Celebrating Orienteering Coaches
In the next of our series celebrating British Orienteering’s Unsung Heroes, we look at those who provide the guidance and support to help everyone improve and achieve their potential, our coaches.
What inspired them to become a coach?
How do they adapt to different ages and skill sets and what does the future look like for maximising coaching for club members?
Peter Brooke British Orienteering’s Development Officer contacted Neil Harvatt, a Coach of the Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteering Club to try and find out more.
Like many people in roles across clubs, Neil almost fell into the role when Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteering Club (HALO) needed a new coach. Coupled with retirement, a desire to help others whilst improving his own personal skills and simply doing more orienteering, everything fell into place and he’s not looked back.
Neil commented: “Running HALO’s club nights in Beverley, alongside my coaching in schools are particular highlights. I like seeing everyone’s enjoyment as they pick up new skills and then being asked back and into other schools gives me great personal satisfaction.”
As in any sport, coaching is never easy with such wide-ranging abilities of individuals in every club, but it’s a challenge Neil thrives on and his passion is evident throughout our chat.
Neil added: “It’s not easy, but it’s important to keep a balanced approach, building on the desires and current skills of our club members. During club nights I always try and focus on core skill activities whilst pairing up members with different levels of experience to help everyone learn from each other.”
Whilst the principles of the sport are the same, coaching continues to evolve and improve thanks to a dedicated network across the country. From a personal point of view, Neil highlighted how becoming a coach helped him to improve his own orienteering skills along with the satisfaction he gets from others simply saying thank you.
Neil concluded: “It’s not about being perfect or even the best orienteer, no one does a course and becomes a good coach overnight. It’s how you listen to and work with orienteers for their benefit that will improve you. Anyone can do it.”.
Simply 'Log in' to the member's section of the British Orienteering website and click the 'Get Involved' tab and click on Volunteering. Click on the link of the 'Volunteer awards' to access the award categories and download the nomination forms. It is really easy to do. Just follow the link and get nominating.
Additionally, if you have ideas you want to share on how we can improve volunteering within the sport we’ll be very happy to hear from you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org