British Orienteering continues to keep our guidelines for event organisers, coaches and participants under review as the government COVID-19 guidance evolve across the UK. Protecting the health of all our participants, members, volunteers and staff, and ensuring that we play our part in suppressing the spread of COVID-19, remain our highest priorities.
Our initial understanding is that the new Government restrictions announced in England on Tuesday 22 September will continue to permit orienteering events to be held in line with the current British Orienteering guidelines. However, we will review the detailed Government guidance as it emerges and will make any necessary changes to the British Orienteering guidelines as soon as possible.
British Orienteering will also continue to work with SOA, WOA and NIOA to review the impact of the restrictions announced by the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive.
We will issue a further update once the revised Government guidance for sport has become available.
Following the review of the Return to Orienteering guidance in England by the Board of British Orienteering on Tuesday 1st September, please find the link to the full document.
The key changes are:
Subject to a further review of the implementation of these revised guidelines, British Orienteering will aim to move in future revisions towards a higher start rate of up to four starters per minute from each start location, with allocated start times.
British Orienteering would welcome further feedback from clubs about their experience of operating within the current COVID-19 guidelines, and about any challenges they have encountered in obtaining permissions from landowners or local authorities.
The Board plans a further review of the guidance in October, subject to any further changes in the government guidance.
To view the current guidance visit: COVID Safe Orienteering
British Orienteering is supporting National Fitness Day again this year. We are encouraging all those who have never tried orienteering to download one of over 500 Permanent Orienteering Courses across the UK.
As we ease lockdown restrictions, orienteering clubs around the UK are getting together to promote their Permanent Orienteering Courses as a way of discovering the outdoors in a socially distanced way. There are over 500 Permanent Courses around the country and many are within easy reach of towns and cities.
A new video has just been released by the Orienteering Foundation, explaining how to get started on a Permanent Orienteering Course.
The video sets out how to understand the map and how to orientate it to match the environment around you. It gives examples of the checkpoints you could be looking for and shows you how to download a map.
Orienteering is a sport where you have to navigate your way around a series of checkpoints in the fastest time. Permanent Orienteering Courses are exactly that - permanent. They have checkpoints, in the form of posts or plaques, in forests, heathlands and parks, which you can navigate to at any time, and at your own pace.
These courses allow you to discover new areas of parks or forests that are a little bit more off the beaten track, and further from other members of the public. They're ideal for small groups or individuals, so perfect for social distancing.
It's a chance to learn something new, an opportunity for everyone to connect with the outdoors, get some exercise and have the satisfaction of completing a challenge.
Key to all orienteering is the specially drawn map. The film shows how this map works, the way the symbols are drawn and how courses are printed with a start and finish symbol and checkpoints to find on the way round. The film also shows how to line your map up with features to help you go in the right direction. Other than having the map, you need little else to get going. A compass isn't necessary on simple courses, just be dressed ready for the outdoors whether you are planning to run or walk.
Many local clubs have also been developing these courses virtually, and our Virtual Orienteering Courses can be completed using your GPS smartphone or watch. More information on Permanent and Virtual Orienteering Courses can be found on the British Orienteering website.
With the opportunity to select the difficulty of a course, look for a course in a particular terrain, search for wheelchair accessible course or embrace technology with an added virtual element, there has never been a better time to embrace your next outdoor adventure with the sport of Orienteering on National Fitness Day.
If you do one activity today, make sure you download a Permanent Orienteering Course today and go Orienteering!
The first race of the 2018 JEC programme saw 14 GB athletes across four teams take to the streets of the Swiss village of Villars-Sur-Ollon, in a fast and frantic head-to-head format, the first of its kind at junior international level.
Leading off their respective teams were Fiona Bunn (GBR1), Tara Schwarze-Chintapatla (GBR2), Emma Wilson (GBR3) and Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla (MIX1) and the pace at the front of the pack was unremitting in its intensity, as they headed uphill and away from the start line for the first leg. The courses included several long route choice legs, with the gaffling managing to split some of the teams early on, followed by some shorter, faster legs as the runners returned towards the assembly.
Ten minutes later, the first athletes headed into the arena passage, and it was to British cheers that Fiona descended to the spectator control in first place, with GB debutant, Anika, only around 10 seconds back from her, and comfortably in the top 10. These two continued to work hard around the final short loop and set up their outgoing runners for the next leg beautifully, ensuring that they both went out in the leading pack, with Fiona finishing in second and Anika in sixth. Eddie Narbett now took up the reigns for the first team and, although he wasn't happy with his overall performance, having dropped sometime in the middle of the course, he still brought the first team back in 9th and fighting for a podium position, only 18 seconds off sixth place at this stage.
Freddie Carcas on the third leg then ran a controlled race to stay in contention, running through the spectator control in the middle of a group fighting for places 7 to 12 and still well in touch with the leading pack and duly handed over to last leg runner, Laura King, with the team sitting in 10th. Laura then ran a superb final leg to pull in several of the athletes in front of her and an exciting sprint finish saw her cross the finish line in a dead heat with the Swiss 3rd team last leg runner and pull the team up onto the podium in joint 6th.
Across the rest of the squad, there were a number of steady runs, resulting in the Mixed 1 team finishing 36th, the 3rd team in 41st of the 64 teams competing in the event and unfortunately the second team were disqualified. The athletes are now resting up and preparing in the hotel for the middle race tomorrow at Monthey, where it is hoped that the area suits some of the technicians in the squad and more good results can be recorded by the team across the two classes of M/W18 and M/W20.