British Orienteering Federation

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British Orienteering Federation Limited
British Orienteering Federation.png
Sport Orienteering
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Abbreviation BOF
Founded 1967 (1967)
Affiliation IOF
Regional affiliation Europe
Chairman Judith Holt
Chief Exec Mike Hamilton
Official website
United Kingdom

The British Orienteering Federation Limited, generally known and branded as British Orienteering, is the national sports governing body for the sport of orienteering in the United Kingdom.[1]

The federation was founded in June 1967, and is a member of the IOF.[2]


History of Orienteering in UK before the BOF[edit]

Orienteering was introduced to the UK in the 1950s and was heavily supported by renowned Olympians including John Disley and Chris Brasher.[3] The early years were helped by orienteers from Sweden: in 1962 Baron 'Rak' Largerfelt of the Stockholm Orienteering Club came to Scotland to help develop the sport. This culminated in the first championship being held in May 1962 at Dunkeld, and the formation of the Scottish Orienteering Association.[4]

Later visitors from Sweden included Jan Kjellström, a son of Silva compass founder Alvar Kjellström. Kjellström played an important role in the development of the sport and helped to accelerate developments in orienteering competition, mapping and coaching. Kjellström died in a road accident early in the year of 1967.[5] 1967 saw the first Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering or "JK", held in memory of Kjellström.[5] Later that year the British Orienteering Federation was formed by the amalgamation of the English and Scottish Associations leading to the first British Championships held at Hamsterley Forest.[4]

After the Founding of BOF[edit]

With the growth of the sport BOF was founded in 1967, and continued to develop. There were 12 national and regional associations by 1972; the British Schools Orienteering Association joining in 1995 when it was formed to promote orienteering in schools.[6] The Federation's membership had reached around 10,000 by 1998 and the club membership had increased to more 150 clubs.[3]


The federation is made up of thirteen constituent associations, one each for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland; nine for the English regions; and the British Schools Orienteering Association. The nine English regions are also Members of the English Orienteering Council (EOC).

The associations are:[7]

Abbreviation Full name Web address Other notes
BSOA British Schools Orienteering Association [1]
EAOA East Anglian Orienteering Association [2]
EMOA East Midlands Orienteering Association [3]
NEOA North East Orienteering Association [4]
NIOA Northern Ireland Orienteering Association [5]
NWOA North West Orienteering Association [6]
SCOA South Central Orienteering Association [7]
SEOA South East Orienteering Association [8]
SOA Scottish Orienteering Association [9]
SWOA South West Orienteering Association [10]
WMOA West Midlands Orienteering Association [11]
WOA Welsh Orienteering Association [12]
YHOA Yorkshire and Humberside Orienteering Association [13]


Funding is principally from three sources:

Former grant funding from UK Sport has ceased, in common with many other non-Olympic sports.


The British Orienteering Federation is governed by a board of directors, and through a number of steering groups[9] appointed by the Board, covering:

  • Coaching
  • Development
  • Events and Competitions
  • Talent and Performance
  • Trail Orienteering Development
  • Welfare and Safeguarding

The board of directors is chaired by Judith Holt. The chief executive is Mike Hamilton. The board meets about four or five times a year.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "British Orienteering Homepage". British Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  2. ^ "About British Orienteering". British Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "British Orienteering Federation Record Files". Retrieved 3 January 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Disley, John (1978). Orienteering. London: Faber and Faber Limited. ISBN 0-571-04930-3. 
  5. ^ a b "How orienteering began". Retrieved 14 October 2008. 
  6. ^ "History and Objectives". BSOA. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Find a Club". British Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Membership Fees". Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Steering Groups". British Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 22 Dec 2016. 
  10. ^ "Board of Directors". British Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 22 Dec 2016.