About Southdowns Orienteers

Orienteering is an exciting, challenging sport that involves competitive navigation, usually in woodland or on open hillside. Each competitor uses a map and compass, choosing their own way, to find the red and white flags at the sites indicated by red circles on their map. Southdowns Orienteers is a friendly club offering local events throughout Sussex.
(Update September 2008) - Southdowns Orienteers offer midweek training sessions with the Southdowns Adventure Running Club. These sessions have a varied format, but generally all have running and navigation elements to them. A great opportunity to socialise, keep fit, and hone navigation techniques.

Performance Trophies (junior male and female)

Selection Criteria:

In the view of the club captain and junior team manager and is awarded to those junior members of SO that, since the previous AGM, have produced the best competitive performance(s) relative to their peers in major competitions.  A written citation sheet will also be produced.


A web utility for drawing and comparing orienteering routes

The Southdowns RouteGadget is now hosted on the RouteGadget UK site along with most other clubs.
This is the new version of RouteGadget that has been developed by Simon Errington of HappyHerts.
You can read more about it and watch video tutorials about how to use it on the RouteGadget UK website.

Volunteer job descriptions

The club always needs volunteers to help out at events in planning, map sales, meeting and greeting, car parking and control setting and collecting. For an idea of what is required see below.


Volunteer to help at events


The club always needs volunteers to help out at events in planning, map sales, meeting and greeting, car parking and control setting and collecting.
For more information about when/where we need help and to volunteer, see the Volunteers Website Page., and to find out what is involved see the Volunteer job descriptions page.


The Ricky Wise Trophy

The Ricky Wise Junior Trophy is awarded annually, usually at the AGM, in memory of former club member Ricky Wise. It is presented to a Club Junior to partly recognise both personal achievement throughout the year and also to someone who has contributed significantly to the Club.

The recipient is chosen by a panel comprising the Club Chairman, Junior Team Manager, Training Co-ordinator and Club Captain.




The SOOTY Trophy

The SOOTY (Southdowns Orienteer Of The Year) Trophy is presented annually, at the AGM, with the recipient chosen by the Club Chairman.

It is presented to someone who may not be a high ranking orienteer, but to someone who has given a huge amount of time and effort to the Club over the year, in one, or more often multiple roles.

The previous winners are listed below.


Membership Details

Southdowns Orienteering Club (known as SO) is a friendly and active club covering the whole of Sussex in the South East Orienteering Association (SEOA).  We organise many events during the year with all details and locations displayed on the Events section of the website.  The best way to find out about us is to come along to an event where you will receive a very warm welcome and plenty of help to get you started.


SO Clothing (Club Kit)

Southdowns Orienteers club colours are blue and yellow. Our club kit officer is Chris Jepson. Chris can provide a range of items for running (e.g long and short sleeved tops) and general clothing (fleeces, tee shirts, hats etc.). Chris can be contacted through the Contacts Page..


Experiments with a GPS Logger (iBlue 747A+)

A iBlue 747A+ GPS logger was obtained to assess it’s suitability as a post-race analysis tool for orienteering. The article discusses aspects of the logger selection and practicalities of use during and after orienteering.


Event Procedure

What to do when you go to an orienteering event.


Claiming Colour Coded Badges

Calling SO Juniors…  Do you want to collect your colours?

Colour coded awards help you to see how you are progressing as an orienteer, all the way from white standard to the rarely seen black.

If you reach the qualifying standard on 3 courses you can claim a badge and start thinking about how you could move on to the next level.


A New Headlamp for a New Season - The “QuadCube”


The first Light Emitting Diode (LED) headlamp that I designed and built was a Technology Demonstrator: “TechDem1” – see the original Night-O Headlamps Article for technical details of that lamp. TechDem1 was the test bed for various ideas that I wanted to apply to a hew headlamp. This lamp turned out to be very successful as a prototype and the (generally) robust build of it and performance naturally led to it becoming my main headlamp for the balance of the 2007/8 night-O season (in preference to the tried, tested – but very tired Silva 10/20W halogen headlamp).
This article describes the next step in the LED Headlight development, culminating in the powerful “QuadCube” design.



Southdowns Orienteers have achieved Sport England Clubmark accreditation. Clubmark is the Sport England cross sport quality accreditation for clubs with junior sections. Clubmark accreditation is awarded to clubs that comply with minimum operating standards in four areas:

The playing programme.
Duty of care and child protection.
Sports equity and ethics.
Club management.

For the list of relevant documents please see below:


Online Entries - Are You Safe?

It is your Birthday!
No it isn’t I hear you say.  Well, yes it is.  It’s YOUR birthday and similarly it’s YOUR address.  Don’t enter these items into a form on-line without thinking twice.

Cautionary advice about entering personal information onto websites from Peter Drake. Anyone who enters Orienteering events on-line should read…..


CompassSport Cup - provisional SO win



Night-O Headlamps


A discussion and study of orienteering headlamps. The article includes: a review of what typical orienteers currently use; the authors personal requirements of a suitable orienteering headlamps; investigations into some of the technologies used in lamp design; and details of the a project to construct a home-made lamp to the authors requirements. This article was originally posted as a forum item and was re-written to suit the style of an article. This article is likely to be added to as the project develops. Last Update 15/2/08


Club History

Southdowns Orienteers was formed in December 1976. For the last ten years SO has won the South East League and for the last seven years SO has reached the final of the Compass Sport Cup Final (National inter-club competition), the highest placing being 2nd in 2003. SO has produced British Champions in a wide range of age groups (and the occasional World Champion!). This list points out a few highlights along the way.


Night Orienteering

Night orienteering is taking off in the SE of England. As a regular mid-week fixture you can now pencil this in to be part of your running schedule. Night orienteering is excellent training; the pace is slightly slower and the need for accurate, technical orienteering is essential.


Orienteering for Beginners

Thinking about coming along to our Autumn season of events? The first is at Goodwood on 22nd Sept. Take a look at this video made by one of our juniors for a jump start to Orienteering. View the video. Come along to any of our SOG’s (local Sat events) and you will be very welcome.



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