The aim is to navigate around a number of control points marked on a specially drawn map in the quickest time possible.
The challenge involves picking the best route and successfully navigating it as quickly as possible.
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.