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!
UK Coaching has launched a new toolkit that will ensure the nation’s coaches are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide great coaching experiences to others, and support them as coaches to better look after themselves as they return to coaching after COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
The Duty to Care Toolkit, which will be available on UK Coaching’s learning and development platform, ukcoaching.org, has come to fruition after extensive consultative support from a range of partners and coaches across the UK.
As a coach, you have a duty to care for every individual you support and interact with. This should be the golden thread that runs through every aspect of your coaching, as you strive to meet people’s physical, social, emotional and psychological needs.
UK Coaching has established a unique Duty to Care approach to galvanise the coaching sector to fulfil their obligations around the Duty to Care ethos, the principles of which underpin great coaching.
With recent months having put an immense strain on people’s physical and mental well-being, the Toolkit has been designed to support you to support the people you coach, whilst simultaneously giving you the knowledge and skills to better look after your own health and well-being.
The Toolkit will give you the confidence to embrace and adjust to the changed coaching landscape because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Toolkit comprises of the UK Coaching Duty to Care ‘Digital Badge’ and supporting coach learning resources set across the five distinct pillars of Duty to Care:
To earn the Duty to Care ‘Digital Badge’ you must successfully complete the five free Knowledge Checks.
There is an extensive suite of learning around each pillar, with five separate pages signposting you to the most relevant resources to help you refresh and grow your knowledge around each theme.
There is no set learning process, so coaches can embark on the Knowledge Checks or the learning whichever way round they like.
Why Get the Badge?
The badge provides:
So, what are you waiting for? Enrol online today
The findings of Baroness Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care in Sport review coincided with UK Coaching’s plan to devise a product that ensures coaches are sufficiently equipped to deliver great coaching – and thereby, inspire their participants to develop lifelong active lifestyles and ensure athletes’ welfare is at the top of their priority list.
UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching Emma Atkins, said:
“We are ecstatic about the launch of our new Duty to Care Toolkit and Digital Badge, which supports coaches by enabling them to show their commitment to great coaching, and to continue to improve the coaching experience people receive.
“In the coronavirus era, coaches have a big part to play in their communities, lifting the mood and boosting the physical, social, emotional and mental health of the nation. More than ever before, we need to look after our participants regardless of where they are on their sport and physical activity journey. The last few months have put an unimaginable strain on people’s physical and mental well-being, and thus, we are seeing a society desperate to return to sport and exercise. We know that many coaches are wanting to return to coaching too, but they want the reassurance that they can do this safely and confidently.
“Many of the nation’s coaches, whether they’re grassroots or elite level, need support and learning opportunities so they can effectively look after the well-being of their participants, as well as their own too.
“At UK Coaching, we pride ourselves in supporting coaches who transform the lives of individuals and communities to help create a happier and healthier society. This extensive toolkit will help all coaches thrive in their role, which is essential if we are to navigate this uncertain time together and get the nation back on its feet.”
As you return to coaching, refuel your great coaching skills.