British Orienteering continues to keep our guidelines for event organisers, coaches and participants under review as the government COVID-19 guidance evolve across the UK. Protecting the health of all our participants, members, volunteers and staff, and ensuring that we play our part in suppressing the spread of COVID-19, remain our highest priorities.
Our initial understanding is that the new Government restrictions announced in England on Tuesday 22 September will continue to permit orienteering events to be held in line with the current British Orienteering guidelines. However, we will review the detailed Government guidance as it emerges and will make any necessary changes to the British Orienteering guidelines as soon as possible.
British Orienteering will also continue to work with SOA, WOA and NIOA to review the impact of the restrictions announced by the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive.
We will issue a further update once the revised Government guidance for sport has become available.
Following the review of the Return to Orienteering guidance in England by the Board of British Orienteering on Tuesday 1st September, please find the link to the full document.
The key changes are:
Subject to a further review of the implementation of these revised guidelines, British Orienteering will aim to move in future revisions towards a higher start rate of up to four starters per minute from each start location, with allocated start times.
British Orienteering would welcome further feedback from clubs about their experience of operating within the current COVID-19 guidelines, and about any challenges they have encountered in obtaining permissions from landowners or local authorities.
The Board plans a further review of the guidance in October, subject to any further changes in the government guidance.
To view the current guidance visit: COVID Safe Orienteering
British Orienteering is supporting National Fitness Day again this year. We are encouraging all those who have never tried orienteering to download one of over 500 Permanent Orienteering Courses across the UK.
As we ease lockdown restrictions, orienteering clubs around the UK are getting together to promote their Permanent Orienteering Courses as a way of discovering the outdoors in a socially distanced way. There are over 500 Permanent Courses around the country and many are within easy reach of towns and cities.
A new video has just been released by the Orienteering Foundation, explaining how to get started on a Permanent Orienteering Course.
The video sets out how to understand the map and how to orientate it to match the environment around you. It gives examples of the checkpoints you could be looking for and shows you how to download a map.
Orienteering is a sport where you have to navigate your way around a series of checkpoints in the fastest time. Permanent Orienteering Courses are exactly that - permanent. They have checkpoints, in the form of posts or plaques, in forests, heathlands and parks, which you can navigate to at any time, and at your own pace.
These courses allow you to discover new areas of parks or forests that are a little bit more off the beaten track, and further from other members of the public. They're ideal for small groups or individuals, so perfect for social distancing.
It's a chance to learn something new, an opportunity for everyone to connect with the outdoors, get some exercise and have the satisfaction of completing a challenge.
Key to all orienteering is the specially drawn map. The film shows how this map works, the way the symbols are drawn and how courses are printed with a start and finish symbol and checkpoints to find on the way round. The film also shows how to line your map up with features to help you go in the right direction. Other than having the map, you need little else to get going. A compass isn't necessary on simple courses, just be dressed ready for the outdoors whether you are planning to run or walk.
Many local clubs have also been developing these courses virtually, and our Virtual Orienteering Courses can be completed using your GPS smartphone or watch. More information on Permanent and Virtual Orienteering Courses can be found on the British Orienteering website.
With the opportunity to select the difficulty of a course, look for a course in a particular terrain, search for wheelchair accessible course or embrace technology with an added virtual element, there has never been a better time to embrace your next outdoor adventure with the sport of Orienteering on National Fitness Day.
If you do one activity today, make sure you download a Permanent Orienteering Course today and go Orienteering!
This week British Orienteering are delighted to announce the appointment of two new Independent Directors on to the Board of British Orienteering and welcome both Margaret Nolan and Darren Bernstein.
Margaret has more than 18 years experience working with and for National Governing Bodies of Sport and County Sports Partnerships plus 14 years in private industry in the financial services, engineering and retail sectors. She brings a broad range of skills to the role of Board Director and a wealth of experience in the sports, exercise and leisure industries.
Margaret joined British Cycling in 1998 and worked her way up to become Head of National Programmes taking a leadership role to establish, recruit and manage a national development programme. From 2007-2011 she managed Sport England's club and volunteer programme (runningsports) working across all 46 NGBs and the CSP Network, supporting paid and voluntary workforces with governance; administration; volunteering; and financial management products and services. More recently Margaret was the Development Director at British Fencing and British Taekwondo, working with the respective CEOs, Senior Leadership Teams and Boards to create company strategy, turning the company vision into action through national, regional and local delivery programmes. Margaret has achieved success through effective collaboration and continues to share her passion to empower others to innovate, inspire and activate participation.
Away from work Margaret is an active volunteer, enjoys walking, yoga and has recently taken up climbing.
Margaret Nolan, says: “It is with great honour and appreciation that I accept the role of Independent Board Member. I see my new position as an exciting opportunity to be a productive part of an already highly competent team. I look forward, with enthusiasm, to supporting the Senior Management Team, Staff and Volunteers as British Orienteering progresses towards its ambition to be recognised as the ‘go to’ outdoor sport where people challenge themselves physically and mentally.”
Darren has worked in sports marketing for 20 years. With a background in Football, having worked at The Football Association of Ireland, Charlton Athletic, The Football League and The Football Association. More recently he was the Director of Marketing & Communications at England Squash, where he led the rebrand of the organisation, and oversaw the creation of the organisation’s Marketing, Commercial, Communications, Major Events and Competitions Strategy. He is currently a Lecturer in Football Business & Marketing at UCFB Etihad.
Away from work, he is married with 2 young children and is a keen runner who is eager to break 2 hours for the half marathon.
Darren Bernstein, says: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have been given this opportunity and am excited to serve the Orienteering community in the best way I can.”
Judith Holt, Chair of British Orienteering, says:
"I am delighted to welcome both Margaret and Darren to the British Orienteering Board. On behalf of myself and other Board members, we look forward to working together with you at Board level. They both join at an important time as we strive to implement our strategy for the development of orienteering in the UK at this key time in the evolution of the sport. I am pleased that with these two appointments we now have a Board with a 50:50 gender balance. "
To maintain the rotation of directors Margaret will serve an initial term of office of two years until Easter 2019 and Darren an initial term of office of three years until Easter 2020. Both appointments are potentially renewable for two further periods each of three years.
More information about the board of directors including minutes of previous board meetings can be viewed here.
Judith Holt, Chair of British Orienteering, says: "I am delighted to welcome both Margaret and Darren to the British Orienteering Board. On behalf of myself and other Board members, we look forward to working together with you at Board level. They both join at an important time as we strive to implement our strategy for the development of orienteering in the UK at this key time in the evolution of the sport. I am pleased that with these two appointments we now have a Board with a 50:50 gender balance."
To maintain the rotation of Directors Margaret will serve an initial term of office of two years until Easter 2019 and Darren an initial term of office of three years until Easter 2020. Both appointments are potentially renewable for two further periods each of three years.
More information about British Orienteering’s Governance can be found in the ‘Get Involved’ tab in the member's section of the website.
Board Values Statement – can be found here.
More information about British Orienteering Governance and Board of Directors; plus copies Board Meeting minutes – here.