British Orienteering has announced that orienteering will return to England on 1st August 2020 (subject to any further restrictions that may be imposed by the government).
British Orienteering will release Return to Orienteering Guidelines [England] by the 13th July 2020 to support clubs and the orienteering community across England in bringing a safe return to grassroots orienteering.
The Board and staff at British Orienteering has worked on these guidelines, which are in line with the latest Government guidelines on COVID-19 restrictions, including the specific guidelines on gatherings, public spaces, and outdoor activities and the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation published on the Gov.uk website.
British Orienteering has looked at other sports, specifically golf in terms of shaping the guidelines.
In creating these guidelines, British Orienteering aims to provide clubs, members and the community with clarity on how the sport can resume and how best to create a safe environment and comply with the current restrictions imposed by the government.
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.
Are you looking for some club specific guidance and not sure where to look?
In addition to support from British Orienteering, Sport England’s Club Matters website has lots of additional guidance and support that’s freely available for clubs to access that is invaluable in the current climate. Ever since Sport England’s Clubmark scheme finished in November last year, the Club Matters website has provided a one stop shop for sports clubs, groups and organisations involved in the delivery of physical activity and sport. Club matters provides free, convenient, practical resources to help organisations to develop, grow and become more sustainable and successful.
Following last year’s announcement of the Clubmark scheme closing, British Orienteering continues to recommend clubs utilise the positive structures the scheme helped to establish as best practice. With the continued support of the Club Matters website, clubs can easily find hints and tips to ensure that they run to the best and safest structures. The Club Improvement Tool especially allows clubs to think about where they perform well and identify areas to improve.
To find out more visit: https://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/
The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) recently announced that Covid-19 impacts meant that the Sprint World Orienteering Championships (WOC) scheduled for Denmark in 2020 was postponed until 2022, and that Russia was no longer able to stage the 2021 European Orienteering Championships in Sprint (Sprint EOC).
Other announcements alongside this included the cancellation of the entire World Cup programme for 2020, and that the move of Denmark Sprint WOC to 2022 also meant the intention to move the date of Sprint WOC in Edinburgh from 2022 until 2024.
Since those announcements, the IOF have been working hard with member federations and event organisers on a revised approach for these major events. They have now been able to announce some further changes to the international calendar for 2021.
Specifically, the Czech organisers of the Forest WOC for 2021 have agreed to add Sprint WOC races to the overall programme in July. They will stage the current disciplines of Individual Sprint and Mixed Sprint Relay, with the debut of the new Knock-Out Sprint discipline remaining scheduled for Denmark Sprint WOC in 2022.
In addition, the Swiss organisers of World Cup Round 1 in May 2021 have agreed to re-arrange their programme and incorporate EOC into the competition. That competition will now include all three Sprint Disciplines of Individual Sprint, Knock-Out Sprint, and Mixed Sprint Relay.
Alongside these changes, IOF have announced updates to the remainder of the 2021 World Cup programme to better balance the overall calendar. World Cup Round 2 (forest races in Sweden) moves from the previous date of immediately before Jukola in June to take place in August instead, and World Cup Round 3 in Italy will now include a Mixed Sprint Relay.
Further details of the inclusion of sprint competitions within the 2021 World Championships are at https://orienteering.sport/nokian-tyres-world-orienteering-championships-2021-to-include-sprint-competitions/, and more information on the revised World Cup programme is at https://orienteering.sport/world-cup-2021-a-balanced-program/.
These further announcements are good news for international sprint athletes in particular, who were facing the prospect of no World Championships in Sprint until 2022 (the last was in 2018), as well as the uncertainty around Sprint EOC for 2021. British Orienteering would like to express thanks to the IOF for their perseverance in seeking solutions, and to the various event organisers for their flexibility in making it possible for suitable alternatives to be found.