Claro Harrogate Schools League

Welcome to the Claro Harrogate Schools Orienteering League. The League was new for 2015 and was open to all children and young people from Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and Nidderdale, although anyone could take part in the events.

There were 6 events in the series. We have learned a lot from this and will make improvements for a better series for 2016/17 starting in the Autumn.

Date Time Location
Sat 7 Nov 15  2pm-3.30pm Valley Gardens, Harrogate
Results  |  Photos  |  League
Sat 5 Dec 15 2pm-3.30pm Hookstone Woods, Harrogate
Results  |  Photos  |  League
Sat 16 Jan 16 2pm-3.30pm Killinghall Country Park, Jennyfields
Results  |  Photos  | League
Sat 6 Feb 16 2pm-3.30pm Pinewoods,  Harrogate
Results |  Photos  | League
Sat 23 Apr 16 2pm-3.30pm Conyngham Hall Gardens, Knaresborough
Results  |  Photos  | League
Sat 14 May 16 2pm-3.30pm Valley Gardens, Harrogate
Results  |  Photos  | League

Winners for 2016

Congratulations to:

Class Name School
B4 Oliver McAllister Darley
B5 Oliver Ellul Pannal
B6 Ewan Reid Oatlands
B7 Luke Fry St Aidans
B9 William Wallace St Aidans
B10 Matthew Rochester King James
G4 Isla Reid Oatlands
G5 Anna Rosie Aspin Park
G6 Eve Whitaker Oatlands
G7 Alexis Whitaker Harrogate Grammar
G8 Lois Parker St Aidans
Parent Stephen Fry

Prize giving will be at the Claro picnic event on Sunday 12th June at Crimple Meadows, Pannal.

Information for schools and competitors

The Claro Harrogate Schools Orienteering League is run by Claro Orienteering Club in partnership with Harrogate School Sports Partnership.

The aim is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn and develop self confidence, decision making and map reading skills while improving their fitness in a fun, competitive and challenging outdoor sport environment. The League runs from November to May.

harrogate_schools_league_2015-16_flyer Flyer
Click the image to download the flyer.
If you need lots of copies please get in touch and we can send you some.

There will be 6 events between Autumn and late Spring – no event in March because of the big JK Festival.  All events will be on a Saturday afternoon in urban parks or woodland in or near Harrogate. Events will be open to all, but the league only has categories for children and young people from Y4 to Y10. There will be individual competitions (male and female) for each year group and two schools competitions, one for Primary and one for Secondary, for schools covered by the Harrogate Schools Sports Partnership. There will also be a (light-hearted!) parent’s competition.

From 2pm to 3pm.  Participants complete an entry form and receive a map with the course and an electronic chip to record their times. There will be help available to show newcomers what to do.

Each event will have four courses, which are colour coded based on the established system used by British Orienteering. In ascending order of difficulty they are:

  • White for Y4 (and below) and Y5
  • Yellow for Y6 and Y7
  • Orange for Y8 and Y9
  • Long Orange for Y10

Start Times. 
From 2.30pm to 3.30pm.  Participants start at 1 minute intervals. Please note that courses close at 4.30pm and control points will start to be collected from this time so it is important that people start with enough time to complete their course. Inexperienced participants should arrive early so they can take the earlier start slots.

All participants should enter as individuals, but they are welcome to run with a friend. However, both must register separately and the time for each runner will count, even if they stick together throughout the course.  It is not necessary for the school to enter participants .

Individual entry on the day to cover costs. This includes the hire of an electronic timing chip (or “dibber”).
Juniors £3,  Adults £4.
(Claro club members get discounted entry £1.50 / £2)
Individuals can have a second run for £1 (discounted 50p) but only the first run counts for the League.
Schools are not required to pay any fees to enter the League.

No specialist equipment is needed for beginners. Wear suitable footwear for running on rough ground and clothing appropriate to being outside whatever the weather – preferably clothes that you don’t mind getting muddy. The electronic timing chips (dibbers) are loaned to participants as part of the entry fee for each event. Please take care to secure these carefully to fingers using the loop as they are small, expensive items and losses will be charged for. Participants on Orange courses may want to use a compass, which can also be borrowed at registration if necessary.

Primary Age Groups.
Y4 and Y5 will compete on the White course; normally between 1 and 1.5 km. Y6 will compete on the Yellow Course normally between 1.5 and 2.5 km. Both courses will involve straightforward navigation and are designed so that they can be completed without the use of a compass. Children can expect to take between 10 and 40 minutes to complete the White course; between 20 and 40 minutes on the Yellow course. Whilst Y4 is the youngest competition age category, Y3s or younger may take part with Y4s.

Secondary Age Groups.
Y7s will compete on the Yellow course, alongside Y6s. Y8 and Y9 will compete on the Orange course and Y10 and above will compete on the Long Orange course. The Orange course is around 2.5km in length and the Long Orange course is around 3.5km. Both provide a greater navigational challenge. Skilled navigators can risk taking shorter routes away from paths and line features while there will usually be easier, safer but longer routes between controls. Very skilled juniors might complete the course in just over 30 minutes while inexperienced participants can expect to take an hour or more. Inexperienced participants should therefore arrive early so they can take the earlier start slots. A compass, and knowing how to use one, is recommended. Youngsters tackling the Orange or Long Orange course with no previous experience of orienteering will find it challenging, and should be prepared to be patient as they develop their skills.

Assistance out on the Course.
Parents, guardians etc are encouraged to accompany beginners on the course. In orienteering this is called “shadowing”. This is different to an adult competing as the adult will have a map but not a timing chip. Anyone shadowing a participant should avoid ‘doing it themselves’ with the participant in tow in an attempt to get the participant a fast time. This achieves nothing as the participant gets no sense of achievement and learns very little. Instead, shadowers should stay back and allow the participant to do all the navigation themselves if possible, and only help out where a mistake has been made or the participant asks for help.

Parents’ Competition.
Orienteering is renowned as a family participation sport and other family members are welcome to take part. Adults may run any course on offer, and there will be a parent’s competition which will use a handicap system to allow for degree of course difficulty. Parents should not compete if they have already been around the course shadowing.

Seriously lost children are a rarity in orienteering. However, anyone getting disorientated should not wander about aimlessly. Instead, get on to the nearest track or path and remain where you are and you will be found! If you see a control marker not on your course, remain with it and ask another passing competitor for help. Carrying a whistle is recommended. Courses will never cross or use public roads.

Each participant is given a hired electronic timing chip (commonly called a “dibber”) at registration (included in entry). This is used to record the time taken and to show that each control point has been visited. The chip is downloaded to a computer back at registration after completion of the course.

Points will be awarded depending on finish position, with the winner in each year category scoring 100, 2nd scoring 99 etc.

League Table.
The league table will be updated after each event. An individual’s best 3 results will count to their overall standing. Prizes will also be awarded to individual boy and girl winners in each year from Y4 to Y10. The School Team competitions will be decided by adding a school’s best 4 scores per event from the individual results.

Results will be published on the Claro website ( by the Sunday after each event, along with detailed ’split times’ for each runner showing the time taken to each control. This makes it possible to work out how much time you might have lost through either getting lost or making a bad route choice.

As part of these events, a CLARO coach will run a series of free sessions designed to introduce orienteering and explain techniques to newcomers and those wishing to know more. Each session will be designed to end in enough time for participants to go off on a course and use what they have just learned.

More information can be obtained from:

Claro Schools & Development Officer – Jemima Parker. Email  or phone (01423) 560896