Go Active at Brathay will let you see if orienteering is the right path for you

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18 May 2017 9:07AM

PEOPLE who want to follow the right path in life will be given an opportunity to get their bearings this weekend.

Go Active has teamed up with the Lakeland Orienteering Club to offer introductory orienteering sessions as part of a series of activities on offer at Brathay Hall, the home of the Brathay Trust.

It is one of six different activity tasters people can try as part of the Go Active at Brathay event, which will take place to coincide with the ASICS Windermere Marathon on Sunday.

Iain Smith-Ward, chair of the Lakeland Orienteering Club, has organised two different courses for participants to navigate, one of just under 1km and one of just over 2km.

Orienteering involves competitors using a compass and map to run or walk from one point to another on a designated course - with increased distance and demand for precise navigation at the higher levels.

However, Iain said the two courses set up on Sunday would be very accessible for beginners.

“The basic thing will just be orientating the map and making sure they are heading the right way,” said Iain, who is from Ulverston.

“The shorter course will just involve running around two fields and the longer course goes through the woods and follows the path.

“The idea is to get people to go around the course by following the features on the map. It will be very much on the easy side.”

Iain himself has been orienteering for 40 years since he was introduced to the sport by his dad. As well as being chair of the Lakeland Orienteering Club, he is also heavily involved in the Ulverston Victoria High School orienteering club.

“The big thing about orienteering is that it gets you into places that you wouldn’t normally go to and you have to be very self-reliant and look after yourself and make your own decisions,” he said.

“That seems to be the way that the kids treat it. Once they get out on the course they have to look after themselves and it gives them a big sense of independence.”

He said orienteering events usually had courses to suit everyone from novice to veteran.

Following the Go Active at Brathay activities, there is a series of eight different beginners’ orienteering events taking place in south Cumbria over eight weeks.

Iain said he hoped some of those who gave orienteering a try at Brathay might be encouraged to attend some of these sessions.

The Lakeland Orienteering Club has more than 170 members of all abilities and is always keen to welcome beginners, he said.

“We always try to have people who, if somebody is new, they can come and ask them for advice and they can give them help and show them around,” he said.

  • Go Active is a countywide partnership backed by Active Cumbria, GSK and CN Group, helping people across Cumbria to become more active. To find out how you can support the Go Active partnership contact jonathan.lee@cnmedia.co.uk

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