Latest news

Tweet Wednesday 23rd October 2019

Temporary closure of National Office due to recent flooding repairs

Please note:  British Orienteering’s normal office operation will be until 5.00pm today (Wednesday 23 October), and will re-open at 9.00am on Tuesday 29 October.

This is due to a burst water pipe and the need for flood damage repairs to now be undertaken on site.

There will be minimal-emergency administrative duties only during Thursday 24 and Monday 28 October.  Please also note that the office will be completely closed on Friday 25 October.

Email contact to: will be dealt with once the office is back in operation and staff are back on site at 9.00am on Tuesday 29 October.

We are sorry for any disruption and inconvenience this may cause.

Temporary closure of National Office due to flooding repairs
Tweet Wednesday 23rd October 2019

Colin Henderson MBE, 1949-2019

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of Colin Henderson MBE who passed away on Friday 18 October.

Colin was a founding member of the Northern Ireland Orienteering Association and Lagan Valley Orienteers. Colin ably fulfilled many roles. He was a fiercely competitive orienteer, representing Ireland at many Home Internationals, a talented planner, exacting controller, capable organiser and co-ordinator, encouraging coach and latterly a budding mapper. He served on committees and held the role of Hon Secretary of NIOA for an extended period.

British Orienteering would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Colin’s family and his friends within the orienteering community.

Colin’s funeral will take place at 2pm today (Wednesday 23 October) at Roselawn Crematorium, 127 Ballygowan Rd, Belfast BT5 7TZ.

Colin’s family request to wear purple if possible to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.

Further details can be found on the Northern Ireland Orienteering Association website here.

Colin Henderson MBE, 1949-2019

Photo credit:  NIOA

Tweet Wednesday 23rd October 2019

Orienteering World Cup Final 2019 (Nanhai, China)

Our GB elite athletes will be travelling out to Nanhai, China today to take part in the Orienteering World Cup Final 2019. Nanhai County was a former county in Guangdong Province, China, named after the South China sea.

The Final will take place over 5 days and finishes with the Sprint in Songtang Village.

The World Cup Final in China will host a Middle distance, a Sprint race and a Mixed Sprint Relay. The British team has a maximum of 6 spaces per gender in the individual races and up to 4 teams in the Mixed Sprint Relay. 

Middle Distance
Saturday 26th October

Mixed Sprint Relay
Sunday 27th October

Tuesday 29th October


GB Team

Men Women

Ralph Street  

Kirstin Maxwell  
Peter Hodkinson  Charlotte Ward 
Will Gardner  Cecilie Andersen
Jonathan Crickmore  
Chris Smithard   
Ben Mitchell  

As always you can follow all the action on


Good luck to the GB athletes competing at the Orienteering World Cup Final:

Ralph Street, Peter Hodkinson, Will Gardner, Jonathan Crickmore, Chris Smithard, Ben Mitchell, Kirsten Maxwell, Charlotte Ward and Cecilie Anderson. Safe journey.

Tweet Thursday 10th October 2019

World Mental Health Day - Wednesday 10 October 2019

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.

Did you know?

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. 

Photo credit: Steve Rush (Bristol Orienteering Klub)  

5 Health Benefits of the sport of Orienteering

1.  Time outdoors is great for us physiologically:

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”.

2.   Increased time being outdoors with nature improves people’s health and happiness:

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.

3.  Increased cardiovascular capacity:

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.”

4.  Sharpens decision-making skills:

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.

5.  Balance between the physical and the mind:

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. 

Photo credit:  Steve Rush (Bristol Orienteering Klub)
Photo credit:  Steve Rush (BOK)
Photo credit:  Rob Lines 
 Photo credit:  Steve Rush (Bristol Orienteering Klub)
 Photo credit:  Steve Rush (Bristol Orienteering Klub)

Do something different on World Mental Health Day – try orienteering.

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.