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Tweet Thursday 16th July 2020

Phase 3 Guidelines and Event Guidance Goes Live in Scotland

Report by Fiona Keir, Chief Operating Officer, Scottish Orienteering Association (SOA)

On the 9 July 2020 the First Minister announced that Scotland would progress into Phase 3 of the Scottish Routemap out of lockdown sparked by COVID-19. The Scottish Orienteering Association (SOA) has welcomed this news and has been working in collaboration with other outdoor sports, as well as in close partnership with sportscotland, to get Scottish Government approval for our Phase 3 Reactivation of Orienteering Activities in Scotland.

Details of this were published to the SOA website on 15 July and can be found here.

Clubs are now able to restart coaching and club activities with immediate effect providing they are compliant with appropriate restrictions in place. In Scotland, a maximum of 15 people can meet from up to 5 families observing physical distancing of 2m at all times. Under 12's are now exempt from any distancing restrictions.

We are delighted to announce the resumption of local events as part of our Phase 3 guidance. Events are going to look and feel different for a while yet but we hope the event guidance that is published will allow clubs, volunteers and participants to have confidence in the measures in place to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus whilst also providing a positive first step back to orienteering. Initially, events will be restricted to club members only and with a maximum of 30 competitors per hour through the start.

The SOA Development Team has worked extremely hard throughout lockdown and it is rewarding now to reflect on the impressive amount of activity that has been achieved by a team of 4 staff on a part-time basis. The team has been able to adapt quickly to online delivery and has created new resources to engage with our clubs and members, just some of which is summarised here:

  • 18 tutors trained to deliver the new Event Safety workshop for clubs
  • 33 members completed the new Event Safety workshop online, including 6 juniors
  • 9 members from across Scotland completed 6 Planners workshop sessions since the beginning of May
  • 18 leisure staff from Aberdeenshire are undertaking an Introducing Orienteering course delivered remotely for the first time
  • 45 members attended Mindset, High Altitude and Adventure evening presentation
  • 1080 views on YouTube for Part 1 of Let's Get Started Orienteering - a 4 part online resource to take beginners through the basics of orienteering and to support staff working in childcare hubs across Scotland to deliver orienteering while observing physical distancing restrictions
  • 100 puzzles and challenges created and published during lockdown providing daily engagement. The largest number of downloads of a single puzzle from SOA website totalled 1562. Amazingly the puzzle with most views on Facebook had 7309 engagements and 677 likes!
  • 130 new MapRun courses are now available from the SOA website with 4,632 hits on the pdf map download pages. 65 people have attended one of 3 MapRun workshops organised to provide advice and guidance for clubs and members

It has been an incredibly productive time during lockdown but we are all looking forward to getting orienteering activities and events back up and running as we enter into Phase 3 in Scotland.

SOA would like to thank all members in Scotland for their patience as SOA sought to gain approval for our Phase 3 guidelines for orienteering activities and for the SOA event guidance documents to support the reactivation of events in Scotland.

SOA recognise there may be questions which arise from these new event protocols and SOA are hosting an event Q&A session on Monday 20th July at 7.30pm. Please sign up here

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Please note:
The Latest Guidance for each of the nations (England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland) can be found here on the British Orienteering website.

All guidance is subject to any further restrictions that may be imposed by local or national Governments.

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