Other sport

Club offer people the chance to try orienteering at Plymouth’s Central Park

DEVON Orienteering Club are hoping to tempt new people to try out their sport with an event at Plymouth’s Central Park this month.

The club are hosting a meeting for all ages and abilities on Sunday, June 27.

Central Park has had permanent orienteering marks for a number of years, but Devon Orienteering are working with the Plymouth City Council to update them.

This month’s event is to help launch the proposed re-vamp of the course. A map for the park has already been redrawn and organisers believe the day will be a great opportunity for newcomers to give the sport a go.

“We have not had many events in the Plymouth area for a while,” said Devon Orienteering’s Bryan Smith. “Central Park is a really good place for beginners and those relatively new to the sport.

“We hope to get the word out that people know they can just come along – they don’t have to be a member – and have a go. It is £7 for adults and £3 for juniors – they have to pre-entry but that is straight forward. They just need to sign up on the Devon website by June 23.

“There are five courses on offer – they go from easy to more difficult – and they are colour coded, with yellow the easiest.

“It is a sport for all ages, male and female, and families can do it to. You can go around singularly or in a small group/family. Quite often parents will shadow a youngster. It gives the youngster chance to feel like they are independent but mum or dad might be 10-15 yards behind, just checking how they are doing and encouraging them. It really is a sport for all.”

Orienteering combines off-road running with map reading.

“Some people want more of a mental challenge rather than just running around a track or a 5k race – that’s why I enjoy it,” added Smith. “I enjoy the variety as well as the physical and mental challenge.

“But as the oxygen drains away so does the mental capability, so when you get tired and you are having to think quickly, the head does not always do what you want it to do.

“It is a great mix of physical and mental effort – trying to run quickly around the course, but trying to map read at the same time – and it is really quite addictive for some people.”

The club, who have around 150 members of all ages and abilities, will have helpers around the course on June 27 to offer assistance to any newcomers. Start times will be between 10.30am and 12.30pm and the event will meet at the new community sports hub.

Anyone interested in giving the sport a go can register at https://www.devonorienteering.co.uk/events/plymouth-central-park-jun-27-2021

This week the club were celebrating after Flurry Grierson was selected to represent Great Britain at 2021 Junior World Orienteering Championships in Turkey later this year.

Devon Orienteering will also play host to the British Championships at Braunton Burrows in October.

More information on the club can be found HERE.

Leave a Reply