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Fiona, 14, navigates her way to world orienteering championship
‘HUMAN Sat Nav’ Fiona Bunn is to represent England in the World Schools Orienteering Championships in Portugal.
The 14-year-old will join four others in the Junior Girls team running from checkpoint to checkpoint at Monte Gordo, from April 15-21.
Fiona has won a grant under Vale of White Horse District Council’s Awards for Young People scheme to partly cover the cost of her trip to the Algarve.
It is given to those who demonstrate outstanding levels of achievement in sport, art or citizenship and she received it at an award ceremony last Wednesday at Abingdon Guildhall.
The Abingdon youngster said orienteering requires the right combination of mental and physical strength.
She said: “You have to be quite fast at running and navigating, and doing both at the same time.
“There have been times when I have got completely lost. It can get quite worrying sometimes but there is always a way out.
“The best thing to do is to go back to your last checkpoint if you can remember where that is.”
To qualify she took part in two races in the British Schools Orienteering Championships in Cheshire in November.
Competitors have to navigate between points on a map using the route they think will complete the course in the quickest time.
Fiona has been tracing a fast track to success in the sport since she was a child.
Parents Alison and Nigel both 48, are keen orienteerers and helped navigate Fiona around beginners’courses as a toddler.
She said: “I’m really looking forward to going to Portugal and maybe helping to win the title for England. My mum and dad are really proud too.”
The St Helen and St Katharine School pupil is a member of Thames Valley Orienteering Club, which has about 200 members.
Chairman Mike Shires said: “This is a great achievement by Fiona who is one of the rising stars of Thames Valley Orienteering Club. Her selection shows she is one of the top British orienteers in her age group.”
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