ScotJOS Summer in Sweden
As well as the 35 ScotJOS members, there were 7 adults to cover the driving, coaching, control hanging and shopping/cooking: me, Rona Molloy (FVO), Liz Orr (CLYDE), Ross Lilley (ECKO), Josh Dudley (MAROC), Zoe Harding (EUOC) and Peter Bray (SN).
The accommodation was nearly perfect (a few more toilets would have been ideal) with separate sleeping areas for girls and boys in the local Scout ‘hut’, and showers and changing rooms (which doubled as drying rooms) + kitchen and dining area about 200m away in the local Tug of War team ‘hut’. The outside area WAS perfect! Plenty of space for football complete with goals, a large tyre swing, places to sit and chat or make use of the free wi-fi from the After-School Club house next to the Scout Hut, all with the added bonus of the local Co-Op being an enticing 10 minute walk away – who needed orienteering?!
But the forests called…
As Lead Coach I had made an outline plan of the coaching for the 5 days with a different focus for each day, building up skills and confidence in the terrain ready for the competition and with Ross, Zoe and Peter we planned the exercises to provide plenty of opportunity for practising, developing and testing individuals’ skills and technique. Many of the exercises offered the 16s and 18s a chance to use 1:15000 as 2 days of the competition would be at that scale. For some it was the first time they had been able to use a map that had been surveyed and drawn at 1:15.
With such a large group logistics was always going to be a challenge; fortunately none of the forests was more than 20 minutes drive away, so Zoe, Peter and Josh were able to join us at the beach/accommodation after training then go out to hang the next days’ controls and still be back in time for the main meal. They put in a tremendous amount of effort and are to be congratulated that, bar one (!), all the controls were in the right place and we could start each day promptly with a briefing that included what the area was like.
Day 1 was a gentle introduction with an area, Stuvbiten, well-used by the local club and which we all agreed made us feel at home. Days 2 and 3 were on different parts of Idala, where we learnt that forest mapped as light green did not mean what we expected and although it was quite dark in there, the mature pine trees provided a dense canopy so that the forest floor was as if someone had come and swept it clean!
Days 4 and 5 were on different parts of Dotetorp but when I say that the full map at 1:15 was A3 size you can imagine that we were not overlapping at all. Whereas the first 3 days had been very typical Swedish forest with a lot of boulders, marsh, mainly natural pine forest with bilberry ground cover, this area was typical of a different type of Scandinavian terrain – huge areas of ‘flat’ bare, rounded rock with birch, bog myrtle and some pine scattered between.
Peter, Zoe and Josh were tireless in the way they were always ready to go out in the terrain with groups and individuals which was greatly appreciated by everyone. Meanwhile Rona, Ross and I were fully occupied in talking through exercises, checking out/in and getting out in the terrain ourselves so we were able to lead coaching groups each evening.
And so to the competition. This was less than 10km from Frillesas with a middle race on Friday evening and two long distance races on Saturday and Sunday with the added excitement of a chasing start on Sunday. The organisation was slick and made everything easy for the competitor. One thing they couldn’t quite manage was the weather which was driech on Saturday; the juniors used it as an excuse to see how many they could get in one group shelter (a lot!). All the local contacts, made through the Hallands 3 Days Co-ordinator, were extremely welcoming and helpful.
At the prize-giving, the announcer got used to saying Scottish Junior Squad as there were several prizes in each age-group (down to 23rd place in some!) Grace was the highest placed with a podium finish, 2nd in W16.
When we weren’t orienteering or playing football etc , we enjoyed the local beaches, gave an impromtu performance of scottish dancing at an ‘international meeting’ evening, got stuck in with washing up and on the last day endured the ‘Last Blast’ devised by Sam, Ewan and Alex who will be moving on to M20 next year.
SOA Annual General Meeting 2016
Summary of the meeting
SOA President Roger Scrutton and Treasurer Ian McIntyre went into some detail of the challenges facing the SOA, and explained the rationale behind the proposals presented in the SOA AGM booklet. Highlights from Directors reports were picked out, and there were special thanks to Terry O’Brien for his work as Operations Director over the past six years. The work of the Development staff was praised, and it was stressed how important it was to try and retain members once they had joined up. The expertise of Directors in the Board carried forward from their employment was also highlighted, particularly from Ian and Claire Macpherson (our Partnership Director). It was stressed that the SOA has its own objectives, and our Charity status does differentiate us from British Orienteering and other Associations.
The SOA looks forward to Stefanie Lauer joining as Chief Operating Officer, and she should be relieving Directors of some of the current tasks they get involved with. Paul Frost was keen that a “Job Description Plus” was published to describe Stef’s role. Colin Matheson and Hilary Quick take up new part-time roles with effect from the beginning of June, as Events Manager and Education Manager respectively.
There are some voluntary roles still to fill – Andy Paterson is stepping down from organising the popular Scottish Orienteering Urban League (SOUL) and we still need a Competitions Convener. Sally Lindsay has produced high quality copies of SCORE, but she is standing down from this role in September.
It was announced that Terry O’Brien will act as Coordinator for the Scottish 6 Days in 2019.
The proposals to increase the SOA membership fees and to remove the need of members to be members of the British Orienteering Federation were accepted with large majorities. The latter (a change to byelaws) clears the way for the SOA Board to introduce club and SOA only membership options but a number of practical and operational issues will need to be resolved.
Marsela Macleod was unanimously re-elected as Performance Director and Roos Eisma was unanimously elected as the Operations Director.
Roger announced that the President’s Medal was awarded to Richard Oxlade for all his hard work for Highland 2015, including steering the Steering Group on the joint venture with British Orienteering and helping resolve issues at Glen Affric.
