The University offered to host the Georgia Navigator Cup for the Georgia Orienteering Club last Friday, the beginning of MLK weekend, regarding Martin Luther King Jr.
The Georgia Navigator Cup is an annual national ranking event for those who are passionate about the sport, orienteering. The event brought approximately 250 participants– young and old– to the campus, creating a welcoming environment for all who wanted to know more information about the fun.
“The sport gets you out into a healthy activity, but at the same time, it exercises your mind,” said Charlie Bleau, the president of the Georgia Orienteering Club. “It can be quite complicated, and there are several levels of complexity, but it can also be just walking in the woods.”
Though many people attended the event on campus, not many students from West Georgia knew about the event or what orienteering was.
“Orienteering is the sport of navigation, using a highly detailed map,” according to the United States Orienteering Federation (USOF) website. “Whether you’re an experienced hiker, competitive runner, or just a family or group out for an activity in a park, this sport helps you improve your navigation each time.”
If a beginner is trying to become part of the sport, the Georgia Orienteering Club has also provided several online and in-person resources, including a free beginner’s guide to getting started as an orienteer and beginner instructions before physical meets.
Even without a large amount of student participation, the event was still engaging for many of the attendees who came out to enjoy themselves.
“I like how orienteering combines the skills of strategy, physical strength, and endurance,” said participant Oriana Riley, a member of the Junior Development Team for USOF. “It’s not just about how fast you are or how in shape or fit you are, but it’s about how well you can pay attention to the map and how well you can navigate.”
“The diversity of the people that participate make [orienteering] a tremendous community,” said Bleau. “People are always learning at every skill level, and it’s a good opportunity to just come to a meet and try it.”
Photo Credits: Mike Dandurand