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Tweet Wednesday 2nd June 2021

Day 2 - Volunteers' Week (1-7 June): Thank You to Ben Kyd (Manchester and District Orienteering Club)

Each day of Volunteers’ Week 2021 British Orienteering will focus on a different theme of volunteering to ensure we recognise the impact that different types of volunteering within the sport of orienteering across the UK. Each day is a chance to take the time to say thank you to volunteers across the UK and put them in the Thank You spotlight.

Let's continue with the focus of today on the Power of Youth.  

Young people have a huge impact in their clubs and local communities. Today, we are focusing on the role of youth volunteering in the daily lives of individuals and  within our clubs, not only during the pandemic.   Young people are not just the leaders of tomorrow, they are leading change now in clubs in the UK. 


Today, British Orienteering says 'Thank You' to....

Ben Kyd member of Manchester and District Orienteering Club (MDOC)

Ben Kyd

Ben Kyd is seventeen and has been volunteering in orienteering in many ways over the past year.

  • Ben has run an Orienteering club at his Secondary school for all years on different days due to Covid restrictions and virtually online when schools were shut. 

  • Mentored young students, especially Year 7. 

  • Gone onto local Radio to tell the wider community about Permanent Orienteering Courses. 

  • Started a YouTube channel - "The Orienteering Kyd" to show how to take part in Virtual Orienteering competitions live. 

  • Run a course for different year groups using SI equipment which he and his father received as a result of a successful bid from a charity.  

Mr Peter Hayes, PE Teacher at Fallibroome Academy ran the Orienteering club until summer 2018, highlights some of Ben's key achievements:

  • Ben has volunteered to run the Orienteering club after school at Fallibroome Academy because PE staff had other commitments. 

  • He has grown the club, so that over 60 members attend. 

  • He organises every aspect of fitness training and course planning for individual year groups and leads a team of student volunteers. 

  • Mentors young students and as a result encouraged a girl to try for the NWJS. 

  • Plans and develops courses in our local area and virtually. 

  • He has been particularly successful in attracting and retaining the interests of students who have never Orienteered before. 

Mr Hayes, says: 
"During my time at Fallibroome Academy I introduced and developed the Orienteering club. 

When I retired a plan was in place for a member of the teaching staff to take this over, but due to other commitments this did not happen. 

Ben volunteered to run the club and has taken it to another level. When I meet parents or students they all mention Ben's commitment, his level of detail in planning and most importantly the way he inspires and cares for each individual student. 

Throughout my teaching career I have coached successful  athletes, but I have never met a student who has inspired others and been determined to encourage young people in Orienteering. All students mention his caring manner and the dedication he puts into planning events and courses. When we were in the first lockdown he got on his bike to deliver medals to all students who won the Deeside Schools League Competition and to check on the members of the club. 

When he first started Orienteering he was unsure of his own ability and lacked confidence.  He has grown as an Orienteer, but it is as a caring, dedicated and highly motivated leader that he has excelled. He has put other students first and is a true innovator. I don't know of any other person of his age who would record their online Orienteering Competitions live and share them on line as he does with his YouTube channel.  

He is a very caring young man who has inspired young students and is an ambassador for the sport." 

He has achieved so much in the last difficult year and inspired young people."  



Ben's YouTube Channel which has encouraged members to take part in Virtual Orienteering Competitions – People from Juniors to those who have Orienteered for decades have tried for the first time. 

Listen to Ben's local radio broadcast,  which he volunteered to do in order to introduce Orienteering to the wider community.  
24 mins in for 13/14 mins. 

An example of Ben developing a course for a virtual B category course. 

What would you say are your particular highlights from the past year?

Ben comments: "The highlight of my volunteering so far has to be when the school club competed in the British Schools Orienteering Championships in 2019, and had our most successful championship yet, coming 4th as a school and securing many individual and team medals. It was this success that showed me the work that I put in coaching the younger members of the squad was worth every enjoyable minute of it, and that was the best way I could have rounded off competing in national competitions with the club."

How did you get into volunteering and/or why do you stay involved as a volunteer?

Ben, continues: "I started volunteering once the former coach at our school retired, and I took his place running the after school club and coaching kids getting into the sport. Seeing the excitement for the sport on the childrens' faces reminded me personally of why I got into the sport - the enjoyment that it brings to all that compete - and this is what has kept me in the volunteering role, giving many more people the same joy that I have and continue to experience today."

Here are a few quotes from others who have directly benefited from Ben's commitment and tireless service to the young orienteering club members of Fallibroome academy. 

"Ben's commitment, organisation and professionalism have enabled the continued flourishing of orienteering at school. His encouraging and approachable manner suits my son very well, and he has been able to make advances and enjoy experiences through the club that curriculum PE teaching doesn't offer. 

In addition to his weekly clubs, both in person and then on line, Ben facilitates Fallibroome students' participation in MDOC events, giving up a good part of his Saturday to do so.  

I would also particularly draw your attention to a morning of Orienteering that we enjoyed at school during the school closure, when the kids were desperate for a physical outlet and some contact with peers.  It was safely and meticulously planned and executed, and I know that Ben's role in this was instrumental." 
Geraldine Douglas 


"Ben has been instrumental in the development of my eldest daughter's orienteering skills such that she was accepted on the North West Squad this year. 

Prior to lock down, I heard weekly from both Catriona and Megan about the commitment and energy that Ben put into running the orienteering club each week. The success of the school club over the last couple of years has in large part been due to the way he has inspired the Year 7s to join the club and commit to weekend events. 

I can think of no better recipient of a young volunteer award."
Rhys Beynon 











"Ben has given considerable support and time to the Fallibroome orienteering clubs. The events he has planned have been very well organised and successful. Oliver has really benefited from these events giving him more confidence and self belief when competing.  I myself as a parent have also benefitted with the help Ben has shown me when competing at weekends for the school. His knowledge, advice and enthusiasm has made it a real joy for me personally.  I wish him success with his nomination which he fully deserves." 
Barrie Thomason 


"Ben has shown real commitment and dedication to the schools Orienteering team. As soon as we were back in school in September he began to offer Orienteering clubs on each night after school to meet the schools year group bubble guidelines. No matter what the weather, Ben would be out there with loads of students helping them to develop their Orienteering skills. In addition to this he organised Fallibroome’s first event that used electronic timing and was able to run this during a weekend in the winter team, abiding to social distancing regulations - which was amazing to be able to offer such an event to staff and students. A National lockdown has not stopped Ben from delivering extra-curricular activities to the students. He is an extremely valuable asset to both the school and PE department and we are not sure what we will do without him next year when he goes off to University."

British Orienteering would like to say a big 'Thank You' to you Ben for all you do to help people continue to enjoy the sport of orienteering. THANK YOU!

How you can get involved with Volunteers' Week?
Each day is a chance to take the time to say thank you to volunteers across the UK.
Share your own story about volunteering during a pandemic over the past 12 months, inspire others to get involved in volunteering, or say thank you to an amazing volunteer you know using #VolunteersWeek! 

Don't forget to include British Orienteering in all of your posts:

Inspire others to volunteer! 
Have you got any personal volunteering stories which British Orienteering can publish on the website as part of the Volunteers' Week?

#VolunteersWeek  #Orienteering  #PowerOfYouth #Volunteer