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Tweet Thursday 16th January 2020

Development Conference Huge Success

Report by Peter Brooke, England Development Manager, British Orienteering

“One of the best and most relevant conferences I’ve ever attended” is how one member described the 2020 National Development Conference that took place last weekend. 

Held at the YHA National Forest over two days on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January 2020, members from clubs across the country heard presentations and took part in workshops covering some crucial areas key to helping clubs with their development. 

Saturday saw Gold medal winner elite athlete Grace Molloy member of Forth Valley Orienteers (FVO) give a fascinating insight into her journey from starting orienteering to linking up with Kalevan Rasti Club in Finland and provided her thoughts on what clubs could do going forward to support young athletes. 

The day then continued with a valuable volunteer workshop to help clubs look closely at what they do to support and grow their volunteer workforce. 

Concluding the day on Saturday, Pendle Forest Orienteers (PFO), City of Birmingham Orienteering Club (COBOC) and Bristol Orienteering Klub (BOK) made short presentations on valuable and successful club projects they have run over the last year, with Andrew Evans of the Orienteering Foundation highlighting projects which they are looking to provide grants and support for.

Sunday kicked off with a session by Steve Fairhurst of Be More Cheetah with a focus on club marketing and communications. 

Steve led a workshop providing a captivating insight into communications and social media. With a focus on where the customer meets the ‘brand’ directly, Steve used his unique take on the social media landscape, to demonstrate how to present your club and events for maximum effect using tried and tested techniques. 

The conference concluded with an update on the progress of British Orienteering's Youth Strategy and how clubs can ensure this remains high on their agenda. 

Club marketing and comms session
Youth Strategy session
Volunteer session
Grace Molloy (FVO)

A couple of comments from those who attended the weekend:

“It was great, thank you again. I wish we had longer, the discussions were very productive and the speakers very enthusing.” 




“I thought the conference was one of the best and most relevant of any I’ve ever attended, either at work or outside it."
"The communications presenter did spectacularly well in puncturing the scepticism in the room around how the marketing of cruises could be relevant to orienteering, and being completely credible and relevant.”  







Peter Brooke England Development Manager, said: 
“The conference was a huge success and I’d like to thank all the members who gave up their valuable time over the weekend to attend. Thank you also to speakers who all gave excellent workshops and presentations throughout the weekend."