SOA Volunteer Day 2nd June

The SOA team are delighted to welcome you all to a Volunteer’s Day to be held at Glenmore Lodge on Sunday 2nd June.  There will be a variety of workshops to cater for different interests and a chance to socialise before and after.  We are extremely lucky to have our sportscotland national trainers delivering two first class workshops designed to enhance volunteer management.

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Countdown to 2024 Scottish Schools Orienteering Festival

The 2024 Scottish Schools Orienteering Festival is being organised by St Andrews Orienteering Club, Glasgow (STAG) and is being held at Drumpellier Country Park, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire on Friday 7th June.  This is the 27th Scottish Schools Orienteering Festival and fourth time it has been held in Drumpellier Country Park having previously being held there in 2008, 2014 and 2017.

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Final chance to provide input to the Scottish Orienteering Strategy

Ensuring the future of Scottish Orienteering was at the forefront of the minds of the SOA Board when they met in March to consider the development of the strategy for Scottish Orienteering from 2025  to 2029.

The keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that this strategy is not just laying out what the SOA should be doing over the next four years but looking at the larger picture of what is required for Scottish Orienteering as a whole going forward.  The SOA, British Orienteering, clubs and members together with SportScotland all have a part to play to ensure our sport thrives.

Our sport is an inclusive, dynamic sport but like all sports it has challenges with the volunteer load required, the need to expand awareness of the sport beyond our existing participants, retain our existing members as well as being aware of environmental impacts of our sport.  However we believe that with us all working together we can develop and grow our sport.  On that basis we have drafted an outline strategy which looks at  the pathways within our sport and the actions which we believe should be taken over the next four years.

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Demystifying Organising workshops

The first delivery of the new Demystifying Organising workshops was well received.  Run over 2 online sessions with a fortnight in between for ‘homework’, the workshops were designed to give volunteers the confidence to organise a local/Level D event. 

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Come and race alongside the world’s best in Edinburgh this summer as part of the WOC Tour

If you are currently working out your summer orienteering plans, don’t forget you can race alongside the world’s best orienteers as part of the WOC Tour in Edinburgh this summer (11th-16th July), and entry fees are still at Early Bird prices – until 15th April. 

The WOC Tour offers a diverse range of orienteering races for all ages (from under 10 upwards*), which are fully integrated with the official Sprint World Orienteering Championships 2024 and use several WOC 2024 competition areas. The WOC Tour races are also planned so you won’t miss out on any of the elite racing action – either as a spectator or a volunteer

WOC Tour will feature six races, starting with a Warm-up Race on the open grassy terrain of Holyrood Park on Thursday 11th July. The following day (Friday 12th July) there will be an Urban Sprint Race in Leith, a historic port with an asymmetric street plan. On Saturday 13th July there is an Indoor Race at Edinburgh University’s Kings Buildings Campus and Sunday 14th July is the Urban and Campus Middle Race at Heriot-Watt University, which is also a Scottish Orienteering Urban League 2024 counter. 

Monday 15th July sees the Long Distance Urban Race, which is UK Urban League 2024 counter, come to the streets of Edinburgh Old Town, with its maze of narrow closes and wynds providing a navigation challenge throughout. The WOC Tour concludes with an Urban Sprint Race on Tuesday 16th July, which will use the WOC Arena at Wester Hailes, a residential area which has the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal running through it. 

A trip to the Capital for WOC 2024 promises to deliver a long weekend of fun – both in terms of spectating and racing. To find out more about WOC 2024 and the WOC Tour, including estimated course distances for all the WOC Tour races, visit the official website.

Entries are now open on SiEntries and Early Bird rates for the WOC Tour end on 15th April – so don’t forget to sign up! You can enter your age class or one of the 10 Open courses, the choice is yours.  

*Parents must check the daily notes for children under the age of 16 and 12 on the day of each race – there are some safety restrictions.

Moving to Inclusion

As you will have seen highlighted in recent news coverage there are 9 protected characteristics within the UK in terms of Equality legislation.  These are Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religious and Belief, Sex and Sexual Orientation.  Within Scotland we must also have due regard to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

In order to ensure that all sports and physical activity organisations move towards being a more diverse, inclusive and socially responsible sector the five UK Sports Councils (which includes SportScotland) have developed a programme which all Sports Governing Bodies supported by one of the UK Sports Councils must follow.  

This programme provides a framework for organisations to work through to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion are incorporated into an organisation’s everyday work.  The framework is intended to drive meaningful change in practice, tackle inequalities and lead to sustainable improvements in the representation, diversity and positive inclusive experiences.

As part of the work being carried out by the Scottish Orienteering Association we are looking to appoint an Equality Working Group consisting of staff and representatives of our membership to help review our organisation.  This Equality Working Group would help review the current position of the SOA which would then lead to the preparation of a continuous improvement plan to be implemented.  Initially it is thought that the working group would be in place for one year but there would likely be a role to review progress made by the SOA thereafter.

We are looking for members who have an interest in this area and would like to be involved in helping to ensure that Scottish Orienteering is the most welcoming and inclusive environment possible which will encourage diversity within the sport and adoption of the sport by under represented groups and communities.  If you are interested in being part of this group please get in touch with either our Welfare Director, Ken McDonald at or our Chief Operating Officer Nikki Howard at

We are hoping to arrange for the Equality Working Group to meet in a central location at the end of April in the first instance for a few hours but thereafter the commitment should be a few group meetings a year.

2024 Scottish Orienteering League gets off to a great start in the oak woodlands of Kintyre

Masterplan Adventure hosted the first Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) event of 2024 as part of their Scottish Spring Weekend. The weekend saw over 200 hardy souls test themselves against the delights of the Kintyre terrain. Masterplan Adventure provided the opportunity on Saturday for everyone to pit themselves against the knolls, boulders and crags of Torinturk for a middle distance event followed by an ultra sprint round Tarbert before the sun shone on the oak forest of Corranbuie on Sunday for the longer distance of the SOL. Sunday’s event was also the third event in the Scottish Inter-Club Championship.

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Can you help lost equipment find its way home?

Orienteering relies on our volunteers as you have heard us say many times. We are always grateful for their help but sometimes people might not be sure how or where to return things or if time is short think they will do it next time and it gets left in a corner. We have all been there.

So in that vein we are putting out a shout for two types of items that may be lurking in your house and asking that you get in touch so we can make sure they find their way home – GPS vests and a timing clock.

You will see below pictures of the items in question and, if you for any reason have one, can you please email so we can help it be returned.

10 GPS vests labelled SOA 5,6 and 15 (XS), 25 (S), 32,36,38 and 39 (M) and 48, 49 (L) are currently missing
A Scottish 6 Days timing clock in wooden box

Scottish Elite and Development Squad improving skills in Spain

The Scottish Elite and Development Squad (SEDS) is an initiative designed to help orienteers in their 20s and beyond to stay in the sport.

SEDS arranges for groups to take part in major events and training. In the middle of February, sixteen orienteers – paying their own way – travelled to Burgohondo, two hours west of Madrid, for a warm weather training camp.

The week in Spain ended with the four-day Maximus O Meeting (MOM) event.

The MOM is a huge and important event with a top field from across Europe. There were 85 in the Women’s Elite and 220 in the Men’s Elite, which had to be split in two to cope with the numbers.

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