Orienteering at Eden Park

On Wednesday 13th September, Eden Park and Counties Manukau Orienteering delivered the first ever urban adventure race through our National Stadium.

Known as Orienteering Sprint Racing, students sped about the stadium using a map to navigate their path from checkpoint to checkpoint (called “controls”) around a predefined course.

Orienteering is a recreational activity for everyone! It doesn’t matter how fit you are – you can get outside for some physical and brain exercise as you navigate about a course at whatever speed you enjoy. We get access to some amazing and beautiful countryside too, and parts of NZ that the public don’t usually get to see.

For the Eden Park Sprint event, with permission from the management at the Park, the course was able to lead participants through normally inaccessible areas such as the Coaching Boxes and the Home Team Changing Rooms. Through this phase, we paused the participants’ race times so they could take their time to explore these behind-the-scenes areas, and members of the Howick Photographic Society were on hand to capture the moment. See CMOC’s photo album.

And as a very special part of their courses, participants were permitted to race a lap around the perimeter of the globally famous No. 1 Playing Field! Their times for the lap of the field segment of their course were extracted into a separate league table. Overall course times and lap competition results for the Eden Park Sprint are available here

With over 30 schools from as far afield as Bombay School and Waiuku College to the south and Orewa College to the north, there were also plenty of opportunities to develop the students’ inter-school sporting subculture and make new friends at the community-orientated event centre we’d set up with the Eden Park operations and catering teams.

While on the day we received incredibly positive feedback, we are determined to make this event even bigger and better next year, with ideas such as running a teachers’ league and “Park in the Dark” being suggested. We’re an innovative bunch but love to hear from our audience too, so if you have ideas for how we can bring orienteering to more youth, please send them to president@cmoc.co.nz

Counties Manukau Orienteering is responsible for delivering the Primary School Zone Days, and the Secondary Schools (including years 7&8) Sprint Competition for the eastern and southern regions of our city. We also deliver training and development, and races through the parks, farms, and forests of the region, and collaborate with two other clubs to collectively deliver an integrated programme across the greater Auckland region.

So if you live, work, or study in east or south Auckland, please consider following Counties Manukau Orienteering Club on Facebook for notice of upcoming events!