SportsEvents Magazine

MAR 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 47 of 75

March 2018 48 t SPORT Report Off The Beaten Path ORIENTEERING APPEALS TO ALL AGES BY MICHELLE RYAN Ken Walker, Jr. aving originated as mil- itary training, orienteer- ing combines analytics and accuracy as athletes navigate specialized courses using maps and compasses to finish the course first. Since 1886 in Sweden, orienteering has been on the map. There it began as a form of military training then evolved quickly into competition, first for mili- tary officers in 1893, then for civilians in 1897. From its early days, orienteering flourished where it began, according to Sandy Fillebrown, the membership con- tact for the sport's national governing body, Orienteering USA. "Orienteering is huge in Scandinavia," she said, "and somewhat popular in many European countries." Between World War I and World War II, the development of more reliable compasses drove more interest in the sport and orienteering became firmly established in Finland, Norway and Sweden, with national championships first being held in each country during that time. Following World War II, orienteering expanded across Europe, Asia and North America as European orienteers traveled and as it became a more common mili- tary training method. Orienteering in the United States Three Scandinavians who either visited or moved to the United States made a lasting impact on the sport of orienteering in this country, from organizing the first H A US Team Member studies her map during last year's World Championships.

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