Month: December 2022

SOA development in 2022 – how have we done?

2022 has been a challenging year for the development team.  We have been understaffed for most of the year and this has put a great deal of pressure on the remaining staff.  We were very sorry to lose Sarah Dunn in the spring, but delighted that Fran Loots agreed to bring all her experience to the Development Manager position.  Attempts to recruit two part-time Development Officers to fill the void were unsuccessful, and we concluded that the best way forward was to go for one full-time post – and we were very pleased to welcome Heidi Ross to the team in August.  Suzanne Robins-Bird has brought a great deal of energy to the Coaching and Volunteering position and it feels now that we have a strong team going into 2023.

The SOA annual plan for 2022 listed these as our development aims for the year:

  • to encourage a coaching, mentoring and learning culture
  • to support youth development
  • to develop partnerships with demonstrable benefits
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Can you help to improve the format of the Scottish Inter Club Championships for 2023?

In order to make the competition more inclusive to all forms of orienteering, the format of the Scottish Inter Club Championships (SICC) was changed for 2022 to include results for all five individual championships, the Compass Point Scottish Orienteering League, the Scottish Urban Orienteering League and regional events.  This empowered members who don’t compete at championship level, or simply prefer urban or sprint orienteering, to contribute towards the overall result throughout the year.

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Night and simple

Remember street O – the pre-cursor to urban orienteering?

Sometimes simple can provide a lot of fun. Read the account from SOLWAY’s Tim O’Donoghue about their recent festive event

Festive night time event
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SOA Seek New Chief Operating Officer

The SOA’s Chief Operating Officer, Fiona Keir, has announced that she will be leaving us at the end of January. Fiona has been with us since 2018, and has been a key figure in steering the organisation as we have transitioned to a full Scottish Government Body. We will be recruiting a replacement for Fiona. To find out more about the COO vacancy, and details of how you can apply, please click here

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Competitive pairs on trial!

We are delighted that Edinburgh University Orienteering Club (EUOC) has offered to trial competitive pairs at the Big Weekend in Edinburgh at the end of January.  

Why Competitive Pairs?

Have you ever competed in a Mountain Marathon? If you have, you will know that this is often done in competitive pairs. This event style has a strong following, proving popular with young adults and runners who are new to navigation. It often ends up with a strong navigator running alongside someone who is a strong runner but less confident in their navigational skills. Running in a pair is great fun and has the potential to widen access to orienteering. Could we retain and engage more people in orienteering by introducing a pairs category at orienteering events?

Pair running at the Grampian Mountain Challenge
Picture Credit: GRAMP 
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Understanding Legal Structures of Clubs: Be Informed

Should our club be a registered charity? What does CASC mean? Is SCIO the same as charity status? What implications are there if we are an unincoporated organisation as a club?

These may be questions which have arisen in your club. We are delighted to be partnering with Club Development Scotland to bring you an online information session to better understand and take forward discussions within your club committees about which legal structure may be best for you. This session will take place on line on Tuesday 17th January starting at 6.30pm. You can sign up here for free

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Youth lead the way

Recently, six young people joined us for a day of training at Stirling University. They will soon be accredited Coaching Assistants – ready, able and willing to support their clubs and local squads.

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2022 Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) and Urban League (SOUL) Results

Our volunteers, Paul Hammond and Paul Caban, have been working hard collating all the results from this year’s SOL and SOUL events. We are very grateful for all their hard work and that of all the volunteers and clubs who made the events of 2022 happen.

Read on to find out how you and your club members have got on in 2022…

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2023 SOA Fixtures – Are your diaries at the ready?

The fixtures calendar for next year has been finalised and we are very grateful to all of those clubs who have volunteered to host the key dates in the SOA calendar in 2023.

After the change to the Scottish Inter-Club Championship this year and before we formalise any dates for next years competition, we are looking for any feedback on the format of the event this year/ how it could be improved.  Please email or with any comments before 31st December 2022.

Here are the dates for next year, to avoid disappointment, get them in your diary now!

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