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. In the meantime, you can visit our COVID 19 Safe Orienteering webpage for further information.
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
Report by Helen Errington
There is a short summary of the results of the JK2021 Survey available here:
I am so sorry that the situation with regard to land access for JK2021 overtook us before we were able to publish these results. Please be assured that the results of the survey have not influenced the decision to cancel JK2021 – this has been done purely on the grounds that the land access for days 2 and 3 was revoked in the first week of September. The JK2021 organisers have explored every feasible option for securing access to suitable terrain in the South West for an orienteering event of the standard and popularity of the JK, but have found it impossible to do so. Landowners have indicated that they are unable to give permission for an event such as the JK while the Government and other local organisations restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic continue.
British Orienteering and the JK2021 team would like to thank everyone for their responses – for the messages of support for the event and also since the news of cancellation. It is clear that there is a great deal of support for the JK2021 team and goodwill from orienteers who appreciate that these are difficult times.
Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteers (HALO) once again played a leading role in supporting Humberside Police’s Night Challenge initiative. The challenge saw over 150 young people aged between 13 and 18 from East Riding, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire take part in the annual 13-mile trek over the challenging terrain of Brantingham Dale.
As well as completing 13 miles of night orienteering, mainly off road, starting and finishing at Brantingham Park (the home of Hull Ionians Rugby Football Club) in East Riding, the youngsters faced eight challenges stationed around the route which this year focused on cyber safety and child sexual exploitation and the associated risks linked to them.
The 30 teams were recruited through Neighbourhood Policing Teams from young people they know and youth and community groups they work alongside. The aim was to include young people who may not have had the opportunity to take part in this kind of outdoor experience, have little experience of the countryside or know what opportunities are available.
The teams took between six and eight hours to complete the course, the first team starting at 17:00 with the last underway at an eye-catching 00:15.
The 12 members of HALO were out in force from early in the day right through the night to the early hours of Sunday, with Neil Harvatt and Ken Hutson putting out the controls and having the unenviable task of setting off after the last team to collect them all back in, returning to the clubhouse at 9:00 on Sunday morning.
Each team commenced the Challenge with navigation training by HALO members who delivered an excellent introduction to Orienteering covering how to read maps, plot missing control points, learn about the dibber and understand the obstacles they were likely to face on the route.
Each team is awarded points reflecting how well they completed the various challenges as well as the orienteering but the final results are kept under wraps until the Awards Evening on 29 April at Brantingham Park. In previous years the prize for the winning team was a week’s adventure course in the Lake District, second was a day trip to Silverstone Racetrack and third was a day trip to Alton Towers. A special award of a place on the Outward Bound Classic Course was made to the outstanding individual competitor, and glider flights were made to a number of other outstanding individuals.
Commenting on the event HALO Event Coordinator John Butler, said:
“This is the ninth year that we have been involved in the Night Challenge and it is one of the ways that we can put something back into the community, particularly for those young people, many of whom have not had the same privileges as the rest of us.”
The initiative is run in conjunction with High Sheriffs’ Tribune Trust, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, St John’s Ambulance, Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteering Club, HM Prison Service, Defence School of Transport at Leconfield, Yorkshire 4X4 Response, Not in Our Community, Eskimo Soup, Corner House and Yorkshire Lowland Search and Rescue.