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Tweet Sunday 19th November 2017

VOLUNTEER AND CLUB AWARDS 2017 - Nominations are now open!

Who do you think deserves recognition for their contributions and great work in our sport?

It is good to see so much activity going on to develop the sport and we thank all those volunteers and clubs who make orienteering happen across the country every week.

Club of the Year 2016 last year was awarded to Solway Orienteers. Relatively isolated Solway put a strong focus on inter-club activities mentoring volunteers to deliver local competitive events as well as working with other sports through a time bank to share volunteers.

Solway Orienteers won the 2016 Club of the Year award.

Tim O’Donoghue at Solway Orienteers said:
“Solway Orienteers involvement with this award was initiated by Hilary Quick when she was SOA Development Officer. In late 2015 Hilary suggested that based on our activities we consider submitting an application. Once over our surprise we had a look at the form, survived being a little intimidated by it and decided to give it a go. The process of preparing the submission brought benefits. Many club members were encouraged at the extent of club activities and pleased with the recognition of their contributions. But we did not win.

Our club had a very active 2016. After reviewing progress at our Club’s Annual General Meeting the request was made of the committee to revise and resubmit our application for the Club of the Year Award 2016. One person took the lead and all the committee members contributed to improving the draft application.

We were delighting to win this award. Our Club and previous Chairs (covering the last 25 years) travelled down and accepted the award at the presentation (Brunel University, London).”

What does a club interested in applying have to do?

Tim continued:
“The orienteering club needs to complete the British Orienteering standard form which consists of 5 categories and questions about your club:

  • Programmes the club delivers: What activities does your club provide for its members? How does the club ensure the members have the ability and opportunity to improve their skills and so and develop our sport locally?
  • Volunteer Management: How does your club recruit, retain and reward your volunteers?
  • Partnerships and relationships: How does your club link to local and regional partners and build these relationships?
  • Creative Diversity: Who does your club work with to ensure that you reach to the widest group of potential members possible, for example, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, people of all ages? How do you ensure your activities are open to all?
  • The future: What are your plans for the next 5 years?”

Why fill in the form – why apply?

Tim explained:
“Well, winning is great, and adding the club’s name to a winners list that contains such excellent clubs such as MAROC, Grampian, SYO and TVOC is wonderful. But there were other important benefits aside from winning.

Some of the questions prompted a major review, reinvigoration and upgrade of our Club Development Plan. For example, we identified the need for more coaches with the outcome of two more people being accredited in 2016.

Sharing the application across the club allowed members to understand the scope of our activities, and most importantly improved the feel-good factor in the club. People were pleased to be part of the club as it was described.

So, on reflection Solway Orienteers have realised that applying for the award was more important for the club than winning it. We encourage other clubs to consider pursuing and applying for this award this year and in future years. In our view, it is well worth doing.”

Award Categories for 2017 are now open! Who are you going to nominate?

Club and Volunteer Awards 2017

Club of the Year Award 2017

Young Volunteer of the Year 2017

University Club of the Year 2017

Peter Palmer Coach of the Year Award 2017

SILVA Award 2017 – for a very significant contribution to orienteering

Further details and nomination forms can be found here.

The closing date for these awards is: Friday 16 February 2018

All entries are to be emailed to

Mapping Awards 2017

  • Chichester Trophy
    For the best map by an amateur mapper
  • Silva Trophy
    For the best map produced by professional mappers
  • Walsh Trophy
    For the best urban or sprint map

These awards are for maps first used in competition during 2017. To be eligible, maps should be of new areas or significant extensions/major revisions to existing maps. Submissions should state briefly the mapper involvement.

Scoring is based on specification, cartography and presentation.

Please send electronic copies of maps, preferably either pdf or OCAD files with this nomination form to

Closing date for entries: before Friday 16 February 2018.


Bonington Trophy

Awarded annually for the 'best contribution to mapping' which can cover a whole range of activities related to mapping

Bonington Trophy submissions should use this nomination form to

Closing date for entries: Friday 16 February 2018.

All awards will be presented at the British Orienteering Annual General Meeting on Friday 30 March 2018.

Further information about all of these awards is available here.

Tweet Saturday 18th November 2017

Outdoor enthusiasts asked to help shape the future of access

November 6 marks the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest, a historic document that gave common people the right of access to royal forests. This can be seen as the first step in a campaign spanning centuries, seeking the legal guarantee of freedom for people to access our beautiful landscapes.

