Orienteer Jack maps out a route to success

Jack Cryer, of Bottomley, Walsden, has been selected for the north west junior orienteering squad
Jack Cryer, of Bottomley, Walsden, has been selected for the north west junior orienteering squad

A YOUNG orienteer is mapping out the route to success after being selected in the North West of England junior squad.

Jack Cryer, of Bottomley, Walsden, took up orienteering nearly 18 months ago and is a member of the Pendle Forest Orienteers club.

Jack, 12, recently won a medal for being the top junior at the club championship held at Witton Park, Blackburn, and his impressive performances have led to his call-up to the regional team.

This week he is in Scotland taking part in the Scottish Six Days event at Oban, an international competition featuring more than 3,000 people from all over Europe, covering about four kilometres each day.

“It’s our biggest competition of the year,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Jack started orienteering after his dad, Paul, suggested it to him. One of Paul’s friends, Jim Mitchell, participated in the sport and showed Jack how it works.

Jack was interested and began training with Pendle Forest Orienteers.

He attends club nights every week and takes part in an event at least once a month.

At an orienteering event, participants have to make it around a course, passing various checkpoints, and whoever completes the route in the quickest time is the winner.

“I like it because I can build up my stamina,” Jack said. “I’m very competitive.”

It appeals to a wide age range. Jack’s club has members ranging from six to 70 years old.

Jack comes from a sporting family – his mum represented Yorkshire at athletics – and he is a keen sportsman.

He goes swimming every Monday and is a member of Todmorden Amateur Swimming Club.

He attends Beech House School, in Rochdale, and at a recent sports day he picked up six gold medals.