The Isle of Man Orienteering Klubb (IoMOK) was formed earlier this year to develop the sport of Orienteering on the Isle of Man. A series of ‘come and try’ events over the summer culminated in a highly successful inaugural Championship event in September, sponsored by Mylchreests Group. More welcome news has just been received…
IoMOK Secretary Sandor Talas said: “The British Orienteering Federation (BOF) the sport’s governing body, held an EGM and members voted unanimously to include the Isle of Man (a self-governing British Crown dependency) in its territory.”
Given the accessible nature of the sport, and its popularity worldwide, many competitors are prepared to travel to attend BOF events. The Island is well placed to attract visiting individuals and families who seek out these quality events and use them as short-break vacations. The top 3 competitors in this September’s Championship were from the UK.
Orienteering is an activity that the whole family can truly participate in. Local events have at least 3 course levels: Novice, Intermediate and Senior. Participants challenge themselves, whilst running or walking a course following a very detailed large-scale Orienteering map, finding ‘controls’ which are brightly coloured flags, located off the path.
William Higgins (a teacher at Cronk Y Berry school, and instrumental in developing grass roots events) has set up a number of permanent courses on the island. ”Being officially part of the British Orienteering Federation effectively allows the annual 7 Kingdoms Orienteering Championship (15th September ’18) and fun competitions on Boxing Day and Easter Monday to be part of the British Orienteering Federation calendar.”
Developing literacy through orienteering is becoming increasingly used by educational institutions who view the outdoors as an effective learning tool. The 3rd Peel Troop from the Island’s Scouts attended the inaugural Championship this year, in the novice category, honing their navigation skills whilst working towards their badges.
Keirron Tastagh, one of the event organisers is hoping the Island Scouts will also use the 3 main events staged each year. “I first experienced Orienteering as a Scout. Back then the Scouts hosted their own championships each year. Our team (from 3rd Peel) won 3 years consecutively so we got to keep the trophy!”
Keirron continued: “Each IoMOK event has a different format, location and theme to keep it fresh. The next one is Boxing Day at Archallaghan Plantation, with a mass start at 10:30am in the east car park. How many controls can you find in an hour! Mince Pies and hot drinks are encouraged.”
For details of events and updates on Isle of Man Orienteering, follow the Facebook page:
IoM Orienteering would like to thank the team at DEFA and other landowners for their on-going support.