The Canadian Orienteering Championships are going to be held in Kimberley this summer, taking place in forests outside of Cranbrook and Kimberley from July 8 to 10, one part of the Canadian Rockies Orienteering Festival which runs from July 1 to 10.
Orienteering involves a cross country race where individuals must also navigate through the terrain with a map and a compass.
“Orienteering is a sport that’s been around for a while, but it’s not a sport that has attracted masses. It appeals to individuals, it’s not a team event,” said event coordinator Jim Webster. “You’ve got to be fit, but you’re also thinking all the time because you’re navigating while you’re running.”
The Kootenay Orienteering Club held the North American Orienteering Championships in 2010, drawing around 500 participants from 20 different countries.
“One thing about orienteers, they will travel long distances to participate in these big races,” Webster said.
“Before COVID we were anticipating for the Canadian Championships we would have probably had 350 to 400. I’m thinking that because people are a bit more hesitant to travel right now that we will probably get 250 people attending, coming from all across Canada and we’ve got people registered from Australia and people coming up from the States.”
Registrants will be in town for four nights as there is three days of competition plus a warm-up event and the national junior training camp.
“The nice thing about orienteering is we have championship age categories, but we also have open categories, so it’s kind of open to people who are new to the sport, even though it’s called a championship,” Webster said.
Many kids from local schools have done some orienteering or taken part in the junior program. At only $40 and open to all youth under 17 years old, Webster said that this is a great opportunity for kids to get some higher-level coaching from coaches from all over the country at a great cost.
The Junior Camp will be centred out of the Nordic Centre.
There are two days of races in the forest near Cranbrook and one day of races plus the junior training camp in the forests around Kimberley.
Registration is still open and can be found along with more information at https://crof2022.ca/