Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport that exercises both the mind and the body. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace.
Orienteering can take place anywhere from remote forest and countryside to urban parks and school playgrounds. It’s a great sport for runners, joggers and walkers who want to improve their navigation skills or for anyone who loves the outdoors. Orienteering - The adventure sport for all!
Orienteering is a very flexible sport and is suitable for all levels of fitness and all ages – competitors at orienteering events range from age 6 to 90! There is absolutely no obligation to run whilst doing an orienteering course, and beginners usually find they are better off going fairly slowly to concentrate on reading the map accurately rather than rushing round.
Although the top orienteers are very physically fit, it is rarely the fastest runner who wins – rather the person who can combine running with map-reading and complex decision-making at speed.
At the top level, orienteering can be a highly competitive sport, and our elite class athletes compete at a very high level in world competitions. But the majority of people participate in the sport for fun, and there are events throughout the year catering for the very widest possible range of ages and ability levels. The social side of the sport is very important too, and you will soon meet many other like-minded people from all walks of life.
How can I get involved?
One club worth looking into in London is SLOW, the South London Orienteers and Wayfarers. SLOW is an orienteering and running club based in south London. Our members are based all over the south London area, with a particular concentration in the Kingston/Wimbledon/Richmond areas. We also have quite a few members in north London, and also in Surrey, as far out as Dorking and Guildford. The club currently has around 200 members, ranging from complete novices to international level orienteers. It is affiliated to British Orienteering, the sport’s national governing body, and is Clubmark accredited.
There are 120 orienteering clubs throughout Great Britain, joined together by organisations that make up British Orienteering. Want help finding your local club in London? Click here!
More info: British Orienteering Website