A team of five girls from Loughborough High School has been selected to represent England at the International School Sport Federation (ISF) Orienteering World Schools’ Championships in Turkey this April.â€¨â€¨
Bethan Clargo, Elizabeth Mulvaney, Elizabeth Bedwell, Irina Ferapontova and Nicola Northcott will compete against school teams from 20 other countries around a four to five kilometre course across challenging and diverse terrain in the Kemer region of Antalya.â€¨â€¨
The sport was introduced to the school four years ago by maths teacher Andy Smith, an orienteering enthusiast who competes regularly with her family. After circulating a bulletin inviting girls to attend an introductory session, she was thrilled when 23 responded. Now she regularly takes between 15 and 25 girls from all year groups to compete at events across the country.
The team qualified as a result of their performance at the British Schools’ Championships which took place in Leeds in mid-November.
Team coach, Mrs Smith, who will accompany them to the event, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the girls. Orienteering is a wonderful sport that has become very popular at the school. With a physical and mental element, it requires skill, agility and quick decision making. It’s fantastic for fitness and for building confidence.”â€¨â€¨
Team captain, Nicola Northcott, said: “It’s really exciting that we have been selected to compete in Turkey, particularly as we have only been running as a team in school for a couple of years. We can’t wait to get our England kit and are looking forward to meeting all the other orienteers from lots of different countries.”â€¨â€¨
Picture credit: Wendy Carlyle