British Orienteering is reviewing their guidance regularly in response to the latest government advice to understand what is possible and permissible as conditions are being relaxed. Our priority remains to protect the health of our members, volunteers and staff and help to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
New guidance has been announced by governments in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man easing restrictions on the number of people you can meet outside which impacts on how and where individuals can exercise.
We are awaiting more details of how exactly the guidance will apply to orienteers across all nations and will update this statement once official guidance has been published.
In the meantime, we are working to ensure we can provide orienteers with clear information on what is possible and permissible in the current phase of lockdown measures being eased.
Friday 17 - Sunday 19 July 2020.
The Lockdown Orienteering Junior Weekend is all set to take place on Friday 17, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July.
This competition will consist of ten stages testing orienteering skills like route choice, contour interpretation and map memory.
There will also be two races in the orienteering computer game Catching Features. Plus a brand new stage for Lockdown Orienteering - a race in Minecraft! We'll be using maps from Turkey relevant to the next Junior World Orienteering Championships.
There will be six age categories W20-, M20-, W16-, M16-, W12- and M12-.
Adults will be able to take part but there will be no results for them as the focus of attention will be on the juniors!
More information and entry details can be found here.
By Richard Gamble, Sporting Clubs Coordinator in Northern Ireland
Six members of Northern Ireland Orienteering Association (NIOA), after watching the recent British Orienteering Webinars, formed a MapRun Working Group. This was a cross club initiative covering the whole of Northern Ireland (NI).
In the month of June they were busy familiarising themselves with the MapRun app, testing it out in different areas and terrain. We meet once a week to discuss what we had done and learned, sharing our courses with each other to check.
Lots of work has also been done on georeferencing our maps. On top of this NIOA has offered a grant for work on adding contours to OpenOrienteeringMap, which do not appear on NI maps, unlike the rest of the UK.
Last weekend NI was at the stage were ten people can meet outdoors, so we set out four MapRunF courses and invited members to trial them and feedback on their experience. The feedback was very positive, the app worked really well and it was lovely to see people running with a map in their hand again.
Photo collage shows happy orienteers socially distancing within family groups.
We are now planning “Return to your Routes”, more MapRun activities across NI for the month of July. These can be run by individuals at their own convenience.
As lockdown restrictions loosen their grip in NI, we are now allowed groups of up to thirty outdoors, we hope that more normal Orienteering activities may return soon, but we intend to keep a MapRun programme running as we see the great benefit of setting out training courses for people to keep up their skills, when it best suits them.
Also, Juls Hanvey is now excited to be back to work, after her maternity leave. This is great timing - her enthusiasm and energy will be invaluable helping give Orienteering activities a kick start in this ‘new norm’.
Sport England ceased to give financial support to the Performance Programme in 2017. It is likely that they will withdraw the current funding from the Talent Programme in 2021.
This will then be the first time for at least 20 years that the Performance Pathway of British Orienteering has been without significant funding from statutory bodies such as UK Sport and the four Home Nation Sports Councils.* This is, therefore, an appropriate time for a thorough review of the performance part of the “Orienteering Development Pathway – Learning to train through to performing at World class level.”
The talent and performance steering group have asked Mark Saunders (BOK/SWOC) to set up a small working group to carry out such a review including consulting widely with all stakeholders - Athletes, Leaders, Coaches, Parents and others.
The review will consider:
In the first place, Mark is looking for expressions of interest from any members who would like to be part of such a working group. Please email Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org by 25th January 2019.
Terms of reference for the Working Group including timescales can be seen here.
* Note. Whilst the working assumption is that there will be little or no external funding from the likes of Sport England, this should not be taken to mean that British Orienteering has given up trying to get such funding.