Orienteer at home Activities

Here are some Orienteering activities you might be able to adapt for your home or garden. If you have a big field you can use, you’ll make the city dwellers jealous.

These 5 activities are from our Ready to go Orienteering programme for schools. Follow this link to a description of the game and some printables. Let us know how you get on.


Zoom Circuits with Colleen

A message from Mary Healy of GEN orienteers.

We hope all the orienteering community and their loved ones are keeping safe and healthy and coping with these strange and challenging times we find ourselves in.  This 2km radius can be very restrictive to those of us who are more used to running out on the mountains and forests.  The prospect of many more kms of path/road running may not fill you with the same desire to get out there and do it.  Many may find their freetime curtailed through looking after little ones, now creches and schools are closed.

So if you’re stuck indoors with no gym access, perhaps you would like to participate in our circuits sessions?  We normally run these sessions in a local hall on a Tuesday evening for a regular 16-18 individuals.  Most are orienteers but not all.  The age range is the same as in orienteering, 10yrs-80 yrs or so.  Our Leader is Colleen Robinson (Setanta), an orienteer herself but also a physical therapist, having studied to a Master’s Degree in Canada.

During this Covid-19 isolation period, Colleen has offered to continue our circuits sessions online via Zoom meetings.  Our first one was last Tuesday and was very successful.  You can catch a short video of it on our GEN Facebook page.  You get the idea.  A couple of other orienteers, having watched the video, have already asked can they join in too.  If you would also like to take part, just send me an email privately (not the forum) and we can send you a link for the next session.  Email:    marydennehyhealy@ gmail.com

Colleen very generously is happy to do these sessions for free but we feel she should get something (however small) for all the work she puts in.  We’ve no overheads as such using Zoom.  So we’ve greatly reduced our normal fees, to make them very manageable for all people, whatever situation they find themselves in at present.  Everyone needs the exercise and we don’t want anyone missing out!  Colleen runs excellent sessions that are as tough/easy as the effort you put in and we recognise that we’re very lucky to have her leading us (BTW she’s now the Irish Junior Manager).   For the month of April (9 sessions), we would like people to pay:-

€20   Salaried Adult :    (no cut in their normal income).

€10   Others :    (on govt. wage subsidy; unemployed; retired; student.)

Tuesdays  :  18:30 – 19:30 sharp

Fridays     :   18:30 – 19:30 sharp

There is only one payment for the month, irrespective of how many people are in the household and of how many sessions you access.  So if you’d like to see how you get on, we’ll send you a link to your first session for free and if you want to continue, email me again telling me the amount you wish to pay, €20/€10 and I’ll get back to you with payment details.

Our circuits group are very happy continuing as we are, with our extra ones at home joining in.  And we’d be more than happy to have others further afield join in the …fun too!  As our trainer David says,


Go dté sibh slán.


Irish Orienteering Championships cancelled

A message from the organisers of the Irish Orienteering Championships.

” With regret we announce the cancellation of IOC 2020. After consultation with the IOA, we will now be hosting IOC 2021 on the May Bank Holiday Weekend next year instead. For those who have entered, please check your email for details regarding entry fees.”

Thanks to the organising clubs (KerryO and CorkO) for all the work they have already done. We will just have to wait another year to enjoy the benefits of their efforts.

Orienteering events in April

The committee of the Irish Orienteering Association has made the decision to cancel all orienteering events in April.

This is the unfortunate outcome from Covid19 and a necessary step to ensure the safety of all.

The status of event cancellations will be reviewed monthly by the committee , so keep an eye on communications.

Debbie has posted some good alternatives that maintain social distancing at;

Get out Get orienteering!

Take care

Aine Joyce

on behalf of IOA Committee

Get out Get orienteering!

Whilst we are all practicing social distancing, there is no need to let this stop you orienteering or even getting you started with a new family friendly sport! After all, we also need to maintain our mental and physical health in these difficult times.

