THE Sydney West Schools orienteering championship has more than doubled in the past year.
Students from Colyton and Kingswood high schools were among the 400 who completed individual and relay events at Fred Caterson Reserve, Castle Hill.
Orienteering NSW development officer Barbara Hill said more volunteers recruited to cope with the growth.
"There are a lot of cross-curricular benefits to orienteering," Ms Hill said.
"You get the physical benefits, but you also get a lot of geography and maths.
"The kids get . . . the personal confidence of achieving something, of reading a map and dealing with the challenges. There's a lot of problem solving involved."
"If the kids who run are prepared to stop and read the map and really think about it they will get a really good time," Ms Hill said.
"The thing about orienteering is it is a very personal challenge between you and whoever set the course to finish.
"Often somebody that walks and visits the controls efficiently beats someone who is a runner but isn't thinking and is running in the wrong direction."
Colyton High School year 7 student Lilly Behrendt said the adventure aspect of the challenge was fun and finding some of the checkpoints was difficult.
Peer Andrew Reid said his experience of orienteering before the event had been confined to computer games.
"It was really fun running through the bush but finding some of the numbers was extremely frustrating," he said.