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Junior Opportunities

Last edited: Sun 20 Sep 2020

As a junior member of SN, there are many opportunities for you to do more orienteering, no matter what your level of experience or ability. This section talks about those opportunities: With the Club, with your School & with our Region.


If you have been taking part in the SN Saturday League and would like to do more, there are numerous options. Why not look at other local clubs and go along to their Club level Saturday events too, you will always be welcome – GO Guildford Orienteers, BKO Berkshire Orienteers and BADO Basingstoke and Andover Orienteers are a good start. SN also organises regional events (often on a Sunday) that you can attend. Details will be on the website. We encourage online pre-entry for these (which is cheaper than entering on the day) via If you feel like going further afield you can find an event to go to most weekends. ALL of these events will have courses suitable for Juniors/Newcomers. Details can be found on the British Orienteering Website https://www.britishorienteerin.... Or you can download the Event-O App which is a great way to see what’s on.


The Training Officer, Laurence Townley, organises training for the SN Junior Squad (SNJS). All standards of Juniors are welcome to join this. You can even buy a SN Junior Squad t-shirt to make you feel part of the team! Details of the training will be published on the events page as well as in the Junior section. The aims of the squad are to:

  • Provide coaching in the core skills to those juniors keen to develop
  • Bridge the gap between the SN Junior League and other district, regional and national competitions
  • Encourage longer-term participation in our sport
  • Strengthen the club
  • And last but not least - to enjoy ourselves

So do come along and join in the fun.


There are lots of opportunities to run for the Club as a Junior, either running as an individual in a team competition or running as part of a relay team (see below). You don’t have to be really experienced or the best in your age group to do it. The Club actively encourages you to come along and have a go as the more experience you get, the better you get!


This is a Junior Inter Club national competition. It starts with regional qualifiers (Feb/Mar), winners of which go through to the national final (July). Juniors up to M/W18 run on yellow, orange, light green and green standard courses according to their experience and ability. The course that you run at this event is not completely determined by your age. The Club can have any number of runners, so it’s an ideal event for relative newcomers to try as there’s no pressure. If you win your course, you get 100 points, 2nd gets 99 and so on. The top 9 scorers across the club form the club score. Other runners outside the top 9 can help too, as they can push down scoring runners from other clubs. It’s a great club day out for the juniors.


This is very much like the Yvette Baker, only it’s a whole club event. Juniors M/W14 and under run on orange (there is normally a non-counting yellow course for those not quite able to run orange yet), Juniors M/W18 & under run on green. Scoring is similar to the YBT. Another really good Club day out. Regional qualifier is normally mid March, with the prospect of qualifying for the national final in mid October.


This is an annual relay event that starts in the dark, approx. 90 mins before dawn! It is just for Juniors M/W12-M/W18 (no M/W10s). The are 6 legs, 2 red courses (long oranges), 1 in the dark and 1 at dawn, a light green, an orange, a yellow (this leg can have up to 3 runners, the final leg runner starts as soon as the first leg 5 runner gets back) and the final leg is a green course. 2 members of the team have to be girls and 2 members have to be boys. The location of the event changes each year and it generally takes place in September. Another great opportunity to represent your club amongst Juniors from all over the country.


The JK is an annual orienteering festival that takes place over the Easter weekend, changing location each year. It comprises sprint, middle and long distance races over the first 3 days for all age categories, then Easter Monday is relay day. On the relay day, the youngest team class is the Mini Relay, 3 runners all on yellow standard courses M/W12 or under. There is also a M/W40-, the total age categories must add up to no more than 40; 2 x M/W14 and a M/W12 for example – 2 run an orange course, 1 runs yellow. There is also a W48- and a M48- where the total ages must be 48 or less. There are 2 green standard legs and 1 orange standard. There is no limit to the number of teams a club may enter, so if you want to run, the club will put you in a team! It is the biggest orienteering festival in the UK and well worth going!


This annual event also has a relay day following the individual competition day. The Mini Relay is for M/W12 & under; again all legs are yellow standard courses. There is also an M14 relay and a W14 relay – all legs in these 2 events are orange standard. There is no limit to the number of teams a club may enter, so if you want to run, the club will put you in a team!


This event tends to take place in the summer. There is a junior category with 2 yellow standard and 1 orange course. There is also a handicap team which can include juniors who would run an orange course.


If you would like to represent your school at orienteering, you can take part in several competitions, even if you are at a school which doesn’t do orienteering. You can also take part in the national championships if you are home schooled.

The British Schools’ Orienteering Association (BSOA) run two annual competitions for schoolchildren. They are called the British Schools Score Orienteering Championships, which take place in October and the British Schools Orienteering Championships, which take place in November. Anyone of school age can enter! BSOA ask that your child has orienteered before and is working towards Yellow standard. Pairs are allowed, up to and including Year 8. The BSOA website ( ) publishes the entry forms well in advance of each event. The entry forms need to be signed by your school, but a teacher does not have to go to the competition. The BSOA asks for the name of a responsible adult, who can be a parent, a teacher from another school or a SN club member who is DBS checked. There is a fee for each person who enters.

Each year a different region hosts the Championships, so travel is often involved but it does mean you get to orienteer in other areas of the country. St Andrew’s School often have space on their minibus and are happy to give lifts.

If your school becomes interested in forming a team (6 + pupils) then it can take part in SN’s Saturday schools’ league. Do speak to a club official for further details.

If you have got very keen and want to develop further, there are even more options.


SN straddles two regions, South Central (SCOA) and South East (SEOA), and when you join British Orienteering you can choose which region you join, based loosely on your address. Both regions have a junior squad, intended for juniors who are looking to step up to bigger challenges (orange courses and beyond). The regional squads have regular training sessions (usually free) and send teams to the annual Junior Inter-Regional Champs (JIRCS), which is a fun weekend away.

For more details on the SE junior squad (SEJS) including the entry requirements, see the SEOA website Note that you have to be invited to join, but if you are keen, let the coaches know and they can advise what you’ll need to do to be invited. Contact Laurence Townley and Simon Kippin on juniorsquad@scoa-orienteering.... for more information about the SCJS and look at the SCOA website https://www.scoa-orienteering.....


Each region of the UK has a junior squad, and together they form an umbrella organisation Junior Regional Orienteering Squads (JROS JROS organises a selection of training camps, in the summer and autumn, aimed at members of the all the regional squads. You may have heard of “Lagganlia”, which is for the youngest group, age 13-14. It is a week-long camp in Scotland where you really learn to navigate and make friends with your fellow competitors. There is also Deeside in Scotland, aimed at 15-16s, a Hawkshead weekend for 15-16s, Stockholm in Sweden for 17-18s and Gothenburg in Sweden for 18-20s.

You have to be selected to attend these camps. Details of the selection races are always on the JROS website. The races tend to include the JK, British Champs and a few others in late spring. You have to enter quite a long time in advance (typically January for the JK), so if you’re keen, you need to think ahead.


Once you get really good, you can aim for selection to the home nation junior teams at the Junior Home Internationals (14 to 18 year olds against teams from Scotland, Wales and Ireland) and Interland (against France, Belgium and the Netherlands). Interland is a multi-age group international event spanning M/W14 up to M/W60+. See the Orienteering England website https://orienteeringengland.or... for more details about the England selection process. If you have Scottish, Welsh or Irish ancestry, you should make yourself known to the other home nations’ squads. Carol Lovegrove and Laurence Townley can help with this.


British Orienteering also select the best junior athletes to attend training camps and international competitions. Again, selection races and criteria are published on the British Orienteering website.


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