What is orienteering?

Orienteering is an adventure sport involving a map and compass. Check out our about orienteering page for more details.

Do I need to stay with my child if they are 7 years old?

Yes! For the younger children, we ask that they are accompanied by an adult. The adult doesn’t need to do any active coaching, just be there to “shadow” their child as they run.

Do I need to stay with my child if they are 8 or older?

It’s up to you! Having a parent/guardian to “shadow” the child can provide reassurance in case things go wrong, but conversely may inhibit the child’s social interactions. It’s up to you to decide what is best for your child. However, we are more than happy to have parents help with the training activities in other ways – talk to the coaches to find out more!

Do we meet at the same place every week?

No! One of the great features of orienteering is going out and discovering new places. It also gets quite boring to run on the same map too often. We generally will not use the same area more than three times in each program.

Will my child ever be out of sight of a coach?

Probably yes. Due to the nature of the sport, and the number of children we coach, it is very likely that your child will be out of sight of a coach at some point during the program. The early sessions are designed to keep the children contained in small areas, but the distances covered increase over time. In the later sessions, the exercises are designed so that children cross paths with others during their run. All children are provided with a safety whistle, and they will be instructed to blow it if they are lost and confused. Our coaches roam the course checking on how the children are doing, and sometimes “shadow” children for section, providing one-on-one coaching.

What happens if my child gets lost?

Even the best orienteers get lost and confused!

  • For the younger children, we teach them to “retrace your steps” and “bail fast”. Safety instructions are given before each exercise. For example, “if you don’t know where you are, run towards the sea and follow the trail back to where we started”.
  • For more advanced children, we teach a full relocation strategy that can be used in competition. There are 5 other things to try before we “bail to the trail”!

If all else fails, all the children are provided a safety whistle, and are instructed on the correct usage.

Are your coaches qualified?

All our coaches have passed criminal record checks, and are either National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) qualified, or studying to become NCCP qualified. They’re all friendly, enthusiastic, and very knowledgeable about the sport.