Samford State School Headed in Right Direction

Samford State School teacher Ann Power discussing coaching strategies with young orienteers Dylan and Hugo

Students and teachers at Samford State School are navigating a new course outside the classroom, integrating the sport of orienteering into their physical education program.

For the past two years students have participated in orienteering coaching, provided by Orienteering Queensland, as part of the Government’s Sporting Schools Program. 

This year over a period of seven weeks, 88 Year Four students have learnt the skills of map reading, navigation and translating what they see on the map to what they see around them. Armed with these skills the students then embarked on orienteering courses around the school grounds aiming to successfully find all the checkpoints in the fastest time. 

In their recent Over 8’s activity day, Samford State School students from all grades enjoyed a condensed form of orienteering called Grid-O, involving navigation between 16 check points on a 20m x 20m grid. Helping the students were Samford State School teachers, Ann Power and Jannice Shackleton who have become Level O orienteering coaches through Orienteering Queensland. Both teachers commented on the inclusivity of the sport, which allows people of all ages, experience and abilities to participate at their own pace.

Samford State School is also participating in the orienteering program being offered for the first time as part of North West District Interschool Sport. During a 12 week competition held on Friday afternoons, over 250 students from five local schools complete orienteering courses around a series of local parks. Samford State School have a 65 strong contingent of students attending, the second largest in the competition.

Orienteering is not a totally new sport at Samford State School. Past student Krystal Neumann is currently representing Australia in the World Orienteering Championships being held in Norway. Neumann (26) has represented Australia at both the junior and senior levels nine times over the past 11 years. Her cousin Jack Neumann (23) who is also a past Samford State School student, represents Queensland in the national orienteering competition and is involved in managing Queensland’s representative schools team.

Orienteering Queensland runs many events across south-east Queensland and in regional areas. Newcomers are welcome at all events and coaching is available. More information at https://oq.orienteering.asn.au/ or email admin@oq.org.au

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