Permanent Orienteering courses

Permanent Orienteering courses (POC) can be used by anyone from beginners to the more advanced orienteer. Many of the locations have a range of courses, whilst they may be fairly simple for the more experienced orienteer, they are definitely more interesting than a plain old run, walk or jog!

There are numerous permanent orienteering courses around Ireland. These courses consist of permanent markers, which are placed around a mapped area. The markers are heavy wooden stakes with an orienteering logo and often a code on the post too, this identifies the post you have found. Sometimes the plaque can be found on park furniture or trees too.

Details of where you can access maps are found in the information attached to each location. A list of permanent orienteering courses around Ireland can be found here. Many of the locations offer free map download, a few locations charge a small fee.

Cork Orienteering Club have a great beginners guide which will help you use the courses.

Challenge a friend

Why not suggest a friend do the same course as you and compare your routes or speed afterwards on social media or a call or video chat. You won’t meet up, but you’ll have similar experiences to share.

Experienced orienteers can use the permanent courses/maps to challenge a friend. Draw your own course on an existing map, email it to a friend and see how they get on. Share your experiences on Social media or a running app like Strava, create your own challenges each week. Unfortunately the social distancing could go on for some time 😒

Mobile friendly orienteering

A new twist on the permanent course, ‘Sporteering’ has been launched in the South East by Waterford Orienteering Club.

The aim of Sporteering is to navigate around a series of controls and collect points as you reach each one. There are no physical markers on the ground. If you are within 15 metres of the feature, the app will indicate this. The Sporteering app will allow you to find events of locations where you can challenge yourself and others. Download the app from the Google Playstore or Apple app store and sign in to register interest.

  1. Find an event near you (Apply events filter Ireland to reduce list. This is the symbol that resembles a funnel. Check the remember settings icon) e.g. Clonmel
  2. Use Google maps on phone (awkward) or email development@orienteering.ie for a copy of relevant course map for you to print at home.
  3. Scan the start point to start the clock
  4. Scan the controls to collect points as you find them. (Sporteering uses GPS on your phone so remember to switch Location on)
  5. Scan the Finish code to stop the clock
  6. Upload score to website to compare with others (if you wish)

There are currently courses in Dungarvan, Kilmacthomas, Waterford peoples park, Kilbarry amenity park. Coming soon… Carrick, Callan and Fethard .

There are also courses in Carlow at Duckett’s Grove and Carlow Town Park. Email watosecretary18@gmail.com for maps or queries.

If you find any permanent course with markers missing please send a message to development@orienteering.ie or via twitter @poc2017 .

Above all get outside and enjoy the Springtime, WASH YOUR HANDS, give others space and be considerate 😊.

If you’ve had some inspiration for orienteering activities whilst our scheduled events have been on hold, please share it with us. Tag IOA on social media; Facebook, Instagram and twitter, or email Debbie at comms@orienteering.ie.

The Irish Orienteering Association are always interested in suggestions for new areas that could be mapped for orienteering both for permanent courses and competitive events. If you have any suggestions please get in contact at development@orienteering.ie.

Junior Selection Update

In light of the currently evolving situation with regard to the spread of coronavirus, the impact this is expected to have and resulting restrictions put in place in Ireland and internationally the selectors feel that the previously published selection criteria for Irish teams may need some adaptation.
Orienteering (and other sporting events) have been cancelled in Ireland until 29th March and the Leinster Championships have been postponed until the autumn.  There could be more disruption to events as the situation changes.  Please see the link below for the latest update from the IOF.

At this time it is very uncertain which if any of the selection events will take place and the selectors understand that athletes may be reluctant to travel to any events that do go ahead.  We do not advise either way, but there will be no negative implications for any athlete who decides not to go to a particular event.  We will continue to monitor the situation and adapt the selection criteria accordingly.  In the meantime, athletes should continue to train, and attend orienteering events where possible.
Stay fit, stay healthy and look forward to the next opportunity for some orienteering.  

