Last year we hosted a successful Club Get Together in February prior to Covid and lockdown. It provided a useful platform to hear the voice of our clubs and discuss matters involving Scottish Orienteering. Unfortunately we cannot all gather in one room in person so we have adapted our plans to offer a virtual club conference. Building on the success of last year and offering a more flexible format we hope you will sign up and be part of our interactive sessions. We will open the Club Conference on Sunday 18th April at 7pm to let us set the scene for the discussions ahead, present on the successes of 2021 and outline our strategy moving forward.
Funding available to support club development, restart of activities and paid coaching opportunity
In anticipation of widening opportunities to organise and participate in orienteering once again, we would like to invite clubs to apply for funding that will help support them with this. Two funding streams are now open for applications as follows
Restart Development Fund
Restart Coaching Support Fund 2021
The deadline for applications to both funds is 30th Apr 2021.
A big thank you to all those who contributed to the success of our first community conversation on the topic of Gender Equality in Orienteering. We had over 50 people on the call on 15th March which indicates the interest in this area. A sincere thanks to the panel: Hollie Orr, Pippa Carcas, Graham Gristwood, Grace Molloy, Lucy Haines, Richard Oxlade and Sarah Dunn. They offered an insight into their orienteering pathways, influences and shared openly their opinions. We wanted to ensure we take forward some actions, which are outlined below.
January found us back in lockdown but keen to keep juniors engaged.
In order to do this, the SWAT( Scottish West Area Team) squad organised virtual coaching through a series of 5 online sessions. These ran over 5 Saturday mornings throughout February. Some 35 people including coaches signed up and kept coming back!
The sessions, headed up by Roger Goddard FVO, were structured so that we introduced the concept of systematic orienteering based around ideas shared during the BOF coaching conference. Plan, Direction, Picture and Distance.
We also had a weekly physical activity component led by Dawn Goddard FVO, ran a quiz then split into breakout groups according to levels ( orange , light green, green). Breakout groups allowed for more discussion and an opportunity to look at some practical examples of the element of systematic orienteering we had considered.
Feedback has been very positive and whilst no substitute for getting out there – it has given us a common language to use with the youngsters and we are now clearer about what the needs are.
As always, none of this would have been possible without the support and commitment from the team of volunteer coaches and the enthusiasm of the juniors and their parents. We are looking forward to being back putting skills into practice and taking part in the forthcoming Junior series.
As we look forward to getting back out into some of our favourite areas when restrictions allow, it is important we are always mindful of ticks and the potential risks associated with Lymes Disease. 24th-30th March is “Tick Bite Prevention Week” raising awareness of the consequences ticks can have on ours and our pets health.
We have written to British Orienteering to seek clarification of their 2nd club rule following last week’s question and answer session on our latest guidance. Scottish Orienteering understand the challenges imposed on some clubs/members by the restrictions of travel within local authority boundaries currently in place.
Following consultation, Scottish Orienteering can confirm that as of the 5th April when the ‘Stay At Home’ guidance is removed and we move to Level 4 restrictions (assuming National guidance reflects this) then the SOA can permit essential mapping, planning and controlling activity to resume. Mappers and volunteers will be permitted to travel outwith their local authority boundary to conduct these areas of work under ‘workplace guidance’ on behalf of SOA and Scottish 6 Days. All individuals must complete a risk assessment and ensure it is approved by either Richard Oxlade or Tim O’Donoghue.
We are part of a collective group of outdoor organisations which have published the ‘Manifesto for the Outdoors’ ahead of the Scottish National elections in coming months. We have a strong desire to ensure the benefits of outdoor activity is appreciated and due consideration is given to the necessary resources to maximise this resource for everyone in Scotland in 2021 and beyond.
We wish to share a research request from Mairi Eades who is conducting research in the area of adults participation in orienteering and their motivations. Please take 15minutes to complete the online questionnaire.