Claro is the orienteering club for North Yorkshire, West of Dere Street (as the Romans called it – now the A1(M)), across to the line of the River Wharfe. The main centres of membership are the spa town of Harrogate and the city of Ripon, along with the smaller towns of Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, Masham and Pateley Bridge extending northwards to Swaledale and Wensleydale.
Formed in 1990, Claro is the youngest orienteering club in the north of England. The total membership is currently around 110, with some members being more active than others. Ages range from under 10 to over 75. In experience we include recent beginners through to international athletes.
The club puts on a regular programme of open events as well as competing in those put on by neighbouring clubs and further afield. Other activities include coaching for all, training together, social events, an annual league and schools and juniors development.
The name Claro is not, as is commonly supposed, an acronym, but the old wapentake name for this part of North Yorkshire. Wapentakes were the old Norse divisions for raising taxes and men at arms (similar to hundreds in southern counties). Claro Hill, the old gathering point, is immediately adjacent to the A1 just north of its junction with the A59 for Harrogate and York. The club’s name is simply ‘Claro’ (rhymes with aero), which must be one of the shortest names around for an orienteering club. Although not commonly recognised further afield, it is a familiar name in Harrogate and the surrounding area.