About NGOC

Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure activity in which competitors run, jog, or simply walk around a course using a map and sometimes a compass in order to navigate between control points. It provides both physical and mental challenges for all, from small children and families, to runners and adventure racers, and to older people looking for exercise and mental stimulation in the fresh air.

North Gloucestershire Orienteering Club holds 20-30 events each year in Cheltenham and Gloucester, the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean. We provide courses for novices and experts, 10 year olds and 70 year olds, runners and walkers; you can choose a course as long and as navigationally challenging as you wish, and can be as competitive as you would like to be. Everyone is welcome to try the sport at one of our events, and help is always available for newcomers. You do not need to be a member, there is no need to pre-book, and the entry fees are modest.

We have over 150 members, and although the club is based in Gloucestershire, we also attract members from the fringes of neighbouring counties.

If you would like to read more about orienteering, visit our Getting Started page, or go to the British Orienteering website, which has a wealth of information about this exciting sport.

For more details about the club, contact our membership secretary, Simon Denman.

A Bit of History……

North Gloucestershire Orienteering Club (NGOC) was officially formed on 14th January 1970 and was the idea of Derek Thompson, a lecturer at Glos Cat. Details of the early days of NGOC can be found below. As its name implies, the club is based around Gloucestershire although the ‘North’ may stem from the North Gloucestershire Technical College at which the club was formed. Our membership is not entirely limited to Gloucestershire as there are many surrounding counties which don’t have clubs. Hereford & Worcestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire all feature and we actually lose a lot of our potential catchment area to Bristol OK. Despite its age and experience, the club’s members have had relatively little success at winning trophies. There are a few exceptions though amongst our more senior members and we always have a good go at the Harvester Trophy.

The club is affiliated to the South West Orienteering Association.

The early days of NGOC (kindly provided to us by John Parsons, one of the founding members):
As I recall I noticed a advert in the local paper, probably The Echo, in late 1969, about an event on Cleeve Hill. Following the event Derek called the inaugural meeting, which I attended. There were just an handful of us in the beginning. An extract from the first handwritten minutes reads:
At an opening meeting held on 14th January 1970 in the Gloucester Teacher’s Centre, under the Chairmanship of Mr G Reynolds (C.C.P.R.) the following resolution (proposed by Mr D Thompson and seconded by Mr R Johnson) was passed unanimously: “That an orienteering club for North Gloucestershire be formed”. Mr D Thompson agreed to form a small steering committee to organise the club and set up a constitution. The committee was elected unanimously as follows: Chairman- Miss A Gregory, Secretary/Treasurer – Mr D Thompson, Committee members: Messer’s J Parsons, P Powell, A Pritchard and H Taylor … and the note goes on.

Over the next few years we developed the club, draw maps, organised regular events and increased the membership. I was heavily involved for about 20 years and held the offices of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer , event organiser, etc. and spent hundreds of hours in the forest mapping, and loved every minute. It is good to see that you have retained the club badge that we designed.