Orienteering Development in the Northern Cape

An update on the amazing work being done by our Development team Karen and Richard:

Two years ago trail runner Warnell Engelbrecht asked on Facebook when we would be bringing Orienteering to Namaqualand? Soon after we got the ball rolling by meeting up in Cape Town and doing some basic Orienteering training in his uncle’s dining room. Warnell was determined to share his navigational skills knowledge with local school children, especially after having heard about a group of teachers and children getting terribly lost on a camp and having to spend the night on the mountain.

After a challenging year of trying unsuccessfully to get schools to introduce Orienteering, Warnell teamed up with teacher /adventure programme organizer Elvin Saal and they have become a pair of passionate hardworking Orienteering ambassadors who are clearly making their mark. Last April Timothy and I travelled up to Sprinkbok to do coaching and mapping training with them as well as initiate the project with work in Dr Isak Van Niekerk Primary. Taking part in the Western Cape Champs made the pair realize how much they had to learn but also reinforced how vital skills could be taught to children through Orienteering activities.

In the past 6 months Elvin and Warnell have mapped and visited 7 different schools in the Springbok, Okiep, Concordia and Nababeep areas. The children have thoroughly enjoyed the activities and teachers they have worked with have clearly seen the benefits of introducing Orienteering into their schools.

This year Warnell and Elvin hope to also be able to reach out to areas like the Khaima, Kamiesberg and Richtersveld regions. They also hope to get pupils competing in events at neighbouring schools as well as take some children to participate in the Western Cape Champs.

Well done Elvin and Warnell. We look forward to working with you to keep growing Orienteering in Namaqualand.

-Karen Chambers