Success Stories

Success Stories

Orienteers are very good at learning from others and one way that British Orienteering supports clubs and members to develop orienteering is to provide the means for members and clubs to share ideas that have worked well for them. 

Case Study One: Buxton

Dan Riley is the coach at Buxton. He’s employed by Derwent Valley Orienteers to coach five hours per week and is funded by a Sport England grant for a period of one year. Following that the club should be self-funding and run itself.

“We held our first come and try it session on the last weekend in September 2008. Over 100 people came, and over 150 runs were completed. We promoted the launch through Sports Development Officers and held it at the Pavilion Gardens as a social occasion. The first club night was the following Tuesday (1st October) and we now operate weekly within the school grounds, using indoor and outdoor spaces. We run the club throughout the school terms – 39 weeks a year. We meet once a week and inform members about competitions they can enter. We have also put on a mini- club competition such as the street orienteering session we held during the final session before Christmas. This meant doing a risk assessment as we were sending people off campus, but it went really well. “Runners had a 30 minute time limit and were able to start when they were ready. It was a very wet night but everyone turned up. The Buxton club is at present a satellite of Derwent Valley Orienteer’s, but at some point we’ll have to debate whether to become a club in our own right or stay as we are. We currently don’t have our own committee."

 Additional points: 

  • Dan is a lecturer at the local University and persuaded five outdoor activity students to come to the club and train as level one instructors, providing additional coaching.

  • A further five members will also be trained as coaches.

  • The basic equipment that was purchased initially was head torches, reflective vests and maps.

  • The club uses the school gym as its base and runs circuit classes when the weather is bad.

  • The club has a range of ages, and a range of abilities so all activities have to scalable and adaptable.

  • By launching in October it meant there was immediately not enough daylight to run outdoor evening sessions, so there was more emphasis on developing good indoor sessions and outdoor sessions in a limited space.

  • The club charges adults £2 and children £1

A Permanent Partnership in Buxton

The latest development in Buxton is the new Permanent Orienteering Course (POC) at the Pavilion Gardens. The Pavilion Gardens has been used for a variety of activities by the club due to its location only 800m away from the club base at Buxton Community School. Both the High Peak Borough Council and High Peak School Sports Partnership were willing to support DVO with the development of a POC at the site. Further Information

Case Study: The Development of Leeds University Orienteering Club

Over the last two years British Orienteering has supported the development of Leeds University Orienteering Club. The club were former members of British Orienteering up until 8 years ago. However a number of years with low membership meant the end of orienteering at the Univeristy. Thanks to funding and support from British Orienteering and the enthusiasm and drive of the coach Ashley Stratton Powell the club has restarted with new members many of whom are new to Orienteering. The club attended the BUCS Championships in 2012 with 25 members competing.

Information provided by Ash about the University can be found here

For more information on the British Orienteering Universities Development programme please email the National Office


Mansfield Club Night

Catherine Hughes is the coach of the new Mansfield club, which is a satellite of Nottingham Orienteering Club. The new club started up in March 2009, following on from launch events in Mansfield and Ashfield, north Nottinghamshire. The set up is very similar to Buxton and with funding having been secured, there are likely to be three new bases in Nottinghamshire and three in Derbyshire, including Buxton.

“We got 60 people to the Ashfield launch and 40 to theMansfield, primarily through schools visits. In general though awareness was low.

I stopped a jogger in the street and asked him if he would be interested. He was a local teacher and was really interested, but he didn’t know anything about the new club. The people we attracted came through the schools and passers by. We set ourselves up by a café and persuaded people to have a go. Some of our new members have always wanted to learn to read maps and they view orienteering as a balanced activity that’s good for their kids. Children enjoy it as they’re allowed to get muddy and they’re allowed off the leash a bit to roam out of sight.

Our aim is to target families. Appealing to cross curricular education and physical and intellectual development is a strong draw for parents. We want to emphasise the fun elements that are conducted in a safe environment. It’s also about getting to the ‘plodders with brains’ because this is their chance to beat the fast runners!

Additional points:

  • The new Mansfield club has members aged 8 to 51

  • Sessions started with level one exercises and games, followed by some circuit training in the gym.

  • Launching in March meant the club benefitted from the clocks changing to allow more flexibility as the groups progress and grow.

  • Local people will be recruited as coaches

  • The club linked in with schools and local county sports partnerships

  • The club invited local journalists to take part


Creating a Sustainable Future for your Club (DFOK)

Dartford Orienteering Club (DFOK) ran an Autumn series aimed at attracting newcomers to the sport. They worked closely with the local School Sports Partnerships and and also focused on publicising the events to the local community. Further Information.


Increasing Participation at HALO

HALO wanted to increase their participation numbers and decided that the way forward was to concentrate much of its efforts on a particular locality and that it would try and establish a regular Club Night on Monday evenings during term time at Longcroft School in Beverley on the North Bank of the Humber. In the first year there were 39 participants in total (16 members and 23 non-members, 7 of whom subsequently joined the Club, with between 10 and 20 at any one Club Night.  Further Information

West Cumberland OC Club Development

West Cumberland Orienteering Club (WCOC) is on the western fringe of the Lake District and really is quite isolated. We have been aware from the very early years that we were going to have to provide our own entertainment if we were to have a successful and active club. We decided we would have a regular Thursday evening event, with just a couple of courses, and very straightforward organisation that would involve one person per event. This has evolved into a year round set of events, involving night, summer evening, fell races and short/park sprints. With no break you move from one series to the next. Further Information


SELOC Training Nights

SELOC’s Monday evening training started just over twelve months ago using a local primary school as a base and inviting parents and children from the school plus SELOC members and friends to join in as well. Orienteering coach Cath Wilson devised a range of indoor activities for the winter months for juniors, adult beginners and experienced orienteers.  Further Information.