Pre AGM info
Directors Reports and Proposals along with the Proxy Voting Form were contained within the 2016 AGM Booklet.
Minutes of SOA AGM 2016
held at Crathie Kirk Hall, on Saturday 21st May 2016
Present: Roger Scrutton (Chair), Colin Matheson, Anne Hickling, Ian & Jane McIntyre, Johannes Petersen, Anne Thom, Ian & Eleanor Pyrah, Mike Rodgers, Davie Frame, Brian Bullen, Angela Dixon, Roos Eisma, Elaine Gillies, Paul Frost, Lynne Walker, Bill & Katherine Melville, Suse & John Coon, Robin & Sheila Strain, Patricia McLaughlin, Sarah & Pauline McAdam, (minutes)
Apologies: Dave & Jane McQuillen, Sally & Crawford Lindsay, Marsela McLeod, Grahame & Mel Nicoll, Paul Caban, Catherine Isherwood, Iain Shepherd, Benedict Bate, Ted & Val Finch, Lindsey Knox, Jacquie & James Laird, Donald Grassie, Claire & Andrew Macpherson, Sarah Dunn, Les & Margaret Dalgleish
||TITLE AND DISCUSSION ITEMS
|Apologies were received from those named above.
||Approval of the Minutes of the 2015 AGM
|The Minutes of the 2015 AGM were accepted.
||Annual Reports of Association Activities and the Scottish 6-Days Co. 2015-2016
|Reports cover the period post 2015 AGM and the first part of 2016. Detailed reports are available in the AGM Booklet but Directors and others were asked to comment further :
Roger Scrutton, President
Changes to staffing which will take place at the end of May 2016 were explained. A request was made that job descriptions outlining what the post holders can do for Scottish orienteers be available on the SOA web-site. Roger agreed to do this.
Terry O’Brien, Operations Director
Roger informed members that Paul Caban is willing to return to the role of Fixtures Secretary.
Anne Hickling proposed a vote of thanks to Terry for his years of service on the Board. Unanimously supported.
Ian Doig, Development Director
Comprehensive report includes reports from all of the Development Staff. Roger pointed out that all of these reports commented on the importance of trying to control membership churn.
A request was made for clubs to receive a more prompt return on their applications for Development funding. Roger agreed to look into this.
The Gift Aid scheme was highlighted. Members can now register on-line and money is distributed to their club.
Claire Macpherson, Partnership Director
Roger emphasised the final paragraph of this report regarding the relationship between SOA and BOF
He has requested that BOF involve the home nations more in strategic development.
Marketing and Communications – Ross McLennan
Roger informed members that Sally Lindsay has now edited “Score” for longer than she intended and so a new editor will be sought, to take over from September.
Colin Matheson, Professional Officer and Company Secretary
Foundation Level of the Equality Standard was achieved. A Good Practice Guide to Orienteering and the Environment in Scotland has been completed and is now on the web-site. Orienteers attending the Glen Affric SOL had the opportunity to use the bridge built for WOC. It was pointed out that the plaque on the bridge makes no mention of WOC. An action was proposed that Colin remedy this.
Ian McIntyre, Treasurer
Accounts presented in draft form. The final version will not be available until later in the year due to a change in the process.
Bill Melville proposed that the draft accounts be approved; seconded by Lynne Walker and approved unanimously.
Members were given an explanation as to why the membership fees need to be increased. (Proposal 1)
Dave Kershaw, Chair, Scottish 6 Days.
Roger informed the meeting that the 2019 6 Days will be based in the Crieff area and that Terry O’Brien has volunteered to co-ordinate the event with FVO as central organising club.
|1. The proposal to increase the Senior SOA membership fee from £7 to £8 in 2017.
Voting showed all present and all proxy votes (21) in favour. Proposal was accepted.
2. Amendment to Bye-Law 8 to remove the requirement for a member of SOA to also be a member of BOF. Updated Bye-Laws
A large majority of those present and 19 proxy votes in favour. Amendment to Bye-Law approved.
||Election of Officers
|Marsela McLeod (Performance) is retiring but standing for re-election.
She was re-elected unanimously by those present and by all proxy votes.
Terry O’Brien has completed two terms of office as Operations Director and Roos Eisma is standing as his replacement.
She was elected unanimously by those present and by all proxy votes.
|It was announced that this is being awarded to Richard Oxlade (Gramp) in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the success of Highland 15.
There was no other business.
2015 Financial Statements Report
The transactions in this annual report are unchanged from the report presented at the AGM in May, but the 2015 (and 2014) accounts have had to be re-stated because of a change in accounting policy. Accounts up to and including the year 2014 were structured under the Charities Regulations Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) 2006. For accounts from 2016 onwards SORP 2006 is withdrawn and will be replaced by Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 102. The 2015 accounts are a transition year and so for one year only have been prepared under the Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (FRSSE), which remains an option for the 2015 accounts within the 2006 regulations.
The eagle eyed may note that the accounting categories are slightly different with the FRSSE standard than that of SORP 2006 from last year. Further there is a requirement to recognise all grant income, donations or memberships in full in the year they are received and not accrue over the period they are intended for. For example, membership income, Sportscotland grants or other charitable donations received in 2015 for the year 2016 have to be recognised in 2015, not 2016. This has the apparent effect of inflating the SOA reserves. This is temporary and will unwind when the next years accounts are prepared. The projected impact on SOA reserves in 2018/19 at the planned expenditure rates discussed at the AGM will be unchanged.
Hopefully this will not confuse too many. Unfortunately its all going to change again next year.