SOA Patron Karen Darke wins Gold at Rio

Congratulations to Inverness-based hand cyclist Karen Darke, who has won gold for Great Britain in cycling’s H1-3 time trial at the Rio Paralympics.

Development Officer changes at Scottish Orienteering

Mike Rodgers

Mike RodgersMike started back in August 2012 to focus on the club development of Moravian. Thanks to his vast experience in orienteering and his enthusiasm, he was able to support the club to raise membership to well over 200. He can be proud of his achievements over these past four years and we are wishing him all the best with his career at the National Trust for Scotland’s property, Brodie Castle.

Mel Nicoll

Mel NicollLocal to Birnam, Mel has focussed on Tayside Orienteers and has been working hard to develop and promote the benefits of membership – a healthy programme of local events, coaching opportunities, regular training nights, improved capture and retention of potential member contact details and regular communication with them. Mel will continue to be involved in the club and will otherwise focus on her work with the John Muir Trust.

Sarah Dunn

Sarah DunnSarah’s home in Aboyne was a perfect base to work with MAROC and she has done so since February 2015. A primary focus initially was to re-invigorate membership in the Aboyne area where it had declined significantly in recent years, while aiming to maintain the club’s strong base in Banchory. Activities have focussed on autumn and spring blocks of introductory sessions for families and after-school clubs in both Banchory and Aboyne. 

With Sarah's contract coming to an end, she has been working on an application to the Cairngorms LEADER Programme for funds for a completely new kind of project, called Community Orienteering and Protection of the Environment (COPE). This is an innovative departure for orienteering and we of course hope the application will succeed – watch this space!

Johannes Petersen

Johannes PetersenAnd last but certainly not least, Johannes Petersen will remain the Club Development Officer for INVOC and BASOC until October 2016. At which time his role will morph into the new Regional Development Officer North. We are delighted that Johannes will stay on board in this exciting new role after all his great achievements with his local clubs. Great to have you on board, Johannes!

We hope to be appointing a new Regional Development Officer (Central / South) within the next few weeks.

Scottish Orienteering is extremely grateful for the dedication, hard work, bright ideas and new initiatives that all four have brought to their jobs. Our thanks to sportscotland and the Robertson and Davidson Trusts for helping us to fund these positions. Here is to the next chapter of development work within orienteering! 

Brian Porteous retires as IOF President

Brian Porteous of FVO and former Scottish Orienteering President has retired as IOF President after 4 years in the post and a total of 14 years in senior IOF positions. Brian chaired his final IOF General Assembly in Strömstad on Friday where he was honoured by the award of an IOF Gold Pin. The federations at the General Assembly also unanimously elected him as the third IOF Honorary Life President, a position also held by Scottish Orienteering and FVO member Sue Harvey.

It’s everyone’s responsibility – Safeguarding in Sport

The SOA is working closely with Children First who, among other things, support all sports in safeguarding children. Their message is a simple one and is being summed up in this new video.

If you have questions regarding safeguarding children and young adults in your club or in orienteering in general, please contact


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.

Presidents Medal

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

Apologies were received from those named above.
2.Approval of the Minutes of the 2015 AGM
The Minutes of the 2015 AGM were accepted.
3.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.

5.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.

6.President’s Medal
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.

BTO SOUL 6/7, Sprint Scotland, Jul 16/17

Sprint Scotland is an orienteering training camp with a difference

  • Professional maps
  • Professional course setting
  • Professional analysis
  • Set in the heart of beautiful Scotland
  • Short travel distances
  • Good social elements
  • Talks from World Class sprint orienteers

All training sessions and races in Stirling or nearby (and all accessible without car).
Stirling is 30-40 minutes from Edinburgh and Glasgow (both have international airports and train connections to Stirling).
Recommend Stirling Youth Hostel or other accommodation in Stirling.

All maps new or updated for Sprint Scotland, including Stirling City Centre (Race The Castles 2014) and Bannockburn (World Ranking Event 2015).


Thursday 14th – Training day north of Stirling

1) Dunblane Long training session with 'skill sections' challenging different aspects of sprint orienteering.
2) Bridge of Allan Standard sprint course with a mix of leg lengths and urban and forest elements.
3) Braco Sprint relay training in Roman Fort – grassy terrain with complex contour detail. Sport Ident.

Friday 15th – Training day in Stirling

1) Stirling Old Town and Riverside Route choice training around the castle, old town and riverside area of Stirling. Sport Ident.
2) Stirling City Centre Standard sprint course in modern city centre.
3) Braehead, Broomridge, Bannockburn Sprint interval loops in complex housing estate area.

Saturday 16th – Hallglen (2 races organised by Sprint Scotland team)

Complex housing estate area on a slope with many grassy areas. Never used before. Morning race will be a World Ranking Event.

Sunday 17th – Grangemouth (race organised by Forth Valley Orienteers)

Complex housing estate area. Never used before. World Ranking Event and Scottish Urban League.

Sprint Scotland is organised by

Graham Gristwood (4th WOC Sprint 2011, 2nd World Cup Final Sprint 2010)
Fanni Gyurko (14th WOC Sprint 2012, 18th WOC Sprint 2015)
Kris Jones (2nd JWOC Sprint 2010, 8th WOC Sprint 2015)

More details on the Sprint Scotland website

Scottish Team Selections for the 2016 VHI

Please contact Team Manager Janice Nisbet on as soon as possible to confirm availability.

M35Will Hensman 
 Anthony SquireReserve
M40Roger Goddard 
 Dave Godfree 
 Drew TivendaleReserve
M45Ben Stansfield 
 Patrick Walder 
 Fraser PurvesReserve
M50Jon Musgrave 
 Dave Robertson 
 Tim GriffinReserve
M55Bob Daly 
 Donald Petrie 
 John TullieReserve
M60Eddie Harwood 
 Callum Scott 
 Paul DuleyReserve
M65Andy Tivendale 
 Dave ArmitageReserve
W35Janine Inman 
 Claire WardReserve
W40Kirsty Bryan-Jones 
 Heather Thomson 
 Mary RossReserve
W45Sarah Dunn 
 Jenny Peel 
 Susan BlackwoodReserve
W50Alison Cunningham 
 Hazel Dean 
 Jane AcklandReserve
W55Jane Halliday 
 Amelia Petrie 
 Fran LootsReserve
W60Gill Berrow 
 Pauline Macadam 
 Janice NisbetReserve
W65Joan Noble 
 Mary WilliamsReserve

NB Rob Hickling would have been selected for M60, but had already said he wasn't available. 

BTO Solicitors extend SOUL series sponsorship

Great news – the successful 3 year partnership between BTO Solicitors and the Scottish Orienteering Urban League has been extended for a further 2 years until the end of 2018.

The popular BTO SOUL series turned 5 this year and our sponsors BTO also celebrated becoming a Limited Liability Partnership on 1 April this year. They are now known as BTO Solicitors LLP and have a brand new logo as well.