Want to learn a new skill during lockdown? Looking for a new challenge? We have got good news for you. Anyone in the Portlaoise and Emo are; it’s time to get out and explore your navigating skills. We want all local people to get on board and join our SPRINGTIME orienteering campaign.

LSP in partnership with Laois County Council, the OPW and Irish Orienteering Association, have set up two virtual Orienteering maps with Laois; Emo Court and Portlaoise Pairc na Phobail. In line with Sport Ireland “keep well campaign”, we are looking to keep you all active in these unprecedented times. It is now a great time to be creative and learn something new and getting back to nature, keeping well outdoors.

LSP are encouraging families and individuals who live within the 5km radius or following current covid-19 guidelines of these two areas, to make use of these Orienteering facilities in your area. It is a great way to get out of the house, into the fresh air and enjoy some quality time with the family, exploring new sports within your area.

It is a great way to have fun with the family while getting fit at the same time. Your competitive side may come out as well!!

But, what is Orienteering❓

Orienteering is navigating your way through an area using a map and your brains, to find your way from one point to another called “control points” in as little time as possible. Each point will be marked on the map: they can be identified as a tree, bench, monument etc… the course consists of a start, a series of control points that are numbered in order of sequence, and a finish point. Each participant must find the control points in order of sequence e.g. 1 to 2, 2 to 3 etc… it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while exercising the body and mind. It is suitable for all ages and easy to learn.

IT REALLY IS FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY !

This is something that can be completed in a team or individually. If completed in a group, make sure they are from the same household and sticking to current covid-19 guidelines, and that you keep you distance of 2 meters

How to access the map?

With thanks to Irish Orienteering Association, these two maps mentioned above have permanent virtual maps that can be accessed by downloading MAPRUN6 app. It is very easy to access. Follow the steps below to access these maps:

1. Download and install app MAPRUN6 from Google play or App Store.

2. Add in personal details before you start: Name, Address, Email etc… *This information is used to display results. You do not need to enter “real” details. Post code will be needed to determine you are within 5km radius of Orienteering areas*

3. Go to “Select Event”

4. Go to folder “Ireland”

5. Go to folder “Laois”

6. Select area of your choice e.g. Emo Court

7. Select the course of your choice I.e. short, medium, long

*There are different lengths of course you can select from, short, medium, or long. The distance of each course is provided within the app which will help you choose which course would fit best for you*

8. Select “go to start” to begin course

9. A triangle will pop up to indicate where you are on the map

10. The app will show your track (in red) and you follow it to get to the start of your Orienteering map.

11. Your phone will beep when you pass through the start and your time will begin.

12. Follow the map in order of sequence. Once you pass each control, your phone will beep, and the control circle will turn green.

13. When you visit each control in order, for to the finish (double circle on the map), your timing will stop.

14. After you finish the course, the app will ask you if you want to upload results.

15. You can also view all results for the course and compare how you did on each leg with your family.

It is important that participants keep their maps correctly orientated at all stages and align it with features around them. All you need to do is turn the map until what is in front of you matches what is in front if you on the map

We want local people wishing these areas sticking to your 5km radius or current covid-19 guidelines to download these Orienteering maps and give it a try. The main objective is to introduce people to Orienteering and to get people active in their community. Take photos and tag @laoissportspartnership to let us know how you got on #orienteeringireland #orienteeringlaois #laoislsp #keepwell

Don’t forget to stick with current covid-19 guidelines

EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT! GET FIT AND HAVE FUN DOING IT