SOA routemap for the reactivation of orienteering in Scotland

Scottish Orienteering as the Governing Body for Orienteering in Scotland has a mandate to ensure the sport is run in a safe and inclusive way. During this worldwide pandemic, Scottish Orienteering are required to submit phase by phase plans on their ‘permitted activities’ to sportscotland for approval prior to publication by the Scottish Government to ensure that all sports are compliant with the restrictions outlined in the Scottish Government COVID-19 Routemap and with guidelines published on a regular basis. It is for this reason that activities permitted in Scotland may vary to those in other home nations. We will do our best to ensure members and clubs are updated as soon as we are given permission to our permitted activities on a phase by phase basis. 

We know all members and clubs are keen to see the resumption of orienteering when it is safe to do so. SOA are therefore working closely with other outdoor sports governing bodies to ensure a consistent message across sports and to allow for activities in line with Scottish Government guidelines.  It is for this reason we have chosen to publish a draft plan for phases 2-4, essentially our SOA Routemap  however we will only confirm and publish the permitted activities on approval from sportscotland (on behalf of the Scottish Government) on a phase by phase basis. The next announcement on relaxing of restrictions is expected on 18th June after which we hope to be in a position to provide a detailed outline of Phase 2 for the reactivation of orienteering activities in Scotland.  

Richard Oxlade, Acting SOA President, said “we are delighted to be in the first set of sports in the ‘outdoor non-contact’ sports category to be granted permission to resume some activities in Phase 1.  We are now looking ahead to what may be possible for our sport in Phase 2 and are working closely with other outdoor sports and sportscotland to gain approval for our Phase 2 plans. The Board of Directors have met regularly throughout lockdown to ensure we are in a position to react to the ever changing landscape presented by COVID-19 and to ensure as a Governing Body of sport that we are compliant with Scottish Government guidance at all times. We will continue to communicate with our clubs and members and look forward to allowing some resumption of ‘club activities’ in the weeks to come but for now please continue to abide by the activities permitted in Phase 1″

The Scottish Government published its Routemap through and out of the crisis on 21st May, laying out four phases for lifting restrictions imposed due to Covid-19. Public Health Scotland have asked sportscotland to facilitate this process for all sports in Scotland and as the Scottish Governing Body for orienteering we are expected to comply with this process. This includes approval for our plans as each phase is implemented, as well as the associated announcements. We are very aware that this can be confusing as all of the home nations are following different processes to exit from lockdown. We are doing our utmost to make this as clear as possible, and would like to state that orienteers in Scotland are expected to adhere to the guidelines that we have agreed with sportscotland, and thus the Scottish Government. We are in constant communication with British Orienteering to make sure that we are also compliant with insurance requirements.