Volunteer Work: Victoria Orienteering Club

Orienteering is a sport you don't hear about in the mainstream. I'd like to change that.

Think geocaching but low-tech: Orienteering is a treasure hunt in the great outdoors. Armed with a detailed paper map and a compass, you navigate through the woods — through tall grass, around ponds, up and down cliffs, over knolls — to a control, an orange and white nylon cube hidden in the wilderness. A little device you wear on your finger called an Sportident (SI) stick records the time it takes to get from control to control. The fastest person to find all the controls, usually in a specific order, and make it to the finish line, wins. It's cross-country running with a game built in. It's a treasure hunt.

I've been involved in the Victoria Orienteering Club since 2011, running in their recreational and competitive events, and I most recently took part in the 2017 BC provincial championships.

After doing some public relations work for the BC championships, I was invited to join the VICO board to help with publicity like announcing events, recruiting new orienteerers and attracting media coverage. I said yes.

One of the best things about my work as a writer and communications professional is that I can give back to causes I care about while also honing my skills. Different fields have different opportunities to learn and grow and improve how I use language to communicate. Promoting a lesser-known sport will be a wonderful challenge, and I'm keen to get the word out to Victorians about this family-friendly sport that challenges the body and mind.

Learn more about VICO


Jessica Woollard