Month: March 2023

It’s Moray in March for ScotJOS

ScotJOS headed to the Moray coast for a training camp in March. Although the traditional
Moray areas are all embargoed due to the Scottish 6 Days, we were able to visit some of the less
well known areas. There was also the draw to return to the Duffus Hall – one of the favourite
venues in the ScotJOS list of halls. It is a lovely big hall and has hot showers and a separate
(carpeted!) hall for the coaches – who like a little more comfort than a hard wood floor!

Friday evening was the traditional night-O at Carsehill and a chance to stretch the muscles after a
long drive and meet up with orienteering friends. We then headed to hall for dinner and the after
dinner entertainment – lessons in erecting and taking down the new ScotJOS tent! You learn many
skills at a ScotJOS weekend, not just orienteering.

Jon supervising lessons in erecting the tent Photo Credit: Judith Bell
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Community Conversation: relaunch with a look at SOA finance

Our monthly series of Community Conversations is relaunching on Monday 3rd April with a conversation with our Treasurer about the SOA Finances. This topic will be looked at as part of the Club Conference being held on Saturday 15th April in Perth and if you have not yet signed up – then find out more here

The community conversations were launched as a means of ensuring that we hear the views of our members, through a virtual discussion on what was hoped to be a monthly basis. With a change of personnel and because we were aware that there was a overabundance of consultation projects going on through BOF and also the Making the Most of WOC 2024 project these were temporarily put on hold.

The learning gathered from the Making the Most of WOC 2024 project is being brought together into a project proposal by the consultants, Baroudeur, who will share their thoughts and findings at the Club Conference on 15th April.

Following on from that consultation with the SOA community, we are keen to be relaunch our Community Conversations. The first in the series will be a look at the SOA finances. Our treasurer, Ben Hartman, will explain how the SOA is financed, how the budget is spent and lead a discussion on the current financial position of the SOA. We are keen to hear from a diverse range of our members on their thoughts on how the SOA is financed and plans that need to be made for the future in terms of funding/ focus. Please register for the session on Monday 3rd April at 7pm by emailing Nikki Howard on

As ever, we would welcome any suggestions of topics for discussion but at the moment we have the following programme pencilled in so far:-

  • Making the Most of WOC 2024 (8th May)
  • SOA AGM (5th June)
  • Club Development Planning (3rd July)
  • Access Issues (4th September)
  • Volunteer Strategy (9th Ocotber)
  • The coaching culture (6th November)
  • 2024 look ahead (4th December)

Why be a controller? Your sport needs you!

A Grade C controllers’ course is being run on 22nd April at Kinnoul Hill near Perth. If you are interested in becoming a controller and providing a vital service for the growth of our sport, please fill in the registration form.

Is this control in the right place?

We asked our president and Operations Director, Richard Oxlade, about his role as a controller and why he would recommend it to others.

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BUCS Orienteering 2023

Last weekend was BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Orienteering. Students travelled from 23 different institutions from across the UK for a weekend of student orienteering. Each year a student club takes on the responsibility of hosting the competition. This year it was Edinburgh University’s turn to host. Let’s find out how the BUCS weekend went: 

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The middle distance was swiftly followed by a big climb this weekend!

Well some may say that the best things come in small packages and perhaps the same could be said about this weekend as it certainly packed a big punch, with the Scottish Middle Distance Championships counting towards the Scottish Inter-Club Championships on Saturday swiftly followed by the 2nd Compass Point Scottish Orienteering League event of 2023 on Sunday. Add to that the convergence of lots of students from as far afield as Cambridge for the 2023 BUCS individuals and relay orienteering event meant lots of excitement!

Some tense relay action near the finish Photo Credit Alison O’Neil

Forth Valley Orienteers (FVO) held off the weather on Saturday to take us to Beecraigs Country Park near Linlithgow for the Scottish Middle Distance Championships. Full results can be found here with a full list of the Scottish Middle Distance Champions

The start may have been muddy but there was plenty of variety and the abundance of students made for a great atmosphere. The selection of cakes being sold certainly seemed to go down well with all in attendance!

