On Friday 8th November Hunter Hall school staged our very first local schools’ orienteering competition, with 46 children from 4 local schools taking part. Testing out our newly mapped areas, which encompass the fields to the north of the school site, children tested themselves over the varied terrain in three courses- each with six controls to navigate to. The day couldn’t have started any better, with much more settled weather than we had for much of the week.

The afternoon began with a brief exercise on the school field, with children given individual controls to find, before they headed off to one of the main courses. Competitors could choose to work either as part of a pair or individually, with staggered, 1-minute start times allocated. Each of the three courses covered a different area, with controls located at a variety of features including fences, stream bends or even water troughs. It was marvellous to watch all of the children running from point to point with equal amounts of determination and concentration as they studied their maps. Furthermore, every one of the competitors managed to complete the 3 courses within the time and nobody got too ‘locationally challenged’ (i.e. lost)!

By far and away the most pleasing aspect of the afternoon was seeing the evident joy on the faces of the children, both as they were taking part and as we gathered to complete the presentations. It was notable how much enthusiasm there is for the sport and I sincerely hope that all have been encouraged to perhaps do a little more orienteering in the future. Presentations were awarded to the top three performers for the visiting schools, with all three schools represented in those positions.

Hunter Hall performed exceptionally well across the board, with the top three spots in each course dominated by 3 competitors. Fergal won ‘Mr Consistent’ of the day, placing 3rd in all three courses. Lucy and Matthew filled the top spots, with Lucy just edging the sibling bragging rights with two wins and a 2nd place, to Matthew’s 1 win and two 2nds.

A big thank you to all the helpers, Year 6 marshals and catering staff who contributed to a smooth and enjoyable afternoon. Let’s hope we can do it again next year.

Mr M Spooner