Perse pupil finds his way to national orienteering honours

Picture: Robert Lines

Erik Biernacki-Jablonski (Year 7) put himself on the map by claiming two bronzes at the British Orienteering Championships in Cold Ash, Berkshire.

He came third in the boys’ U12 individual long distance event in a time of 44min 42sec and joined West Anglian Orienteering Club (WAOC) members Alys Powell and Elysia Cowe to match that position in the mixed U12 relay race in a time of 49min 43sec.

Erik said: “I was hopeful that I would do well and these are my biggest achievements so far.

“As it was a long distance event, the straight-line length of the course was 3.8km, although I ran some 5.6km as you have to find all the controls in a specific order and ‘dib’ them once you arrive at them.

“I felt that I was doing relatively well as I ran to the finish, even though I got a bit lost on the 10th and 11th controls. This proved to be true judging by the final results.”

Erik began orienteering three-and-a-half years ago after enjoying an introductory event organised by WAOC and now takes part in events most weekends with his club.

His achievements include winning the East Anglian Orienteering League in his age group in 2021 and 2022 and finishing runner-up representing The Perse in the Year 7 boys’ category at the British Schools Championships last November.

Erik said: “The club gives me advice, support and a sense of community and to help with the running aspect, I am generally active and I also do lots of swimming.

“My favourite aspect of orienteering is the fact that you do not just have to use your body or your brain, but both in a balanced way.”

There will be no let-up for Erik over Easter as he will be taking part in the prestigious Jan Kjellstrom International Festival of Orienteering in the Lake District against competitors from across the world.

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