Orienteering in the Junior School

Posted 11 September 2020 9:00am

Orienteering is back and happening! And with 14 girls – enthusiastic adventurers, clearly captivated as ‘keen runners’, the program is up and out there!

After a somewhat stunted first half of the year, thanks to COVID-19, a large contingent of active girls have keenly embraced Term 3 Orienteering. The co-curricular orienteering program got off the ground at Girls Grammar Junior School in 2019 and by all accounts, it has clearly blossomed in 2020. With our new school-based map and number of local orienteering maps only a ‘cooee’ from our campus, we have the recipe for success.

The School map has offers on-site, preliminary instruction in all the basics of map reading, and more. With targeted training for girls in Years 4-6 on Thursday afternoons, the co-curricular program is designed to provide the starter skills in the ‘thought sport’. In addition to training at school, this term we have used La Trobe Park and Red Hill as technical training areas. We have now bedded down the basics and with the term drawing to a close, clear signs are there that the thrill of the skill, the exploration of wild places using navigation, and the adventure of visiting new natural spaces means orienteering provides a great introduction into the gifts of the great outdoors. “Can we run in the bush next week?” they keep asking.

Our coach Toni’s philosophy is SMART.

S start slow/easy
M make a plan
A always look up and around at your environment
R respect the features and people
T take it easy (on yourself, you could take a while to get it).

Thank you to teacher Emily Perriman (Grammarian, 2007) and Coach Toni Brown (Grammarian, 1980) for their contribution to this article.

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