Orienteering is a sport involving navigation between control points marked on a unique orienteering map. The challenge is deciding the best route in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, you can run, walk or jog you decide your own pace. You are able to start Orienteering at a level, which suits you, and progress at your own rate.
Orienteering can take place anywhere from remote forest and countryside to urban parks and school playgrounds. The most challenging orienteering takes place in remote areas, which have demanding terrain and fewer paths.
To start all you need is a sense of adventure, a pair of trainers or outdoor shoes and outdoor clothes. At major events and some regional events it is possible to buy kit from trade stands. Clubs also sell their club kit. A compass is not a compulsory piece of kit when starting out.
Orienteering is a great sport to take up with friends and family allowing you share your adventures afterwards. To get the most out orienteering it is recommended to join a club.
Orienteering at the elite level is a highly competitive sport involving intense concentration, skill and fitness running against the best in the world at international competitions.
Orienteering events range from local events to major national/international events. If you are new to the sport it is recommended to try a local or district event first.
At all events you will provided with an orienteering map, a dibber (if electronic punching is used), a control card (if pin punching is used) and a control description sheet. You will need to bring a red pen for copying your course onto a map from a master map (colour coded courses only).
At each control point there will be either a pin punch to mark your control card or an electronic punch to record you have been to that control point. The description sheet holds details of the position of controls on the course and a code for each enabling you to ensure that you are at the correct point.
Events usually take place on a Sunday Morning.
LOCAL: Hosted by clubs, ideal for newcomers offering a limited range of colour coded courses. There are over 800 per year.
DISTRICT: Again ideal for newcomers but also aimed at experienced local orienteers offering a fuller range of colour coded courses. Courses range from 1km to over 7.5km. There are nearly 300 events a year throughout Great Britain.
REGIONAL: Hosted by clubs for experienced orienteers in their own and adjoining associations. Junior classes are ability based. Senior classes are age based. There are around 80 per year.
NATIONAL: Hosted by associations for experienced orienteers with all classes age based. There are a series of 6-8 held throughout the country aimed at providing top quality competition for all age classes.
CHAMPIONSHIPS: There are 6 Championship events held in Great Britain each year, hosted by associations with all classes based on age.
Further information can be obtained by visiting their website: British Orienteering
Is YOUR club sport not listed here? For a free listing,