World Orienteering Day- Wed 24 May 2017


The Army Orienteering Association (AOA) will be actively supporting the International Orienteering Federations (IOFs) vision for the World Orienteering Day (WOD) on Wed 24 May 17.  Fortunately for the British Army, this is the same day as Day 1 of the Inter Units Orienteering Championship; which will take place on Wed 24 and Thu 25 May 17 organised by the AGC.  Capt Brett Green is the organiser and he has already been making initial arrangements.  He will be actively supported by the AOA and other experts.  The AOA will be responsible for marketing the WOD as an opportunity for Regular and Reserve soldiers to take part in orienteering as a component of ‘individual military training’.


Logo:  On all AOA sponsored event flyers organisers are requested to start placing the WOD logo with the following text: Army Inter Unit Champs, Wed 24 May 17, Take part’.

The logo with this text is attached to this post.

Army Inter Unit Championship:  Readers are reminded that the Army Inter Unit Championship (Ex SMART RUNNER) is now an Open Competition.  The previous format of major & minor units has been replaced with a revised format that is designed to be simple and accessible for all abilities with teams declaring on Day 1 and remaining the same throughout.

- Day 1:  Classic cross-country orienteering race.

- Day 2:  Harris Team orienteering race.

Entries are based on entering one of the following classes:

- Long Class (team of 8)

- Short Class (team of 4)

- Master Class (team of 4; all over 45 yrs)

- Female Class (team of 4)

- U25 Class (team of 4; all under 25 years)

The current DIN on the BAOC website is correct; Annex C; less for Master Class which should read 45+.

The AOA’s goal for WOD 2017 is:  Increase the number of U25 Team entries at the Army Inter Unit Championships from four teams in 2015, six teams in 2016 to ten teams in 2017.

The AOA’s message is simpleOrienteering can be used to develop many of the qualities that are essential in a good soldiertake part.

At its most demanding, orienteering provides the challenge of navigating over complex and rough terrain whilst running at speed; combining navigational skill and aerobic fitness. To be competitive at this level, an orienteer must train regularly, not only to build up physical speed and stamina, but also to improve their ‘mental’ skill.

The skills required of a good soldier are very similar to that of an orienteer:  the use of a compass, the ability to estimate distance and interpret the ground, whilst continually making multiple decisions. During an orienteering event a soldier must be confident in their ability, maintain concentration, make decisions under pressure, and sustain a single-minded determination to overcome any setbacks and mistakes.   Soldiers taking part in orienteering benefit from:

An improved cardiovascular fitness and stamina;

An increased self-confidence and self-awareness;

An improved ability to make rapid decisions whilst under physical duress;

Superior map reading skill: learning to ‘read’ the terrain and ‘feel’ their movement through it;

And a further developed sense of team cohesion.

Orienteering can be used to develop many of the qualities that are essential in a good soldier.

Chris Huthwaite, Lt Col

Army Orienteering Association (AOA) Chairman


Chris Huthwaite

Lt Col

Army Orienteering Association (AOA) Chairman