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How did you get into orienteering?

Show Profile  AlisterM Posted: 10 November 2012, 6:42 AM  
I had done lots of navigation on tramping trips, and had done Twalk in 1975. Having recently moved to Dunedin in 1980 I heard a promotion on the local radio station for an orienteering come and try it event at Ross Creek. I did the white course (pretty easy), then the yellow (a bit harder), and then the orange (more of a challenge). Great encouragement from Ken and Anitra Dowling, Richard Bear, Peter and Judy Wilson and Graham Hardy. Went to the next event on Flagstaff and did the long course all the way across to Swampy Summit in tramping boots and won the event. Both of those maps were black and white with hand drawn pine tree symbols indicating forest. Soon after was taken by club members to an event at Sandy Point near Invercargill on what I believe was the first colour map in the South Island. By the end of the year I was planning a club relay event, with lots of advice from Peter Wilson, and on the DOC committee.

Show Profile  Jane H Posted: 10 November 2012, 6:42 AM  
Way back in the 80s - I had just arrived at uni and wanted to find new things to do. I picked out a sport to try on the notice board. Ran a orange, no one spoke to me at the finish and I went home. I really liked the idea but it seemed to have nil socialising so not what I was after I thought, so I joined Toastmasters instead.

A few years later Phillip and I went to an event at Smedley Station. But we were too busy in a long distance relationship to think of doing any sport much. I think it was around our 2nd wedding anniversary that Phillip joined Toastmasters too.

When Catherine was 8 we went out to an event and enjoyed it. Third time lucky? No.

When Callum was 10 we were needing something to do away from our urban section on a Sunday sfternoon so decided to go out and try O again. This time I saw someone's name in the results list that I knew. (I had been at Toastmasters 25 years, decided life was too busy to do that any more and quit that club).

I think we have been to most club events since and Phillip has said yes to being Club President.

I hope the skills that we learnt at Toastmasters in some small way have helped in the recent successes in our club growth - HBOC had a 10% growth in membership this year.

But I still beleive we are not following up the first-timers very well and may be letting some people down by not instigating a good "buddy" system within the club.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 10 November 2012, 8:10 PM  
I started in 1993 with the double whammy of keen parents and school. The schools scene in Otago/Southland was big in the early 90's, easily 100 people to a championship event.Barrie Foote was our teacher and stalwarts at DOC included Bunny Rathbone and Ian Holden amongst many.

What hooked me was the new places: Middlemarch,Seacliff, The Pyramids, Christies Gully, Naseby, then Dunsdale & Sandy Point down south. Bottle Lake, Castle Hill and the like around Chch. Then central north island maps, Woodhill and eventually to Australia/Europe.

Like others Michael Wood was an early influence. And Bruce Collins via the National Orienteering Magazine - didn't he do a great job! Then of course camps and some friends, and eventually a wife sealed the deal.



Show Profile  Jane H Posted: 10 November 2012, 11:12 PM  
People, can you answer me why we had a dozen parents at our Club Champs last Sunday who just wanted to watch and wait for their kids to run? They sat for two hours on a lovely sunny day at the entrance of a lovely farm. They lost out on a nice stroll around the farm and we lost $100 dollars in revenue.

Methinks its because of the competitive nature of our club ... the newbies don't want to be seen at the bottom of the results list.

Not all clubs are like ours ... in the photo galleries for USA clubs I see people of all ages, shapes and sizes wearing jeans and flip-flops, some even holding hands, while walking with maps in their hands. Some get their maps at the registration desk... Would these scenes help get our waiting parents out with a map first time they come?

Anyone any ideas on how to go from here - start a second, more relaxed club or have pink, blue and brown course options and get our membership up?

Show Profile  mcroxford Posted: 10 November 2012, 11:36 PM  
The more I read these threads the more I come to the opinion we need a conference/workshop on grassroots development.

Show Profile  AlisterM Posted: 11 November 2012, 5:17 AM  
In the 1980's at major events we used to have a entry on the day Wayfarers course, and sometimes long and short versions, which was planned as an easy stroll (or jog) around nice parts of the map, without being too navigationally challenging. They were probably equivalent to a long yellow course with a length of 3 to 4 km, therefore suitable for first time adults.

PAPO currently offers a Wayfarers option for Championship events using the white, yellow and short orange courses. The Wayfarers option is a seperate class and is non-competitive, so the results should not be published. This is easy to do in OE2010, by setting the class as unclassified. It is advertised in the pre-event info and in the programme. However there are usually only a few people taking up this option.

Show Profile  murrays Posted: 12 November 2012, 12:19 PM  
First time around it was through the canterbury university tramping club and some friends who went on to form the uni orienteering club. wanting to do better at TWALK may have been a factor. later on it was great to have a sport that only took one day of a weekend.
Second time around (after a 20 year break) it was discovering a local event run by NOC on a patch of ground i thought i knew. went on to DNF for my first time but got the bug anyway! now my partner and kids are into it which is more fun than anything. its such a brilliant family sport, no standing on sidelines, or getting kids to do something you're not doing yourself. got to be a way to get more families into it.

Show Profile  AnnaE Posted: 12 November 2012, 1:59 PM  
My daughter started orienteering when she became friends with Emily Dinsdale back in 2006 (?). Very soon after, we were all participating. My husband had had some experience rogaining in the past (via adventure sport). We have introduced others to the sport since then. My claim to fame...? I took Nick Hann to his first O event, and he is going to thank me when he is on that world stage podium :-)

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