Dr Phillips explains: “Trail Orienteering is a form of orienteering but without the need for fast running. It concentrates on map reading skills at speed and accurate terrain interpretation, which means it can equalise the playing field regardless of physical ability.
“I’m really happy but surprised to get picked to represent Great Britain at the World Championships, I didn’t expect it. What I love about this sport is how inclusive it is; you don’t have to run to participate in it and we compete regularly with people with a vast variety of physical challenges."
He added: “I started orienteering (the running version) 10 years ago as I was looking for things to do with my daughter that would get her outside. However, while I became a regular participant, her involvement didn’t last!”
Iain runs for Leicestershire Orienteering Club and was part of the team that brought the British Championships to the Loughborough campus in 2019. He has competed in the Jan Kjellström International Festival - the UK’s major orienteering event held each Easter - every year since 2013, this year winning a TrailO gold medal. His first major competition was representing Great Britain at the 2018 European Championships, which he competed in again earlier this year when it was held in Finland.
Not only is Dr Phillips a Senior Lecturer at the University,he is also the Acting Head of Computer Science and Director of Academic Staffing in the School of Science. He has been with the University for 30 years and has over 100 publications to his name.
Dr Phillips competes in the World TrailO Orienteering Championships in Jelenia Gόra, Poland later this month.