Lockdown weary kids embrace orienteering fun at Parkville Gardens

Lockdown weary kids embrace orienteering fun at Parkville Gardens
Brendan Rees

After months of being confined to their homes, the children of Parkville Gardens have wasted no time soaking up the outdoors while enjoying a fun day of orienteering.

The event, which coincided with Children’s Week, saw 50 kids accompanied by 20 adults traverse Royal Park and Parkville Gardens under blue skies on October 31.

Organised by the Parkville Gardens Residents’ Association and following COVID-safe rules, the participants broke up into groups as they used a compass and map to navigate their way around the 3.2km course.

Along the way the groups completed various activities such as finding numbers written on blackboards and throwing tennis balls towards a flag.

To add some fun, the groups also used to chalk to write messages at checkpoints for other participants to read.

Michael Thom, a committee member of the Parkville Gardens Residents’ Association, said the day was a success and a good opportunity for kids to learn navigation skills without using digital devices.

“There were lots of smiling faces and everyone seemed to enjoy the hour or so that it took to complete the course,” he said.

“We included a bag with everything they needed to complete the course and they got to keep the compass. There were also snacks and bottled water provided.”

“The weather was perfect, 21 degrees and sunny, which helps.”

Parkville Gardens resident Ajith Vasanthakumar said his nine-year-old son had a “great time” on the course after forming a group with his friends.

“It was actually fabulous and a bit refreshing for them to get out and do something with their friends after a long time [in lockdown],” he said •

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