A unique weekend of major orienteering events will take place this weekend from May 1-4 in Lisburn City, which will attract 300 elite international orienteers.
The festival, which includes the Irish Orienteering Championships 2015, will stage the inaugural Lisburn City Race that will form part of the UK Urban League.
Alderman Paul Porter, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee, speaking at the launch, said: “On behalf of the Council I would like to thank Lagan Valley Orienteers for organising the Festival, which will include three Irish Championships, a World Ranking Sprint, Trail-O (competitors with a disability), World Championship style Spring Relay and the first NI City Race.
“I understand that entries have been confirmed from across the British Isles, Europe and Scandinavian countries, the home of orienteering.
“This is excellent news for Lisburn in terms of both leisure and tourism,” Mr Porter said.
“I wish all competitors every success and I hope you enjoy the first NI City Race taking place within Lisburn,” concluded Alderman Porter.
Work is progressing well on preparations for the event with the locations confirmed and the key team members appointed.
New maps have been prepared for the Sprint, Sprint Relay, the urban Lisburn City Race, and for the TrailO competition that will use the Aberdelghy Golf Course, while the existing maps for the Long Distance and Relay races at Slieve Croob and Hillsborough Forest.
The weekend is not only designed for the top orienteers but also to provide an opportunity for new competitors, especially through the City Race.
Urban orienteering has been recently introduced and has proved to be very popular with competitors only needing their normal running gear.
The last London City race attracted over 1,000 competitors and the Lisburn event is part of the inaugural UK City Race League.
The events on 1st and 4th will be based at Laurelhill Sports Zone just off Prince William Road, Lisburn and Lagan Valley Island, and there will be courses plus assistance for beginners.
For more details go to the website www.Ioc2015.org/city-race/
The local organiser Colin Henderson said: “This is a great opportunity for orienteering and for Lisburn.
“We are delighted to be able to host so many major events over the weekend especially the first City Race in Northern Ireland which we hope will be extended to other Cities in Northern Ireland.”
Lagan Valley Orienteers are very grateful to Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for their generous support for the Festival.