halloween and Christmas themed events- so watch this space”.

Photos taken from the Xplorer event in Slough

To find out more about Xplorer visit:

Find a local Xplorer event here.

Tweet Friday 8th September 2017

City of Birmingham Orienteering Club set to host more Junior Events

Newcomer and Schools Events are set to be held on Saturday afternoons throughout the rest of the 2017 year and throughout 2018.

As well as hosting the Peter Palmer Junior Relays this weekend, the City of Birmingham Orienteering Club are also running a new series of monthly Newcomer and Schools Events starting on Saturday 30 September 2017 at Witton Lakes (B23 7XA) and then every other Saturday afternoon in 2017/2018 in various parks in and around Birmingham.  Sessions will run from 1pm - 2.30pm.

You can find full details of these Saturday afternoon orienteering events hosted by the City of Birmingham Orienteering Club – here


Jennie Taylor (JT) Communications Officer at British Orienteering caught up with Ian Gamlen (IG) City of Birmingham Orienteering Club Secretary.

JT:  “Ian, I understand that your Saturday afternoon events are set to start on 30 September at Witton Lakes at 1pm and are being rolled out throughout 2017 and 2018 in parks in and around Birmingham.  This all sound great.  What do you hope to achieve from these particular events?”

IG:  “We are hoping to achieve a strong following for orienteering, especially park orienteering, among children in North Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield.”




JT:  “Why you think this type of activity is needed?”

IG:  “The city's parks are underused, and not enough sport is going on in the city, especially in the more deprived areas, and we can help to fulfil that need, especially among those children who aren't so keen on team sports. The area we're covering includes some of the richest districts in England and some of the poorest, and orienteering has the advantage of being challenging but cheap.”







JT:  “What do you intend to do?”

IG:  “We intend to follow in the footsteps of Sheffield Orienteering Club and clubs in other areas that have had successful schools-and-families events in parks.”





JT:  “How are you promoting the series?”

IG:  “We are distributing promotional flyers in libraries, leisure centres and youth clubs. We are also sending invitations to school children via their schools.”





JT:  “What will the activities be?”

IG:  “There will be white, yellow, orange and long orange courses for children progressing from year 3 to year 10 and above. We will also have a fun O maze. There will also be a longer course for adult orienteers.”





JT:  “What has led your club to do this?”

IG:  “Seeing what's going on in other clubs. 

The City of Birmingham Orienteering Club is a small club with lots of ambition and enthusiasm. We are very keen to increase our membership particularly juniors so that they get the opportunity to learn how to orienteer and help grow the sport.

For a number of years now the City of Birmingham Orienteering Club has been putting on a short orienteering course and a Maze O at the Sutton Coldfield Community Games. This was held this year in July and children and adults have the opportunity to take part and learn about over 90 different sport activities, including, of course, orienteering. This year they had over 500 children and adults go around the Maze O with many expressing an interest in taking up orienteering more regularly.”
City of Birmingham Community Games

JT:  “Thank you Ian; this is great to hear. All the best with everything.” 

For more information on the above events please go to

British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity to wish the City of Birmingham Orienteering Club and its volunteers all the very best with the organising of their new club membership recruitment events.