2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the British Orienteering Federation. On the 17 June this year it is exactly 50 years since the British Orienteering Federation came into being. The inaugural meeting was held at 7.30 p.m. on 17 June 1967 in Barnard Castle, and the first British Orienteering Championships were held in Hamsterley Forest, Co. Durham the following day.
There is a programme of activities planned to celebrate this special milestone. There is a special Golden Jubilee anniversary edition of Focus membership magazine which marks the occasion and progression of the sport over the 50 years. We have already enjoyed a celebratory cake and a display for members at the Annual General Meeting on 14 April at Brunel University in Uxbridge, London. A Golden Jubilee anniversary film focusing on the past, the present and the future of the sport will be launched on the British Orienteering website on the actual 50th anniversary date – this Saturday!
On Wednesday evening this week we were delighted to welcome Mike Bushell BBC One Breakfast Sports Presenter to a South East Lancashire Orienteering Club at Media City, Salford, Manchester. Mike took part in the orienteering event at Media City which was planned as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations to showcase our sport of orienteering. The filming is due to be shown on BBC One Breakfast Show this Saturday (17 June 2017) from 6.30am through to 9.30am.
Mike Hamilton, Chief Executive of British Orienteering, says:
“2017 is the 50th Anniversary of the creation of British Orienteering and whilst we have few resources to ‘splash out’ on the celebrations we hope that all involved in orienteering in whatever capacity will be able to celebrate this achievement in some small ways – well done British Orienteering, you’ll soon be 50!”
The word “orienteering” – you think about running in the countryside probably lost with a compass and a map. Orienteering is not just for the super active or elite athletes. The whole family can take part. Orienteering is all about navigating the fastest way around a set course, which often involves running straight through the trees, climbing hills and crossing diches. It’s a great sport as courses are set in beautiful countryside, and there are always lots of people running about.
With the 50 year celebrations underway it is certainly a good time to take a closer look at the sport of orienteering. Most orienteering takes place in forests or moorland often in stunning scenery. However there are now several city-based orienteering courses too. There are many permanent orienteering courses installed around the country. These are listed online at www.britishorienteering.org.uk – just click on ‘Go Orienteering’ for the details.