New Event Director for WOC 2024 appointed

We are delighted to announce that Andy Mitchelmore has been appointed as the new Event Director for WOC 2024.

“I’m excited to take on the Event Director role for WOC 2024 and to be working with key stakeholders and the passionate and knowledgeable members of the Orienteering community to deliver another world-class event in Scotland.    

Having held strategic and operational roles in the planning and delivery of major sporting events within the UK, Ireland and the Middle East for more than 20 years; I have successfully worked with National and International Federations from a range of sports, broadcasters, funding partners and sponsors.      

As an Edinburgh resident for most of my life, I am proud to have previously led the delivery of major elite and mass participation sporting events in my home city.  I am looking forward to continuing my relationships with City of Edinburgh Council, Historic Environment Scotland and EventScotland, and engaging trusted local suppliers to ensure the success of WOC 2024 in the Scottish Capital.”  

Senior Home International Team Selection

The following athletes have been selected to represent Scotland at the 2023 Senior Home International, which will be held in Wales on the 9/10th September. It is a strong team despite several top runners being unavailable, and we wish them the best of luck as they attempt to win for the first time in several years. Congratulations to Aidan Smith and Niamh Hunter representing Scotland for the first time.


Graham Gristwood

Matt Gooch

Aidan Smith

James Ackland

Mark Nixon

Daniel Stansfield


James Hammond

Adam Barrie

Frank Townley


Niamh Hunter

Mairi Eades

Kirstin Maxwell

Kathryn Barr

Katrina McLeod

Kirsten Strain


Isobel Howard

Daisy McNamara

Fiona Eades

Two exciting opportunities within the SOA Team

We sought to appoint two new members of staff over the summer period. Unfortunately we were not able to fill the roles. We are grateful for those who applied but feel that we are looking for a more experienced skill set.

Are you passionate about orienteering? We have two roles which offer the opportunity for someone who loves orienteering and is looking for a new challenge.

Senior Development Officer

We are looking for someone to work alongside our existing development officer, Heidi Ross, who is based in Edinburgh and is full time. The role offers the opportunity for an experienced orienteer to help develop the sport through exciting projects with partners and support clubs with their development. Whilst the role is advertised as a 3.5 day a week role we are are flexible and would consider splitting the role or looking at ways to potentially create a full time role for the right candidate.

The team supports clubs with the development of orienteering in Scotland and therefore it is essential that any applicant has a full driving license and access to a car. The post involves home working but the team meet on a regular basis both online and in person. The role outline can be found here.

We are offering a great package to the suitable applicant so come and join our small and enthusiastic team at the SOA. Applications are being sought by close of play 7th September 2023. Please contact Nikki Howard with any queries and submit a CV and covering letter outlining your suitability for the post to

Events and Operations Manager

The Events and Operations Manager post offers the opportunity for flexible working from home, with a small and enthusiastic team, to ensure high standard events are delivered for SOA and the Scottish 6 Days Company.

Working on behalf of the Scottish 6 Days Company (2 days a week) the successful candidate will operate as the assistant event coordinator for the biannual Scottish 6 Days Event in Deeside in 2025 and also act as assistant event coordinator for the World Orienteering Championships in Edinburgh in 2024. The remaining time (2 days a week) will be spent on work for the SOA ensuring a successful calendar of events is delivered and strategic partnerships are maintained.

If you are an excellent communicator who is passionate about ensuring high quality events are delivered in Scotland please take a further look at the role here.

Applications are being sought by close of play 7th September 2023. Please contact Nikki Howard with any queries and submit a CV and covering letter outlining your suitability for the post to

Event Coordinator sought for 2025 6 Days event

The next Scottish Orienteering 6-Day event is due to be held in the Deeside area in 2025. The Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Co Ltd (6-Day Company) is seeking a Coordinator for this event.  

The Coordinator will play a key role in the successful delivery of the event, through the coordination of a team of volunteers and paid-for services as appropriate.