The Scottish Middle Distance Championship was the third of the monthly events which form the Scottish Inter-Club Championship. This month’s results can be found on the Scottish Orienteering Championship’s page and using this link here

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Club Conference – 15th April 2023

The Club Conference will take place 10am – 4 pm on 15th April 2023 in Perth.  The exact agenda is still to be formalised but will include the following:

  • SOA finances and strategic plan 2024 – 2028
  • Key discussion – what do we mean by a thriving sport and how can we achieve that?
  • WOC 2024 Development plan
  • Round up of the year with an emphasis on post Covid recovery.
  • Feedback from the club listening exercise currently ongoing.
  • Competition calendar – achieving the right balance.

A buffet lunch and a fun ‘O’ break will be included.

Last Club Conference

Anyone who wishes to suggest other items for the agenda should contact or make it known to the members of the staff team hosting the club listening.  

We have allocated 2 places per club in the first instance. These do not necessarily have to be committee members but club members who contribute to the life of the club and wish to attend.  Further places may be made available to further members from individual clubs depending on uptake. Anyone wishing to attend should fill out the registration form.

Obituary: Ken Davidson (INVOC)

Following notification of his death, the SOA would like to send our deepest condolences to the family of Ken Davidson who passed away on Saturday 4th March, aged 93. He, along with his late wife Lilian, was one of the first members of Inverness Orienteering Club (INVOC) when it was formed in 1978.

During his long term membership of INVOC he held the position of president and vice president of the club, acted as organiser for the 1986 British Orienteering Championships at Achilty and co-oordinated the 1994 World Veteran Championships in Strathspey among other things. He also contributed towards the administration of the sport by holding the post of President of the SOA for a period during the 1990’s and editing the SOA’s Score magazine.

He is survived by his son, Magnus, and a funeral service will be held on Friday 24th March at 11.30am in the Funeral Home of William T Fraser & Son, Culduthel Road, Inverness.

2023 Scottish Orienteering Night Championship Trophies all now claimed

In Errochty on Sunday the final 2023 Scottish Night Championship Trophies found their recipients. Thank you to MAR Orienteering Club (MAROC), Balmoral Castle & Estate and Royal Lochnagar Distillery for hosting the 2023 Scottish Orienteering Night Championship in the challenging Balmoral terrain. The various headtorches made for a spectacular sight amongst the beautiful forest for those that lifted their heads from concentrating on the contour and rock details but for those out later or who strayed off course there were some very quiet bits of forest out there.

Concentration….. Photo Credit: MAROC
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Looking forward to the Scottish Inter -Club Championships March event?

The Compass Sport Cup heat at Faskally – hosted successfully by St Andrew’s Orienteering Club (Glasgow) (STAG) – provided an excellent opportunity for clubs to gain some momentum in the 2023 Scottish Inter-Club Championship.

Faskally Photo Credit: Fredrik Nordvall Forsberg

This year’s new format sees one counting event per month with events spread geographically throughout the country. The best 20 club runners count towards a club’s score in the Senior Large Clubs and in the Senior Small Clubs it is the best 10 runners. In the Junior Large Clubs it is the best 6 runners and best 3 runs for the Junior Small Clubs. With one event per month there is ample opportunity for every member to help count towards their club’s total! Current standings can be found here.

In the Senior Large Clubs, Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club (ESOC), after last year coming a close second to Forth Valley Orienteers (FVO), have taken an early lead with East Lothian Orienteers (ELO) lying in third and Moravian Orienteers (MOR) and Inverness Orienteering Club (INVOC) close behind.

In the Senior Small Clubs, Clydeside Orienteers (CLYDE) have the lead on Edinburgh University Orienteering Club (EUOC) with STAG and Badenoch and Strathspey Orienteering Club (BASOC) having only 29 points between them for third and fourth place. The current shock is that Roxburgh Reivers (RR), last year’s Senior Small Club winners find themselves in fifth place.

It will come as little surprise to most juniors that FVO are currently leading the Junior Large Clubs, but it is a close run things between MOR, ESOC and ELO for second, third and fourth place. Ayrshire Orienteering Club (AYROC) are currently leading the charge in the Junior Small Clubs from RR and BASOC.

The March event for the Scottish Inter-Club Championships is the Scottish Middle Championships being hosted by FVO in Beecraigs near Linlithgow. Entries close on 12th March so get your Scottish Middle Championships Entry in now!!