Despite being one of Scotland larger cities, Dundee has not seen much orienteering activity in recent years until now. Thanks to the Sprint Scotland team, the Scottish Sprint Champs in March at Balgay Park provided a springboard to encouraging wider participation in orienteering.
It has been great fun watching enthusiastic newcomers over the past couple of months. Now we need to see how we can support them to continue enjoying our sport.
When we mention we are going orienteering he jumps out of bed and is dressed just like that. He loves it
We worked with Sprint Scotland and Active Schools Dundee to run an event for newcomers in parallel to the main event. This was inspirational to newcomers -seeing the sport in action at a high level. We have now run 3 sessions as follow up to the Sprint event which attracted over 70 people ( more than 30 families).
We have used MapRun to set up loops in different areas within Dundee and sent information out through Active Schools to see what interest there was. One of the Development Staff has attended each session to introduce MapRun and there has been support from TAY members too. We had a constant turn out of 8 or 9 families for each session – most have attended all 3 sessions. All enthusiastic and eager for more.
One of the challenges for participants is transport as half the families who made it to the follow up sessions rely on public transport. This is a challenge for our sport too. We like to think we are inclusive but although participation is not costly compared with many sports, the need to access transport for most events is a very real barrier. Sprint and urban events provide a genuine way to start to bring orienteering closer to where people are.
All participants will be invited to TAY’s next event at Camperdown Park Dundee 26th June. Then we will see what next.