The club’s origins go back to the beginning of the 70s and the early days of Orienteering in the Province. At that time Fermanagh Orienteers weren’t yet in existence and the North West club was tightly grouped around its core of Limavady Grammar School. There was a body of participants in the Greater Belfast area operating under the umbrella of the Northern Ireland Orienteering Association which had been formed to gain access to the organisation of the sport in Great Britain. At that stage interaction, in competition, with southern orienteers or with the wider British participants was minimal.
By the end of the first decade the increase in participants, in available maps, in frequency of events and in exposure to external competitions led this group, by now co-operating strongly in their approach to the Sport, to take a name. This reflected the geographic spread of the membership from North Down through Lisburn and north in County Antrim. With the name established the now-familiar logo came into being while the Organiser waited for entrants to arrive to an early club event at Cairn Wood!
In the early days the club took over the umbrella role of NIOA in co-ordinating activity in the east of the Province. The catalyst which turned it from a mere collection of “weekenders” with a common interest was the instigation of an organised mid-week training regime. This, while attended by relatively few of the far-flung members, provides the focal point that the Sport itself, with its time-trial format (and thus spread over a considerable period during competition), can rarely do at an event.
Through the 80s and into the 90s the Club has seen expansion into South Down and County Armagh, well beyond the geographic area implied by its name.
The spreading of the Club’s base has also led to a raising of the performance pyramid. To assist this there has been, for many years, a programme of development of its event officials to ensure quality of competition along with the provision of coaching opportunities and regular competition external to the Province to aid the members who wish to climb the pyramid to develop their personal performance. The Club has now won the accolade of Irish Club Champions on two occasions and contributes in considerable numbers to Irish international teams. It has also had members succeed, through their competition results in GB, in gaining places on the prestigious British Junior Squad.