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Tweet Thursday 3rd June 2021

Day 3 - Volunteers' Week (1-7 June): Thank You to David Alcock (Airienteers)

British Orienteering will be joining many organisations across the country for this year's Volunteers' Week, which runs until 7 June.  We want to celebrate the difference volunteers make and thank you all for your time and energy you give to our sport every week. 

Today is Day 3 of Volunteers' Week, let's continue to focus on more individuals across the UK who are giving their time and sharing their orienteering skills throughout the sport.

At British Orienteering, we would like to take this opportunity to say a big "THANK YOU" to all volunteers; committee members, coaches, planners, controllers, tea-makers, car-parking stewards, mappers, organisers, volunteers who put out controls, volunteers who collect back in the controls after an event......the list goes on! 

You are the lifeblood of our sport.  You are at the heart and soul of orienteering - and make it happen week after week.  There so many roles which are all important.  However you support the sport of orienteering, British Orienteering wants to take this opportunity during National Volunteers' Week to say a huge Thank You!  

British Orienteering continues with expressing much appreciation and saying Thank You today to David Alcock at Airienteers.


David Alcock
Club:  Airienteers

David is Airienteers main club coach for adults organising and running a weekend residential course away every year (normally in the Lake District) as well as specific Saturday sessions mainly aimed at the club's adult newcomers. With some pre-Wednesday local event sessions now being brought forward as well.

David Williams also a member of Airienteers highlights why David Alcock deserves recognition and says:
"David Alcock is a Geography teacher at Bradford Grammar School and has successfully integrated Orienteering into the fabric of the school encouraging youngsters into the sport which has been reflected in a number of them joining our club. David takes the children out of the school to locally mapped areas. He took a team of 14 pupils to the British School Champs at Slough in November where the Year 7 boys won the team prize. They had 5th teams (Year 8 boys and girls teams) and 9th Large Secondary School. They had 3 top ten individuals (2 in Year 7 and 1 in Year 9).

David takes a full part in Committee activity and is the Club Secretary, booking the venues, taking, and distributing the minutes, etc

In August, David got permission for and organised the innovative Indoor Event at Bradford Grammar School which was part of Race the Castles series.

David always takes his turn on the rota of organising one of the clubs local Wednesday evening events and sometimes with a coaching session

David was the Planner for the British Championships Long at Kilnsey with all that that entails. Being on the BOC Organising Committee throughout the year, numerous visits from his home over an hour drive from the area. Helping to put out stiles on the area as well as putting out the controls before the event, and them taking them in again. But in terms of the planning, he almost had to do the whole job twice as with less than two weeks to go before the map printing deadline Natural England imposed some further conditions on the use of the area which meant many of the courses had to be replanned at short notice."

David running a coaching session with Juniors

David Williams, continues:
"David has made a full and vital contribution to Airienteers for many years. The amount of work he has taken on and dealt with this year in particular has been astounding for a man with a young family and who also continues to enjoy competing himself at a high level.

The range of his Volunteering from his work on a daily basis at BGS to being integral in the National Championships success this year is so impressive. When he is doing all of this his love of the sport and enthusiasm to share that is always self-evident."

David, what would you describe as being your highlights?

David (Alcock), says: "I am glad to work with such a supportive and active club, and an enthusiastic and growing coaching team, led by Lindsey King, and accompanied by Graeme Tiffany. Our Junior Development Officer, Simon Martland, has also raised the profile and engagement rate of juniors in orienteering in the Leeds/Bradford area over the past few of years. Thanks to their efforts, the Airienteers junior team has just succeeded in qualifying for the Yvette Baker Trophy Final for the first time in several years.

I am also happy to be supported by the staff and management of the school I teach in: Bradford Grammar School. They have allowed me to undertake timetabled orienteering sessions with Year 7 students, and to support the lunchtime club and the introduction of the annual World Orienteering Day score event for Year 7 and 8 pupils in neighbouring Lister Park, which involves over 200 pupils every year (except for 2020! - Our 2021 event took place on 19 May). I was chuffed when our Year 7 boys team were crowned British Champions in 2019, but any involvement makes me proud.

The symbiosis of the club and school offerings is allowing juniors to spend the time 'in the terrain' that is necessary - but not sufficient on its own - to develop competency and consistency. Two of the club's juniors have recently joined the YHOA Junior Squad, and I am grateful for volunteers higher up the coaching hierarchy for stretching the athletes further.

I am also happy to play a role in other aspects of the club's operations, for example as its secretary for five years, and as a planner, organiser, and now as a controller. My highlight was to plan the 2019 British Orienteering Long Distance Championships on Arncliffe and Kilnsey North, in the Yorkshire Dales. I am especially keen to thank Neil Conway and Tony Thornley for their time and efforts: it would not have been even remotely possible without them!"

What has been your volunteering journey and motivations?

David comments:  "I got into volunteering as I wanted to maintain the sport's presence and vitality in the local area, and to be part of a team effort to put on events for local enthusiasts. If we all put something into our local club or get involved regionally or nationally, then our sport can thrive and be economically accessible too. I also like to 'pass it on' - to give others a chance to try out the sport. I didn't try orienteering until I joined the outdoor activities subsidiary part of my PGCE course in 2001 (thank you, Will Patterson, the course leader), and I wish that I had known about it earlier!

British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity to say a huge 'THANK YOU' to you David for all your hard work, commitment and energy you give to 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 within your club or wider afield.
Share your own story about volunteering during a pandemic over the past 12 months, inspire others to get involved in volunteering, and/or say thank you to an amazing volunteer you know and deserves to receive a big THANK YOU 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, snippets, photos which British Orienteering can publish on the website as part of the Volunteers' Week?  Email:

#VolunteersWeek  #Orienteering  #PowerOfYouth #Volunteers