Hills kids navigate way to fitness

Fun and fitness: Kenthurst Public School year 6 pupils Mei Lin Meyers, Tanaya Hewitt and Mia Figueroa take part in the annual Sydney West Schools Orienteering Championships at Fred Caterson Reserve. Picture: Geoff Jones

Fun and fitness: Kenthurst Public School year 6 pupils Mei Lin Meyers, Tanaya Hewitt and Mia Figueroa take part in the annual Sydney West Schools Orienteering Championships at Fred Caterson Reserve. Picture: Geoff Jones

Participation in the Sydney West Schools orienteering championship has more than doubled in the past year.

Pupils from Kenthurst and North Rocks public schools were among the 400 who completed individual and relay events at Fred Caterson Reserve, Castle Hill, last Thursday.

There were 150 primary and high school students at last year's event.

Orienteering NSW development officer Barbara Hill said more volunteers had enlisted to cope with the growth. There are also plans to split the event into separate primary and high school days.

"There are a lot of cross-curricular benefits to orienteering," Ms Hill said.

"You get the physical benefits, but you also get a lot of geography and maths.

"The kids get the personal confidence of achieving something, of reading a map and dealing with the challenges. There's a lot of problem solving involved."

The students navigated their way to between seven and 16 checkpoints in order on courses of different lengths depending on their age. Their time was read electronically at each checkpoint.

"If the kids who run are prepared to stop and read the map and really think about it they will get a really good time," Ms Hill said.

"The thing about orienteering is it is a very personal challenge between you and whoever set the course to finish.

Pupil Mei Lin Meyers said it was her first time orienteering, but it was a lot of fun and was challenging.

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