Orienteering games in Singapore: how to get started

Any adventure sport with kids is a great bonding way. But there might not be a better way to do it than by playing orienteering games.

As well as helping your child to hone their navigation skills, it also helps them learn to use a compass and gauge distances more accurately.

The biggest advantage of these activities, however, is to rediscover the pristine areas of the island; a lot of them that you may not have visited before.

What are orienteering games?

It is an outdoor sport that involves running that is marked on a map. The runners must find the number of control points following the course on the map.

The participant who manages to find all the checkpoints in the right order and in the shortest possible time is declared the winner.

Interestingly, the sport began in Sweden as a military exercise to help troops develop orientation skills, endurance, and the ability to cooperate with other soldiers in unfamiliar territories and situations.

Today, orienteering is accessible and popular with young children and the elderly.

Now, if you thought orienteering games are for the fittest and most expert card readers, you’d be wrong. It is a great family sport that is also suitable for children from 4 to 10 years old.

How to get started with orienteering games in Singapore

Image courtesy: iStock

In Singapore, orienteering is usually a fast-paced activity and takes place in parks or housing estates.

If you want to participate in orienteering games with the children, the three starting areas are Bishan, Bedok and Bukit Timah. However, sport is not limited to these areas. There are many urban places, green spaces and even school grounds where you can do this activity.

But before you start using your maps to travel around the island, you’ll need a few things to get started.

  • A comfortable outfit including a running top and shorts and a pair of running shoes
  • Compass, cap and watch
  • Bottled water and snacks

How does orienteering work?

All participants should use their maps to plot their routes to get to their destinations. Here are some key points to note.

Plans

You can start your journey with some of these Plans, as shared on Orienteering Singapore.

Having a map lets you know your surroundings well in advance. You will notice that the maps are mapped according to the terrain.

For example, an orienteering map over a forest will be filled with details of cracks, rocks, ditches and more. On the other hand, a hiking map above a mountain will reflect the differences in height, water, and hiking routes.

Planning your route

It goes without saying that planning your route allows you to be ready for any challenge. It also allows you to carry the equipment you might need while on the go.

For example, in a city orienteering game, you might spot many bridges and roads that will help you reach your destination. You will also be able to see the shortest or safest routes.

Find your way

Make sure the card is oriented for the environment. When you orient the card, it should always remain stationary. You are the one who has to move around the map.

Remember to choose your route based on great features that are easy to find, both on the map and in the real world, especially if this is your first time.

Orienteering games: why should we do it?

While orienteering can be fun for some, others may need a little more conviction.

So, for the latter, it should be noted that orienteering helps to preserve memory and strengthens environmental awareness and self-esteem.

For children there is to research show the connection between orienteering with imaginative play and physical growth. Orienteering also sharpens decision-making skills. “Should I go right or left?” “Should I take the bridge or take a long detour?” These decisions require constant thought, more than quick reactions or instinct.

Orienteering also teaches your child to make decisions under stress and increasing fatigue. It can therefore make them mentally stronger in similar stressful situations in their day to day life.

Remember, if you are orienteering with young children, set a goal that is much lower and appropriate for their age. It’s also good to be prepared for bathroom breaks, snack breaks, and intermittent rest periods.

Orienteering clubs in Singapore

Here are some of the orienteering clubs in Singapore that you can try.

65 Adventure

Telephone: 65 9152 9246

Osportz

1010, route de Dover,
# 01-39 V. Singapore 139 658

Note that due to the coronavirus pandemic, you will need to check with these operators for details of their event and other safety precautions that are being followed.

So what’s the wait? Start now and enjoy the benefits of this imaginative and adventurous game.

The source of information: Singapore orienteering course

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Dino J. Dotson