RETRO: Mapping out a hobby to enjoy the great outdoors

Orienteering - Jeffrey Pyrak with Michael Wainwright'October 1986
Orienteering - Jeffrey Pyrak with Michael Wainwright'October 1986
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Maps, compass, good footwear and not a GPS in sight? Welcome to the world of orienteering past.

Tuesday Retro’s ongoing A-Z series of hobbies enjoyed in our region has now navigated its way to O is for orienteering.

City of Sheffield Orienteering Championships at Rivelin Valley - this picture shows some of the competitors setting off - 6th November 1977

City of Sheffield Orienteering Championships at Rivelin Valley - this picture shows some of the competitors setting off - 6th November 1977

And we’ve tracked down and located these evocative pictures from The Star archives. Undoubtedly, they’re top(ographical) images.

They show everything from the City of Sheffield Orienteering Championships at Rivelin Valley in 1977 to 20-year-old Crookes lad Andy Kitchin winning the British Senior Men’s Orienteering Championships in May 1986. Well done, son.

“With its proximity to the Peak District and successful clubs, Sheffield has long been a centre of activity for orienteering,” says Frazer Johnson, sports development manager at Sheffield Hallam University which briefly set up a National Centre of Excellence in the activity in the late Noughties.

“It’s a great sport because it’s a mix of real athleticism – you have to be fit to take part, no doubt about that – with problem solving. I think it’s that combination that makes it so popular. It’s an incredibly challenging sport. And it gets you outdoors in the fresh air too. Plus a lot of the time competitions are held amid real breath-taking scenery which makes it a bit special.”

Orienteers for Britain - 25th May 1982'Rob Pearson (left) and Alan Bradley (right)

Orienteers for Britain - 25th May 1982'Rob Pearson (left) and Alan Bradley (right)

This region is also today home to one of the country’s most successful clubs. South Yorkshire Orienteers has more than 200 members ranging in age from toddlers to pensioners. More than a dozen of them have represented Great Britain in international competition.

Picture shows Monika Cooper (British Women's Relay Champion) with son Nicolas and daughter Hannah - 27th September 1988

Picture shows Monika Cooper (British Women's Relay Champion) with son Nicolas and daughter Hannah - 27th September 1988