Beginners Advice to Orienteering Cubs

Category: Orienteering Clubs

Information on orienteering clubs.


Why Join an Orienteering Club?

Although orienteering participants tend to run alone, orienteering can actually be a very active sport. Regardless of your orienteering abilities, you should consider joining an orienteering club or society if you want to further your passion for the sport. There are over 120 certified orienteering clubs across the UK, so you should easily be able to find one close to your home. There are a lot of different benefits associated with becoming a member of an orienteering society, so it is well worth joining one if you have the opportunity.

Benefits to joining a club

One of the primary reasons for joining your local club is that it will allow you to become part of an active community of likeminded people. As well as taking part in orienteering events, most clubs also run social events and informal gatherings so that members can get to know each other away from the course. Building social capital in this way can be as beneficial for your mental health as taking part in orienteering is for your physical health levels.

Being part of a club also makes it much easier for you to keep up-to-date with orienteering news. There are lots of exciting developments in the world of orienteering, so it is good to keep up with new developments. Keeping abreast of news from the sport can help to give you opportunities that you might otherwise have missed. Most clubs run a newsletter which includes club information and information about other things that may be relevant to participants.

Membership of the British Orienteering body will also get you a subscription to Focus magazine, which is published 3 times a year and is full of all of the latest orienteering news.

Many clubs have also negotiated discounts with kit suppliers and local course operators. Not only will you be able to find out about the latest kit as soon as it comes out, but you may also be able to get money off when you need to purchase new pieces.

Most clubs also run prize events and competitions for club members. Although some events are open to members of the public, other events are exclusive to those who are part of a club. This will give you the opportunity to test out your skills against others who have a similar passion. Most clubs run a ranking system for each age group, so that people can see how they compare to people in a similar position to themselves. Even if you are not competitive, it can still be fun to see how you stack up against your fellow club members.

Being included in rankings is always optional, so you do not have to be involved in this aspect if you do not want to be. Some of the events on offer may also be prize events where only club members are eligible to win. Although prizes are usually only small at club level, the chance of winning one can add another fun dimension to the discipline.

If you are a very competitive individual it is also important that you become a member of your local, regional and national club so that you can represent your area. Non-club members are not usually eligible to represent their country in international competitions.

Getting British Orienteering membership also ensure that you are covered by public liability insurance when you attend events or activities which are being run by the body or its affiliates. Accidents are uncommon at orienteering events, but they can happen in any sport. Membership will help you if you are involved in any sort of accident whilst you are taking part.

How to find your local club

There are over 100 orienteering clubs in operation across the country, so you will definitely be able to find one that operates close to your home. Younger people may also find that their university or school runs an orienteering club that it not open to members of the general public.

Local clubs may advertise in sports shops and gyms. The sport is ideal for those who like running or the outdoors, and therefore local clubs aim to attract these types of people. If you are part of a running group, you can even ask your fellow competitors whether they take part in the sport. The popularity of orienteering amongst runners and joggers means that the chances are that one of your fellow group members will be involve in the sport.

If you cannot see any leaflets in your area, then you should get in contact with British Orienteering. They will be able to give you advice about clubs that operate in your area. Alternatively, they will give you the contact details of the regional orienteering body for your area, which will be able to tell you about any newcomer events that are coming up close to your location.


Finding an Orienteering Club

Whether you are a seasoned professional or whether you are just starting out in orienteering, finding a local club can be a great way to practice this pastime. Finding a club is also a great way to meet a lot of like-minded people who also enjoy orienteering.

Many clubs also run starter events to give new people the opportunity to try out orienteering in a safe and fun environment. As well as running actual orienteering events, some clubs will also organise other social events so that participants can take the chance to get to know each other off of the course.

Where to start?

If you are looking for a new club, then the best place to start is the website of your national orienteering association. British Orienteering is the national association for orienteering in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The organisation helps to set rules and guidelines for all clubs in the UK, as well as helping to organise many national orienteering events.

British Orienteering is a great place to turn to if you are looking for further information about the sport in the UK, or if you are looking for any other orienteering resources.

Your regional orienteering association may also be able to help you to find the right club in your local area. There is one regional association each for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, whereas England is split into a number of smaller associations. These regional associations act as organisational bodies for all of the local clubs in their areas, and will be able to provide you with contact details for most of the active clubs near to you.

There are over 100 local clubs across the United Kingdom. Most of these clubs run regular events to encourage newcomers to try out orienteering events, as well as running events, leagues and competitions for those who are more competitive. Most club events (professional and newcomer) are run on temporary courses that are designed specifically for that particular session. This means that most club members get to navigate a different course every time that they take part.

Clubs should also be able to give members and non-members information about permanent orienteering courses in the area. These courses have permanent checkpoints and set maps. Some of them are available to visit all year round and participants do not normally need to be part of an event.

Orienteering clubs often promote themselves in gyms or local sports shops, because competitive orienteering requires speed, stamina and agility. Next time you are in a local sports shop, you should take a look at the leaflet rack to see if any local clubs are trying to attract new members.

Many clubs run both daytime and night time events. Night time events start to become more popular in winter when the days become shorter, whereas daytime events usually start being advertised in Spring.

Clubs for the younger generation

Teenagers and students may also find that their school, college or university runs its own orienteering club. Orienteering is a very popular pastime amongst people aged under 25, and many students start their own club if there is not already one on campus. Because these clubs do not tend to be open to general members (those who are not pupils or students), clubs may not be known to the regional orienteering association.

If you want to find out whether your university has an orienteering club, you should talk to the student union at your place of study. Alternatively, if you want more information about setting up an orienteering society on campus, you should ask the British Orienteering association for assistance.