ESOC has a number of UKCC (United Kingdom Coaching Certificate) and British Orienteering qualified coaches, who are all active orienteers. They provide coaching for the club on a voluntary basis and are ably supported by other experienced club members to provide a coaching pathway from newcomer to experienced competitor.
The main coaching activities are:
For newcomers, an introduction to orienteering is best obtained by attending a local event where friendly club members will be on-hand to explain the basics. (See the Events page of this website for details of forthcoming events in the Edinburgh area.) Currently you will need to enter the event in advance and if you have any queries about the entry process, or which course to enter, please contact
When you arrive, be sure to explain that you are new to orienteering and wish to receive an introduction to the basics. New members are also very welcome at ESOC Club Night Training Sessions, where coaches can help them get started and improve their skills.
For junior members of ESOC, there are coaching sessions throughout the year, run by ESOA (East of Scotland Orienteering Association). The sessions are designed to give juniors opportunities to develop skills and meet other young orienteers. Groups are structured in such a way as to provide the progressive development of skills and confidence to successfully complete an orienteering course - from the easiest to the most difficult junior course. Junior sessions are aimed at young orienteers who have some basic introduction to the sport (e.g. through family, school or youth-group activities) and are of an age and stage to be able to go round a Yellow course independently and so build on the fundamental skills. Information about upcoming sessions will be emailed to all junior members and their families.
For adults and accompanied juniors (12 years and over), ESOC Club Night Training Sessions are regularly held on Wednesday evenings throughout the year, starting at 7:15pm and finishing around 8:30pm. The sessions are open to all adult members and older juniors (accompanied by an adult). It doesn’t matter what your level of orienteering or fitness is, you will be warmly welcomed and exercises can be adapted for all.
At present the training is held at various locations around Edinburgh, such as Bonaly, Blackford Hill or Corstorphine Hill.
All you need to bring is a compass, a head torch and some enthusiasm. Details of where to meet are sent out to club members via the weekly email "ESOC Matters" from our secretary, and are also available from this link. We do require you to sign up by 9am on the day of the training to ensure that there are sufficient maps available. If you have any queries or want further details please contact
Training isn’t just for the aspiring champions – but for everyone. Everyone has different aims from these sessions, for some it is to improve fitness, for others to improve their orienteering skills and finally they are a great way to meet other club members. The sessions currently attract about 20 club members who, as a group, have a variety of experience and fitness levels; new members are encouraged to come along and are assured of a warm welcome.
Other training opportunities (further details in 'Capital-O', the ESOC club newsletter):
- ESOC Ladies training – Monday 7:30pm. Informal training, open to all ESOC ladies, which involves running/jogging/walking to suit all speeds, starting from various locations around the city. Contact to find out more.
- Parkrun – Saturday 9:30am. An informal, free, timed 5km road run. There are parkruns all over the world, with six in or near Edinburgh: on the Cramond foreshore (Edinburgh parkrun), Figgate Park (Portobello parkrun), Vogrie Country Park (Vogrie parkrun), Tranent (Meadowmill parkrun), Almondvale Park in Livingston (Livingston parkrun) and Riccarton campus (Oriam parkrun). The Cramond course is flat but it can be a wee bit breezy at times; Figgate Park is more sheltered but has some slopes; Vogrie is undulating through woods and open areas; the Meadowmill course runs around sports pitches; the Livingston course is on paths along the River Almond; the Oriam course is along a woodland path around the perimeter of Heriot-Watt University grounds. All offer a regular opportunity to improve, and measure, physical fitness. See the parkrun website for more details.
- EUOC Fight with the Night (FWTN) – alternate Thursday evenings during the dark winter months. An opportunity to experience, and practise, night orienteering; organised by students (Edinburgh University Orienteering Club) but attended by all ages from accompanied & experienced juniors to 70+ year old seniors. Further details are on the FWTN page of the EUOC website.
last updated: December 2021