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Next Sunday marks fifty years to the day since Border Liners held their first competitive orienteering event in Greystoke Forest near Penrith. On the anniversary, a number of the original competitors will be celebrating the occasion – but probably not in the way they originally envisaged!

Dick and Angela Whitworth, who are stalwarts of Border Liners and have orienteered ever since that inaugural 31st May 1970 race, were both involved in early preparations for the Liners summer birthday party, which was to have been a celebratory fun event in Chances Park, Carlisle. Instead, in this unsettling time, they will be marking the occasion like the rest of their club mates with fifty minutes exercise commencing around 11 o’clock on Sunday morning. For some, this socially distanced workout will be fifty minutes of their usual routine to keep fit during the enforced closure and for others it will be an activity with a 50-theme twist. Anything is possible – with the proviso that competitors can forward the ‘results’ with a photo to the ‘organiser’ so that in years to come orienteers of all ages can say ‘I was there!’

On the sporting side, much is going on behind the scenes by the governing body to consider a safe return to competitive orienteering at some time in the future. Limited options for permanent courses, virtual courses and socially distanced coaching are being discussed and any further information about this will be detailed on the club website in due course. One activity that has caught the imagination of some during this time has been Lockdown Orienteering. These online challenges have been popular with orienteers keen to test their skills and knowledge against competitors from around the world and have included some well-known figures from the sport in the results.

David Rawle, 18th May 2020