Colleen Robinson

Director of Junior Representative Orienteering

Junior Training Sessions 2020

SADLY WE HAVE CANCELLED MARCH’S EVENTS In light of the Taoiseach’s announcement earlier today and the request that as a nation we reduce social interactions, we are cancelling orienteering events and organised training activities for the next two weeks up to and including the 29th March. Please check back towards the end of March when we will update the post with regards to April’s sessions. In the meantime, we hope you and your family can get out into the open spaces and enjoy the Spring at this difficult time.

David Healy of GEN Orienteers has kindly invited all orienteers in the M/W10-12 age classes to his open training sessions to be held on three Saturdays in each of March and April.

March Time: 11am-1pmApril Time: 11am-1pm
14th Massey’s Estate 4th Carrickgolligan
21st Three Rock Mountain (Ticknock) 18th Barnislagan
28th Donadea Forest Park 25th Hellfire Wood + BBQ

What’s the training about?

Well it’s about providing a training resource for young orienteers to gain new skills, have fun and make new friends and all for free!

David Healy and his team will be using the permanent orienteering courses (and some kites) . Parents will be expected to print the maps ready for the training sessions, you can find the links on the venues above. This will keep our costs down and ensure only the maps needed will be printed! It will also help families understand how to use the fantastic free orienteering resources available around the country in Coillte forests and other public places.

Questions, comments and offers of help?

Please contact davidjosephhealy@gmail.com

This weeks events- updated

Dear Orienteer,

In light of the Taoiseach’s announcement earlier today and the request that as a nation we reduce social interactions, we are cancelling orienteering events and organised training activities for the next two weeks up to and including the 29th March.

We will monitor developments over this period and review the situation during the week commencing 23rd March 2020 to determine how best to proceed.

We acknowledge that orienteering events would be considered low risk events being out of doors and usually involving less than 150 people. It is with regret that we take this step but in the best interests of the health and safety of all and in solidarity with the common good we are cancelling all orienteering and organised training events up to and including 29th March.

 Many thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Kind regards,in

Mary O’Connell.Chairperson IOA Executive Committee.

Well let’s hope there will be no storms to hamper our events this weekend! The weather is looking to be unsettled, but don’t let that hold you back, dress for the weather, bring a flask and a change of clothes; get outside and get active!

There are four come and try it events this weekend. Bishopstown Orienteers begin on Saturday with their weekly family friendly coursesat Murphy’s farm followed by Sunday at Deerpark Wood.

There are two further events on Sunday, one at Strandhill, Sligo (fourth time lucky it’s been hit by every storm coming). Also on Sunday there’s orienteering for all with Three Rock Orienteers in Griffeen Park, Dublin. The Sport Maze will also be in action for a warm up and a bit of (competitive) fun! All the details can be found below and on club social media pages and websites.

If you have returned from an area of known corona virus in the past 14 days or have been in contact with a known case, please do not attend events. It is essential that we work together as individuals, clubs, teams and a country to combat the spread.

If you are out and about orienteering or racing or Park running this weekend please share your memories on social media and tag the IOA or host club. Wear your O top or jacket. Every share spreads the message about our wonderful sport! #LoveO #orienteeringIre #orienteering

FB :@Irish.orienteering    Twitter: @orienteering.IRE  Instagram: OrienteeringIreland  or tag the hosting club page, thank you.


