Group Leaders: Vernon & Geraldine Davis
Telephone: 01777 711345
Email: orienteering@retford-u3a.org.uk
Meetings: 3rd Friday of the month at 10:30 am
Venue: Varies - members will be notified beforehand

Never heard of Orienteering ? Basically it’s just a treasure hunt. It can take place in woods, parks, urban areas or open moorland. Instead of clues you have a map showing you the location of control points which have to be visited in order. The art and the fun is in navigating your way from control point to control point around a set course as expeditiously as possible using just the map and a compass.

Orienteering is a worldwide sport that originated in Sweden at the end of the 19th C to train the military. In the UK there are numerous local clubs (there is one based in Nottinghamshire) under the umbrella of the British Orienteering Federation. Local clubs organise local events both summer and winter. Some of our original members are now participating in events run by Nott. Orienteering Club (NOC) as well as a local Bassetlaw group who run events every fortnight through the year.

These events are competitive, on a timed basis. However, courses are planned for all levels of ability from absolute novices upwards. Furthermore, everybody competes within their own age and gender group. Participants’ ages range from 5 to 85 and beyond. The purpose is not so much to beat others but to improve one’s own navigational skills. It is a VERY inclusive sport with regard to age, ability and sex.

One of the side effects of Orienteering is to make participants far more aware of their surroundings and start to recognise features in the landscape which previously would have gone unnoticed. It also means that when you go out for walks on your own, as long as you have a map, you never have that sinking feeling of ‘where am I’.

If you would like to try your hand at Orienteering, all you need to start with is a pair of trainers and a compass. Suitable compasses can be purchased for a few pounds. Other than that you need come prepared for no more than an interesting walk in the woods, possibly in the rain! Oh, and a coffee and a chat about the morning’s experiences afterwards.

The group has now been running for two years and we are lucky enough to have our own equipment.

If you would like any more information please contact either of the Group Coordinators.