Highfield and Brookham Schools in Liphook on the orienteering map

An independent school in Liphook debuted on the national orienteering circuit.

And after successfully hosting a Trail League match as part of this year’s UK Championships, Highfield and Brookham Schools have been put on the orienteering map.

Trail Orienteering – or TrailO – is a sport that places a strong emphasis on precision map-reading to identify checkpoints on specific terrain, with the challenge of decoys to confuse competitors.

Where it differs from standard orienteering is that speed and time are largely inconsequential, making TrailO ideal for competitors young and old, disabled and able-bodied.

Since checkpoints are identified remotely and competitors are not permitted to leave the trails, participants with or without physical disabilities compete at level.

Unlike other forms of orienteering which involve competitors visiting the control and clocking in, track orienteering is done remotely in the form of multiple-choice questions that test a competitor’s ability to determine where a specific checkpoint faces multiple options.

The British Trail League match – which saw competitors race around Golden Valley and Cognor Wood, near Liphook, including land owned by Bill Mills, the owner of Highfield and Brookham schools – was won by Michael Chun Wessex Club’s Chi Tsang with Anne Straube (Octavian Droobers) second and Kieran Marsh (South London Orienteers) third. Mr. Mills presented prizes after the race.

Phillip Evitt, Principal of Highfield School, said: “Many generations of school children at Highfield have learned valuable skills and techniques through orienteering in our program and I know I speak on behalf of Mr Mills when I say how proud and delighted we are to have been chosen for a game in the UK Championship.

“I hope this will be the first of a long series.”

Dino J. Dotson