This anniversary brings to life the long history of the struggle for greater access to the countryside, a mission that is very close to many people’s hearts. But what do people want for the next 800 years? Now is your chance to share your views and help shape the future of access.

The Ramblers are kicking off a nationwide debate, gathering thoughts from everyone on what they would like the future of access to look like for the next 800 years.

Nicky Philpott, Ramblers director of advocacy and engagement said: “We know that access rights aren’t just important for walkers, but for many people enjoying the great outdoors. Being able to walk off the path and explore freely is particularly important for activities like orienteering, so we want to gather views from everyone on what they would like the future of access to look like.”

People are being asked to share their views by visiting

You can find out more about this campaign here.

Tweet Friday 17th November 2017

John and June Webb’s involvement with Suffolk Orienteering Club

The East Anglia Orienteering Association was set up in 1971 by Richard Raynsford, with the individual clubs of Norfolk Orienteering Club, Suffolk Orienteering Club and West Anglian Orienteering Club developing over the following twelve months. Two Suffolk Orienteering Club members, John and June Webb, have been orienteering with Suffolk Orienteering Club almost from the beginning. 

Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer looked into John and June Webb’s involvement with Suffolk Orienteering Club over the years.

Here is the Webb’s story:

In 1986 the JK was hosted by East Anglia Orienteering Association, with events at Brandon and at Pretty Corner near Sheringham. June handled the entries and Suffolk Orienteering Club members spent time at the Webb’s house putting everything together.  It was the first time the JK had had over 3000 entries – and this was in the days before electronic punching and almost-instantaneous online results, so the task involved preparing individually numbered punchcards for the event and labelled results envelopes for subsequent mailing to competitors.  We also had the task of sorting 4000 randomly mixed second-hand bibs which arrived stuffed in large sacks.

During the preparations for the JK we visited the Forest of Dean and June was one of the first in Suffolk and in the country to have a massive dose of Lyme disease from an infected tick and the first case of Lyme’s to be seen at Ipswich hospital.

Photos supplied by John and June Webb who were in charge of event registration in the JK 1986 event.

John wrote software for his Osborne computer so that June could compile the entry lists and the data was transmitted to Havering and South Essex Orienteering Club Keith Ryder’s BBC computer so he could produce computerised results.  Keith’s son David later produced the Splits Browser which is nowadays included in the results.

The East Anglia Orienteering Association was later given an award by the Eastern Region Sports Council for the contribution made to sport by the staging of the JK.  June was invited to the official presentation in Norwich and has fond memories of shaking hands with, and being photographed alongside, Sebastian Coe.

How John and June became involved in orienteering.

John remembers reading an article about Orienteering in the Daily Telegraph in 1970/71. The article, by Gordon Pirie, one of the UK’s top athletes of the time, inspired him to write off for more information but he was informed that there was no orienteering in his neighbourhood. Towards the end of 1972 he received a letter notifying him of an event to take place in the Tangham area of Rendlesham Forest, so he decided to give it a go.  This was the first event held by the newly formed Suffolk Orienteering Club and John joined the club soon afterwards.

June, on the other hand, became interested in the sport through her son, a pupil at St Joseph’s College in Ipswich, where Brother William (then Treasurer of BOF and a keen orienteer) was a member of staff. On an open day, June’s family took part in a course which Brother William had set up in the school grounds. June was already running a Girl Guide company and Brother William agreed to instruct them in the basics of orienteering, starting with a slide show and later holding training sessions at the school for several weeks. The bus trips to the events proved to be very popular with the Guides!

June’s first husband died suddenly when their family was still relatively young, but June continued to foster an interest in orienteering in her children and in her Guide company. It was at a training event which June arranged for a group of Guides at a Youth Hostel that June first met John, who, together with Denis Arnold, had volunteered to coach the session. 

Maps in the early days were very simple black and white affairs; the Rendlesham Forest map was relatively complicated.

