April 2004: Orienteering Development in Hertfordshire

As part of their review of how to develop orienteering within the local area the Hertfordshire Orienteering Club (HH) have asked the Institute for Advanced Physical Research (IAPR) to provide input in key areas. Professors Howard Orchard and Alberto Ximenes, already well-known for previous studies in areas of orienteering such as age group structures and cartography, have now produced their initial ideas.

Their recommendations cover the three separate areas that they were asked to consider:

1) Provision of a competitive target for local orienteers: They recommend the introduction of a prestigious annual Championship event. This should encourage those outside of the geographical county to take part and they have suggested it should be known as the Hertfordshire and District Orienteering Championships.

2) Provision of coaching for personal skill development: They see this as a potentially difficult issue to address, and have recommended that work starts in a limited geographical area to determine the best approach before wider implementation. Regular one-to-one coaching sessions are proposed as part of a Central Hertfordshire Individual Performance Scheme.

3) Encouragement of schools to take up orienteering: They see this as an opportunity for schools to make use of local areas whilst encouraging the ideas of adventure and exploration. This would be based in local parks, and they have proposed the introduction of an award scheme to be known as the Park Explorer Award for Schoolkids.

A report detailing their findings is currently being produced. Orders for HADOC, CHIPS and PEAS will be taken in the near future.