The management and running of the event is delegated by the 6-Day Company to a Central Organising Team (COT). The COT is led by the Coordinator, and is supported by the Events & Operations Manager of the Scottish Orienteering Association who is appointed as Assistant Coordinator. A Director of the 6-Day Company will also sit on the COT to give advice where necessary. The Coordinator will be responsible for appointing members of the COT which can either be from one club or drawn from several clubs of the SOA, as considered appropriate.

Deeside 2025 will be the 25th staging of the Scottish 6 Days, and there is a wealth of experience within the Scottish Orienteering community to help deliver this biennial event. 

The Coordinator will be appointed by the Board of Directors of the Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Co Ltd.

Please contact if interested.

Job Vacancy: Events and Operations Manager

With less than a week to Moray 2023 we are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic individual with experience in event delivery to fulfill the role of Events and Operations Manager. The Events and Operations Manager role provides support to clubs and the Scottish Orienteering Association to ensure that event calendar runs smoothly as well as supporting the organisation of the biannual Scottish 6 Days Event and the very exciting World Orienteering Championships in Edinburgh in 2024.

With a competitive salary package and the ability to be located anywhere in Scotland this is 4 day a week role worth investigating further.

Closing date for applications is 14th August 2023 and the role description being found here. For any queries on the role please contact Nikki Howard at

Widening access -the trials of trail

In theory – Trail orienteering ( Trail) is sold as an accessible form of orienteering.

TrailO provides an orienteering competition for people of all levels of physical ability, including those who are physically challenged and may be confined to wheelchairs.  

British Orienteering Website

In practice this is not the case.

Trail orienteering as it currently stands is only for those with competent map skills and who essentially are existing orienteers. The events on offer in the UK are aimed at people with high level skills – TD 3 and above. You need to be able to interpret contours and be familiar with descriptions and the nuances of directions etc. There are almost no young people involved in Trail orienteering and certainly none in Scotland.

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Maprun training

Lots of changes and improvements to MapRun have happened in the past few years so we are delighted to be able to offer a practical workshop August 19th in Edinburgh run by Sarah Dunn.

This will be at  SportScotland Caledonia House, 1 Redheughs Rigg, South Gyle, Edinburgh EH12 9DQ

Interested? BOOK HERE

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Priorities for clubs

Below is the report from the club priorities exercise carried out earlier this year.

Summary of key themes, priorities and issues

Most clubs are back up to pre-covid levels of activity hosting a range of events, socials and activities. Clubs not back up to pre-covid activity levels tend to be those who had areas devastated by Storm Arwen or clubs with little or no activity in covid. Some clubs found new energy and revisited what they were doing. 

Generally communication is targeted at members rather than newcomers and people who may want to find out more about orienteering. Clubs see an important role for SOA/BOF here ensuring wider external communication.

Key priorities for clubs are: growing membership focussed on young people and families; consolidation – both keeping the long term members they have and retaining new members; getting local events up and running again; encouraging travel beyond the local; participation in training not just events.

Succession planning is highlighted as a key area of concern and an area requiring support.

Club Conference 2020 – Pre-Covid 

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Sharing Good Practice: KFO Attracting and Welcoming New Members

In the last two years Kingdom of Fife Orienteers (KFO) have tripled their membership. In this good practice article we explore how the club has attracted and welcomed so many newcomers into our sport. 

KFO Chair Claire Duncan successfully obtained a grant from Persimmon Homes to organise beginner orienteering sessions at Duloch. Being a small club with a limited volunteer base at the time, the grant money allowed KFO to hire a coach and try holding activities they wouldn’t normally have the capacity for. Outside, coach Kieran Watts led two sets of three introductory sessions for 12 juniors in April and May 2022, followed by an additional set in the autumn. These sessions, supported by KFO members, attracted numerous juniors and their families. This resulted in juniors and their families joining the club. 

Juniors with their certificates after the first junior coaching series 

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Community Conversation 3/07/2023: Development Plans Debrief 

This month’s community conversation focused on development plans. During the conversation we discussed the purpose of developments and explored how different clubs use their development plans. A number of clubs offered to share their development plans so we could see a wide range of approaches and potentially take some inspiration from other clubs. 

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