Orienteering means maps, varied terrain and adventure. It doesn't matter how young or old or fit you are. You can run, jog or walk; you decide your own pace ... and it’s FUN!!!
Orienteering involves using a specially drawn coloured map, with considerable detail and information, to navigate your way round a course with designated control points.
Symbols used on an orienteering map
The control points are marked on the map by red circles.
An extract from an orienteering map
A permanent course control marker
On the route, there are markers in the places that correspond to the points on the map. You have to mark your control card at each control point with a unique code to prove you have visited the control.
The winner of the competition is the one who has taken the shortest time to visit the control points in numerical order. Fast running alone does not make you a winner. You must also choose the best route between the control points and find the markers without wasting unnecessary time.
Orienteering is an activity which takes place in a variety of locations all over the UK in local parks, woodlands and open country.
Orienteering covers many elements of the National Curriculum for all age groups in an interesting and challenging way. It is also an option for GCSE students.
Permanent Orienteering Courses
Permanent Orienteering Courses are set up using wooden posts or plaques as control markers. There are usually short, easy courses for beginners with controls at path junctions etc. As you progress you can choose a more difficult course.
You can do a POC any time you wish simply by purchasing a map pack which contains a map and instructions. You will also need a pen, outdoor clothing and trainers. No other costs are involved.
Orienteering competitions are organised by clubs, outdoor centres and other organisations throughout the country, and can be either competitive or recreational. Many people simply walk around the courses as a means of enjoying the countryside. Their position in the results does not concern them.
There are courses for very young children with a progression to longer routes and higher standards of technical difficulty than those found at permanent courses. For the true competitor, map-reading at speed provides an interesting challenge! Indeed the UK has achieved significant international success in the sport.
Members of the GB Senior and Junior Squads in action