Sat 14 Mar:Murphys & UCC Farms & CIT CampusCorkOperation Transformation / ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event/No. 3
Sun 15 Mar:Deerpark WoodCorkCork Spring League / Family Day/No. 3
Sun 15 Mar:Griffeen Valley ParkDublinNon-league / ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event/


Sat 14 Mar, Murphys & UCC Farms & CIT Campus
Venue:Murphys & UCC Farms & CIT Campus, Bishopstown, Cork
Event:Operation Transformation / ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event/No. 3
Start Times:10:00-11:00
Grid Ref.:W 631 697
Follow Signs From:Bishopstown Tennis Club
Contact021 4546194 / boc@orienteering.ie
Sun 15 Mar, Deerpark Wood
Venue:Deerpark Wood, , Cork
Event:Cork Spring League / Family Day/No. 3
Start Times:10:30-13:00
Grid Ref.:W 973 762
Contact021 4546194 / boc@orienteering.ie
Sun 15 Mar, Griffeen Valley Park
Venue:Griffeen Valley Park, Lucan, Dublin
Event:Non-league / ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event/
Start Times:11:00-13:00
Grid Ref.:O 036 337
Follow Signs From:Hayden’s Lane; Lucan
Contact087 9360308 / 3roc@orienteering.ie
Sun 23 Feb, Strandhill
Venue:Strandhill, , Sligo
Event:Non-league / ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event/
Start Times:11:00-12:30
Grid Ref.:G 607 360
Follow Signs From:R292 Sligo / Strandhill Road
Contact087 2657630 / soc@orienteering.ie

All the Sundays events cater for all, whether you are a complete novice, a family, or a seasoned veteran. From Park runners (or walkers) to families, beginners, improvers and experienced orienteers; events have a variety of courses for your enjoyment.

Please ask at registration if you are ensure which to choose and don’t be fooled by the lengths of course offered, they are measured in straight lines and distance covered is often quite a bit longer, especially for the novice.

FB :@Irish.orienteering  Twitter: @orienteering.IRE  Instagram: OrienteeringIreland

Munster Orienteering Championships

Due to a series of circumstances MOC 2019 was not held.

The current upcoming fixtures list on the IOC website is showing that this event is now to be held in conjunction with a 2020 Munster league event in Coumshingaun – 26 April 2020. Hosted by WatO.

MOC for 2020 is scheduled for 08 November 2020, venue TBC, hosted by Bishopstown Orienteering club. 

Entries for the Coumshingaun event will be based on your appropriate age group for 2020. This will impact on a small number of participants who will have changed category between 2019 & 2020. 

We apologise to those impacted. But in the interests of running the event and taking into consideration that this event is also a junior squad selection race this is the best outcome. On the day entry will be for your appropriate age category for 2020. This does not impact on the 2020 championships scheduled for November. —

Paul O’Sullivan-Hourihan,

Controller of Technical Standards

Irish Orienteering Association

Portugal O Meet 2020

In the run up to the selection of Irish athletes for World orienteering Championships our senior athletes attend a number of World Ranking events across Europe. These enable athletes to qualify for selection both to gain a place at the Championships and ultimately to be eligible for selection on the Irish Team. The races also give fantastic racing and training opportunities on high quality maps and varied terrain, testing athletes fitness as well as orienteering.

Niamh Corbett, Kevin O’Boyle, Niall McCarthy and Cillin Corbett attended the Portugal O Meet (POM) , a four day competition to count along with two more sprint races as a separate event. There was a world ranking long distance race on the Sunday – Niall was best of the Irish in M21E category finishing in 36th place. The race was over 18.5km with a 395m climb, check out his run on Strava!

Niamh Corbett had some great runs finishing fifth overall in W21E in the Portugal O Meet (5 person podium, hence the medal!) and second in the sprint in W21E. She also finished with a fantastic 8th place in the World ranking Forest race over 13.3km and 285m climb.

Kevin ran well in the Sprint races finishing 7th overall in the combined sprint results with 9th and 12th place finishes on the day and night sprints respectively.

Map courtesy of http://omaps.worldofo.com/

Debbie Whelan

If you have an orienteering story or news piece to post please contact me on comms@orienteering.ie

Orienteering in Ireland
  • Orienteering Ireland
    Irish Sport HQ
    D15 DY62
  • fixtures@orienteering.ie
  • info@orienteering.ie