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Tweet Tuesday 22nd September 2020

COVID-Secure Orienteering Update 22 September 2020

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.

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Tweet Thursday 10th September 2020

Review of Return to Orienteering Guidance (England)

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:

  • If allocated start times are used, a maximum of two starters per minute is permitted from each start location.
  • If start windows are used (rather than allocated start times), a maximum of one starter per minute is permitted from each start location.
  • There is no limit to the number of separate start locations that may be used at an event.

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  

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Tweet Wednesday 23rd September 2020

British Orienteering are supporting National Fitness Day Today!

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!  

#FITNESSDAY

#GreatBritishWeekofSport

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Tweet Tuesday 4th August 2020

EYOC and Junior European Championships Update

No doubt many of you have seen this announcement from the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) on Friday (31 July 2020).


This has meant the cancellation of JWOC 2020 and the replacement of Portugal with Turkey in 2021. Also, EYOC is going ahead, but will be rebranded as EJOC (European Junior Orienteering Championships) and include M/W20's. The precise details of the event have yet to be finalised and the latest notification on the EYOC website states that there will be an update by Saturday 8th August.

So, on this basis, we will continue to look to hold selection races over the August weekend of 28th-30th, as previously notified, for M/W16's-M/W20's and the selection policy for EJOC will be reframed in light of the Hungarian organiser's guidance, in due course. These races will still be used for next season's Talent Squad selection purposes as well.

EYOC and JUnior European Championships Update

However, it must be stated that, even though the IOF have given the green light to EYOC/EJOC, there obviously remains significant levels of concern over whether this competition will still go ahead, given the fluctuating nature of Covid19 in both the UK and Europe. We will continue to plan to send a team, but everyone needs to be aware that the situation remains precarious and we will continue to monitor developments in the coming weeks. There will probably be some specific Covid-secure guidelines from the organising body in Hungary, which we will need to react to, and the latest UK government guidance will also need to be adhered to.

Selection Race Update

Having spent much of the past three days working on the final details, we can announce that we will be holding the selection race weekend on 28th-30th August in the Southern Lakes.

The race programme will comprise a sprint in Windermere on Friday late afternoon (starts from approximately 4:30-6pm), a long on Saturday afternoon and a middle on Sunday morning, with both forest races being held on the Graythwaite Estate. Both of these areas are now under embargo until the conclusion of the race weekend.

Entries are now open via SiEntries, with the link here.

The deadline for entries is midnight, Sunday 23rd August. All races will be seeded in accordance with British Orienteering rules and start times based on this process. The details of the race specifics are currently being worked on by the team of organisers, planners and controllers and we hope that provisional details will be published soon.

We will also ensure that all racing will comply with the latest covid-secure guidelines. If athletes are unable to attend the racing weekend for fitness, personal or COVID related reasons, they should contact Paul Murgatroyd (pmurgatroyd@britishorienteering.org.uk) and outline their situation, so that this can be considered by the selection panel.

The races will be used to select for EJOC and the Talent Assessment camp/squad and the final selection policy documents related to this are being worked on currently and should be up on the British Orienteering website by the end of next week.

Paul Murgatroyd
Head Coach for Talent
British Orienteering

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