Rendlesham Forest map.  Supplied by John Webb, Suffolk Orienteering Club

John produced the first 5 colour Suffolk Orienteering Club map (Bentley Woods), drawn upon a multitude of superimposed sheets of tracing film.  Unfortunately, the person looking after the tracings decided that they were no longer of interest as Bentley Woods had changed hands and disposed of them, much to John’s disappointment. Geoff Hill was one of the first people in the country to produce computer drawn pre-marked maps, printed on the professionally-printed blank map.  Otherwise, pre-marked maps were produced with much swearing and inky fingers on an overprinting “machine” (a supersized John Bull printing outfit).  The East Anglia Orienteering Association overprinter still resides in the Webb’s loft.

John and June competed on a regular basis, attending not only the local events but the multi-day events such as the JK, the White Rose and the Karrimor. June remembers attending a Swedish 5-day orienteering event with 20,000 competitors. “Amazing experience. One boulder looked like another”. She developed an allergy to peppers but still ran her courses despite being sick. Asked in a radio interview whether she would return to Sweden, June had to admit that it was unlikely due to the high cost of living.

Both John and June have served on the Suffolk Orienteering Club committee: June wrote the Punch newsletter for a while and was Club Treasurer for many years while John supplied much technical expertise.  As for publicity, June remembers spending many days delivering posters to libraries and schools before the days of websites and Facebook.

June also became a coach for the club and in this capacity, with a friend, a teacher from Barnardiston Hall School, hired Santon Downham Village Hall and ran a course for the pupils. In the morning they played “O” games and then the children (in pairs & with helpers) went out into the forest to try real orienteering.  The school set up its own basic orienteering course in the grounds of the Hall and has been successfully involved in orienteering ever since.

John and June, together with John and Jenny Collyer from Essex Stragglers (SOS), also instigated the Essex & Suffolk Schools Orienteering League and are justifiably proud of its continuing success.

John and June overseeing the Start at a recent Kings Forest event  

Photo credit:  Chris Gay, Suffolk Orienteering Club

Suffolk Orienteering Club Chair, says:

“John and June are stalwarts of SUFFOC. Without the dedication and enthusiasm from members like the Webbs, Orienteering would cease as the sport needs willing volunteers. It’s a well-established fact that volunteering in any capacity gives the individual a sense of worth and hence adds to their well-being. For John and June, it also leads to personal happiness…but this aspect cannot be guaranteed for everyone!.”

British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity to thank both John and June for their volunteering over the years and for their continued commitment to the sport and to their club.  It is great to see how orienteering has developed over the years.  

British Orienteering is celebrating 50 years this year!  British Orienteering would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the dedicated people from every part of the UK who have contributed so much to British Orienteering’s growth and development over the years. 

Have you or your club have got a similar story which you would like to share with other members? 
If you have, then please get in touch.  Email:

Tweet Friday 8th September 2017

2017/18 Talent Squad Announced

British Orienteering is pleased to announce the Junior Talent Squad for 2018. The squad will operate in two tiers and you can read more about this on the GB Programme page.

Tier 1

Includes primarily the 15-18 (School) age group and aims firstly to identify and induct promising juniors into the Talent squad and then assist in progressing them from the 'Learning to Train' to the 'Training to Train' phase of development.

Male Female

David Bunn
Alistair Chapman
Matthew Gooch
Flurry Grierson
Angus Harrington
Stanley Heap
Zac Hudd
Peter Molloy
Daniel Spencer

Alastair Thomas

Eilidh Campbell
Evie Conway
Niamh Hunter
Grace Molloy
Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla
Tara Schwarze-Chintapatla
Lizzie Stansfield
Alice Wilson

Tier 2

Includes primarily the 18-20 (University) age group and aims to continue the development of the older junior athletes in their final stages of their junior careers before progressing into the senior ranks. The purpose of the squad is to move the athlete from the 'Training to Train' to the 'Training to Compete' phase of development. 

Male Female
Alex Carcas
Freddie Carcas
Matthew Fellbaum
Harrison McCartney
Eddie Narbett
Aidan Rigby
Finlay Todd
Fiona Bunn
Lucy Haines
Laura King
Chloe Potter
Lindsay Robertson                       

Paul Murgatroyd, Head Coach for Talent, said

'I would like to congratulate all those who have been selected for the squad, whether as newcomers or those returning for another season! This is a reflection of their commitment and dedication and the performance team look forward to working with the athletes in 2018. Following on from our most successful JWOC in Finland, in terms of results, this is an exciting time for the GB Team and we hope that this squad will build on this and grasp the opportunities that will be coming their way next season."