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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Senior and Veteran Home International opportunities for 2024

The selection opportunities for 2024 have been agreed by the selectors. With the Senior Home Internationals take place in Scotland this year on 7/8th September in the Stirling area and Veteran Home Internationals take place in Ireland on 5th/6th October in Ireland.

2023 Scottish VHI and SHI teams
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Juniors make your voice heard!

As part of the process of devising a new Strategy for Scottish Orienteering post WOC, for the period from 2025-2029, we are looking to collect the views of the young people involved in our sport.

We have involved board members, staff and those who are willing to engage in one of the three strategy evenings we are holding online but are keen to ensure that we hear the voices of our young people. We have therefore prepared a short google form which should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

We are asking that forms are completed by Wednesday 6th March. Kudos together with potentially a sneaky prize for the club which gets the biggest percentage of juniors completing the form!

Find the form here….

junior google form

To Birnam Hill all but SOLWAY flocked!

The weather was kind to all those clubs who joined Forth Valley Orienteers (FVO) at Birnam Hill near Dunkeld for the 2024 Compass Sport Cup/ Trophy qualifying competition.

The sun is beginning to find its warmth and those who ventured to the far start up the edge of the mountain bike trails were rewarded (if they remembered to look) by some glorious views out across the Tay valley.

A view from near the summit Photo credit: Colin Matheson
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Orienteering Edinburgh: Lessons and Moving Forwards

Over the past 8 weeks, with a break over Christmas, Scottish Orienteering development team with the support of local volunteers have been running a series of events called Orienteering Edinburgh at Festival Square. Orienteering Edinburgh is aimed at newcomers and uses MapRun over SI Punching for simplicity and accessibility benefits. Events have taken place at the same time and place each week. As of February 15th, the event moved to the Meadows with the aim of attracting a new audience and providing a new challenge for our regular participants.

Recently, in the last couple of weeks, we have seen our participation numbers begin to grow. Those who have attended since the start have begun to join clubs, enter local events and encourage their friends along.

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Contribute to the formulation of the Scottish Orienteering Strategy for 2025- 2029

The last Scottish Orienteering Strategy document prepared covered the period 2020- 2024 and therefore the Scottish Orienteering Association Board are now spending the next month or two looking to gather your thoughts to allow the development of an SOA Strategy for 2025-2029.  This is an important part of securing SportScotland funding for the next four years.

As with the development of any Strategy the SOA Board will be looking to appraise needs of the sport and how you as a community would like to see it develop.  These views will then be considered and the Strategy will be presented to SportScotland and to members at the Club Conference to be held in the autumn.  

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Is your area/ club represented on the SOA Board?

You will be aware from SOA communications over the last few months that there are gaps currently on the SOA Board. We are seeking individuals to fill the roles of Operations Director, Performance Director and Marketing and Communications Director with Ben Hartman as Finance Director due to come to the end of his term.

Directors bring their experience to the Board to ensure the voice of all areas and clubs within the SOA is represented. Directors take up their post ideally for a three year period with the possibility of extending their role for another 3 years.

At present, we have representatives from Clydeside Orienteers (CLYDE), Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club (ESOC), Interlopers Orienteering Club (INT), Inverness Orienteering Club (INVOC) and Solway Orienteering Club (SOLWAY).

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2024 sees Course Allocation changes and a new BOF Trans Policy

BOF updated rules

As your club controllers will be aware the BOF Rules of Foot Orienteering have been amended as of 1st January 2024 in order to bring rules into line with the IOF policy to equalise men’s and women’s winning times for all age classes. The rules can be found here and include changes to the course which certain age classes are to run and course length ratios.  Course tables in the rules have been updated to show which course each age class will now run.

Addition of new Age Class for Scottish Orienteering League

Following the amendment of the BOF rules, the SOA Board has reflected on the change to the age classes and decided that it would be appropriate for all Scottish events to adopt the changes within the new BOF rules for all Scottish Championships, Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) and Scottish Orienteering Urban League events.

However, the SOA Board considered the feedback which has previously been received from Juniors in respect of the step up for M/W16 age classes in the Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) – long distance events. Juniors and parents have previously fed back that, at a time when they are physically developing at potentially very different rates, the step up from Light Green courses (Technical Difficulty 4) in the M14 age classes to the Blue course (Technical Difficulty 5) for M16 could be very large for some juniors. The amendment of the BOF rules has meant that M16 continue to be classified as running Blue courses but W16s are classified as running Short Blue courses.

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