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Orienteering involves the navigation to set control points using a compass and map where points are earned for each control point you reach.
Orienteering, whilst known to many as being in a bush environment, also is more widely spread throughout suburban streets in friendly competitions and series known as Melbourne Park and Street Orienteering.
Park and Street Orienteering uses maps of the street network, with street names omitted, and you have various control points to navigate to, each assigned different numbers of points.
At the commencement of each event, participants are all given a map with the location of all control points and a control point check card. Control points can be park benches, light poles, road signs and the course setter will have placed a check point at each, with a hole punch which is used to punch your control cards. The map gives the location of each check point and a description of the point, such as 'park bench'.
The aim is to navigate to as many control points as you can in a set time period, stamping your control card along the way, and returning back to the start by a set time. The aim is to score the highest number of points and arrival back late results in the loss of some points for each minute late.
Image from event website
Park and Street Orienteering, being in a suburban setting is an ideal place to start the sport of orienteering. Navigation is easier and you don't need to travel too far away for an event.
The Saturday afternoon Winter 2015 Series held between March and October gives you a good excuse to get outside and be active, whilst trying something new. It's a great introduction to orienteering and navigation for your children too and helps to develop valuable map reading, and navigation skills.
The Saturday events are held in suburbs such as Templestowe, Eltham, Malvern, Brunswick, Lilydale and commence at 2pm. There are multiple categories to enter - 45 minute, 1 hour or a 1 hour 5 minute power walking option.
Participants to the Saturday series are requested to bring a plate of food to share after the event where you can get together with the regulars and discuss the course and pick up some tips.
The cost to enter any of the Saturday series events is $4 per adult and $2 juniors.
Park and Street Orienteering also hold weeknight and Sunday events with further information available here.