Resumption of orienteering: Phase 1 United Kingdom
The updated UK government guidance published on 11 May 2020 permits the resumption of outdoor sports in England where you take part alone, within a household group, or with one person from outside your household from whom you must stay two metres apart at all times.
The updated guidance from the NI Executive published on 18 May 2020 permits Groups of 4 – 6 people who do not share a household can meet outdoors maintaining social distancing.
This will allow us to resume a limited set of individual orienteering activities in these parts of the country, as set out below.
There is no change to the current position in Scotland and Wales, and so orienteering activities in these parts of the UK must remain suspended for now.
As a sport, we must work together to resume orienteering responsibly as and when the relevant government determines it is safe to do so. The Board have committed to following the respective advice of each government, and therefore there are likely to be periods when types of orienteering activities permitted will vary between different parts of the UK, depending on the government guidelines and regulations.
In England and the Isle of Man, we moved to Phase 1 of the resumption of orienteering with effect from 14 May 2020.
In Northern Ireland, we will move to Phase 1 with effect from 22 May 2020.
This will mean that clubs and individuals can:
The full guidance can be downloaded here.
During lockdown we have been working closely with SOA and sportscotland and the Scottish Governing Bodies of the other outdoor sports to create a plan for how our activities can resume once lockdown starts to ease. Following the First Minister’s announcement yesterday we are hoping to be in a position in the near future to share our Route Map for Orienteering reactivation specifically Phase 1.
British Orienteering is publishing a series of interviews this week with GB athletes and continues with Hector Haines GB elite athlete and member of Auld Reekie Orienteering Society (AROS).
Club (National): Auld Reekie Orienteering Society (AROS)
Club (International): IFK Lidingö, Stockholm
How have the current restrictions impacted on your training?
Hector: “No big change really - living in Sweden we are allowed to train as normal. The competitions have all been cancelled though and this would have been a bid part of my spring season with one or two races a week on average at the moment. Given the situation, I've struggled with motivation some days for training. I've thought about doing just easy and base training again, but found that interval sessions and 'virtual races' have been much more effective at keeping my fitness on a high level.”
What advice have you got for other athletes or members in a similar position?
Hector: “Variety is key. Don't run the same route every day! Explore and find new places, do new sessions/activities. Even small changes can make a big difference in the motivation to get the kit on. And don't worry about the amount/volume/intensity. Push hard when you want to, go long when you feel like it - but don't stress about it day-to day.”
What is your number one Lockdown training session?
Hector: “Indoor biking on Zwift (virtual racing). Additionally, Yoga is great for de-stressing after a day at the 'home' office - especially if I can do it out in the garden in the evening sun.”
Have you still been able to access support from your coach or orienteering athlete friends, and if so how?
Hector: “I've found that I talk with friends online a lot more now, which is nice. Here in IFK Lidingö, we have a full time coach still, so we have been able to have great support from the orienteering club to keep us motivated and give the team cohesion at this time.”
What box sets have you been able to catch up on during Lockdown?
Hector: “I've actually watched very little TV! I grew up without one, and have never really been into TV box-sets. But I have re-watched the Lord of the Rings movies in recent weeks, and also the original Matrix - which felt like it had a strange relevance at this time! A classic movie too.”
Have you been doing any DIY tasks – anything you want to tell us about?
Hector: “Not so much DIY, but some spring cleaning and general maintenance. I've de-greased and been giving my bike a lot of attention too.”
Anything else you wish to share on any other aspects of Lockdown training?
Hector: “I would say that keeping the big picture in mind is key. Right now is a temporary situation and things will improve and we will be able to race once again. So train to maintain, then train to race once the timings for races are more clear. I would also like to note that for me I've realised that I have lost some of my personal identity as an athlete during this time - which has been mentally quite uncomfortable. But just coming to this realisation has been important for me to be able to deal with the uncomfortable feelings you get during lockdown.”
Thank you Hector. Great to hear from you. We wish you all the best with your on-going training.
As a sport, we must work together to resume orienteering responsibly as and when the relevant government determines it is safe to do so.
The Board of Directors at British Orienteering have committed to following the respective advice of each government, and therefore there are likely to be periods when types of orienteering activities permitted, vary between different parts of the UK, depending on the government guidelines and regulations.
The latest statement from British Orienteering can be found here.
Resumption of Orienteering
British Orienteering supports World Mental Health Day.
World Mental Health Day celebrates awareness for the global community in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping those feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and to create lasting change.
Orienteering is a sport that challenges both the mind and the body.
More and more people are discovering that orienteering is a fun and challenging activity that gets them exploring the great outdoors. They are gaining new skills in finding their way in unknown terrain and crossing rough and sometimes hilly ground. You are always discovering somewhere new! It's a competitive sport with something for everyone, from 10-year-olds to grandpas and grandmas.
The sport of orienteering offers many benefits, but its foremost attraction is that it is fun!
The aim is to navigate between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course.
5 Health Benefits of the sport of Orienteering
For one it improves our Vitamin D levels. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance to certain diseases. The Vitamin D Council says “your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight”.
Increased time being outdoors with nature has been shown to significantly improve people’s health and happiness. The UK’s first month-long nature challenge, which took place in 2015 by the University of Derby involved people "doing something wild" every day for 30 consecutive days. It showed that children exposed to the natural showed increases in self-esteem. They also felt it taught them how to take risks, unleashed their creativity and gave them a chance to exercise, play, and discover. In some cases nature can significantly improve the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), providing a calming influence and helping them concentrate. “Intuitively we knew that nature was good for us as humans, but the results were beyond brilliant,” said Lucy McRobert, Nature Matters Campaigns Manager for The Wildlife Trusts.
Orienteering involves walking, jogging and running, often in rough terrain. All three of these activities increase aerobic capacity and cardiovascular strength. The Department of Health in their Start Active, Stay Active report state: “regular physical activity can reduce the risk of many chronic conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions.”
Orienteering offers the development of individual skills in navigating while problem-solving to locate each control. Decision making is paramount: Should I go left or right? Should I climb that hill or go the long way around it? These decisions that constantly arise require thinking more than quick reactions or instinct; again, that is why orienteering is often called the thinking sport.
Research shows even one 30-minute cardio session pumps extra blood to your brain, delivering the oxygen and nutrients it needs to perform at max efficiency. Cardio also floods the brain with chemicals that enhance functions such as memory, problem-solving, and decision-making.
The ultimate quest for the orienteer is to find that balance between mental and physical exertion, to know how fast they can go and still be able to interpret the terrain around them and execute their route choice successfully.
Permanent Orienteering Courses are a great way to get outside and go orienteering at a time and place that suits you.
Permanent Orienteering courses are listed here.
Interested, but want to find more about the sport of orienteering? This set of Frequently Asked Questions will help you to find out more.