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Tweet Friday 16th October 2020

Guidelines for Orienteering in England 16 October 2020

On 12 October the Prime Minister announced a new system of COVID-19 restrictions to replace the existing local lockdown measures in individual areas.

Under the new scheme, local areas will be placed in one of three tiers; Tier 1 (Medium), Tier 2 (High) and Tier 3 (Very High).

Tier 1 areas are subject to the existing national restriction measures such as the ‘rule of six’.

Those areas within Tier 2 see additional restrictions, such as a ban on households mixing indoors.

In Tier 3 areas, indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios and indoor sports facilities are required to close by law.

However, an exemption applies which allows these venues to be used by under 18s and people with a disability. Within each of these tiers, organised outdoor sporting activity can continue and remains exempt from restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather, subject to this taking place under approved guidance.

Detailed guidance on what you can do in each of these tiers is available here:

The government has also published a postcode checker to find out which tier your local area is in.

The new system has implications for orienteering and we have updated our Return to Orienteering Guidance.

Anyone organising or taking part in an orienteering event or activity must ensure that they are aware of the local COVID alert level both in their home area and at the intended venue for their activity, and act in line with the restrictions which apply.

British Orienteering has created a matrix of activities to show which orienteering activities are permitted at each alert level, subject to landowner permission.

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Tweet Wednesday 21st October 2020

British Orienteering eLearning offers fresh and interactive Event Safety Course - currently cost-free until 31 December 2020

British Orienteering now offers new online learning platform.

British Orienteering eLearning offers a fresh and interactive approach to the ‘Event Safety Course’ 

Attendance at a British Orienteering Event Safety and Welfare Workshop is a mandatory requirement for all Organisers, Planners, Controllers and other key officials at all levels of British Orienteering registered Events.

Howard Blackman, Business Development Officer, says: “This course aims to provide for both current and prospective event organisers and planners an overview of the safety requirements and issues that may arise in staging an orienteering event. It has a particular focus on risk management and the means of controlling risks at acceptable levels. We anticipate that those undertaking the course will have had previous experience in carrying out risk assessments.”

This interactive activity is focused on supporting the learner to understand how to identify, access and control to an acceptable level the risks involved with an event.

This eLearning course is currently cost-free until 31 December 2020, from the 1 January 2021 the price will be £10.00. 

The course will take approximately an hour to complete and you will also receive the following:

  • Certificate
  • Authorised to be a key official at a British Orienteering registered event
  • Quick links to supporting resources, forms and policies

To access the course, click here to set up your login for our eLearning platform, then select the course from the menu. If you are a British Orienteering member, please note that you will need to set up a login when you access the eLearning platform rather than using your British Orienteering login.  Perfect for the approaching dark nights!

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Tweet Wednesday 21st October 2020

All competitions and activities in Wales suspended with effect from 18:00, Friday 26th October

The First Minister has confirmed that Wales will enter a “fire break” lockdown at 6pm on Friday the 23rd October. This period will continue until the 9th of November.

Exercise outdoors can continue, but it should start and end at home unless individuals have mobility or disability issues that require them to travel away from home to exercise. Exercise must only be undertaken with people you live with. Gatherings outdoors for group exercise will be prohibited.

Extensive FAQs are available on the Welsh Government website, including sections on sport and exercise: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-circuit-break-frequently-asked-questions

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Tweet Monday 12th October 2020

Despite the torrential all-day rain, Interlopers held first event since lockdown

Report by Katherine Ivory, member of Interlopers (INT).

Interlopers Event held at Mortonhall on 3 October 2020. 

Kite drying post-quarantine.  Photo credit:  Katherine Ivory (Interlopers)  

Despite the torrential all-day rain, Interlopers held its first event since lockdown on Saturday 3 October, with a Level D event on the Mortonhall estate in South Edinburgh.  We were delighted to welcome back around eighty runners from a range of clubs for light-green, orange, and yellow courses. 

We had originally been hoping to hold our re-start event a month previously at Colinton Dell, but City of Edinburgh Council was not (and still is not) granting permission for any events in the public spaces they manage.  Instead we turned this set of courses (planned for May) into a virtual event using MaprunF, with competitors running in their own time over the course of a week.  The variable stances of landowners on holding events again has been a considerable issue for arranging our club’s programme now, and we were very grateful to the Mortonhall Camping and Caravan Park for granting us permission.

Covid risk management requirements meant of course some differences compared to how we had normally run a level-D ‘come and try it’ event.  Typically, these are informal, with competitors simply turning up on the day, and a lot of chat to welcome newcomers and catch up with friends.  For this event, all entries needed to be made in advance, via a simple online booking form in Googleforms which worked very well.  Payment was taken on the day in named envelopes.  We were happy to be able to open the event to everyone and anyone, rather than just our own club as would have been the case back in September.  It was great to see familiar faces from other local clubs as well as new recruits to Edinburgh University Orienteering Club, and some newcomers who had been looking for a new activity to try with other activities currently not happening. 

‘Social-distancing’ was the watch-phrase, and everyone was allocated a start time to avoid gatherings at the start.  Hand sanitiser was provided at registration, simple entry-fee drop-off and dibber collection if required, and download.  Runners were asked to hand-sanitise before picking up their map and running.  We also kept our volunteer count to a minimum to reduce the number of people on the ground.  Normally we would have been very active in helping newcomers, but instead offered online pre-event chats by Zoom, with a Power-point pack of photos of what to expect and showing what a dibber and control look like, for example). This worked very well.  Runners were able to take away their splits but otherwise, to avoid clustering, had to wait for these to go up online that evening on the Interlopers website (www.interlopers.org.uk).  To compensate a bit for the lack of opportunities for event-chat for club members, we had an online post-event Zoom social and quiz the following evening. 

Given the wet weather, kit-drying was very much required – but quarantining it for 72 hours as part of our risk-management measures.

Obviously, some entrants were unable to attend on the day, and we were extremely grateful to those who stayed away as requested if they had any symptoms.  We have now put all three courses into MaprunF in the Edinburgh O folder in the app, and on the Scottish Orienteering Association webpage here, and allow those who had to miss the event to still run the courses in their own time.

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our first event since lock-down, braving the weather and mud for some orienteering again! As usual, this was a true club endeavour with a large number of Interloper volunteers working behind the scenes and on the day to make it happen.  We hope to hold our next event at Dechmont Law on Sunday 8 November.

Mortonhall start.  Credit: Katherine Ivory (INT)
Socially distanced starts.  Credit: Katherine Ivory (INT) 
The Finish.  Credit: Ken Daly (INT)
Participant running.  Credit: Ken Daly (INT)
The start box.  Credit: William Ivory (INT)
Finish head-to-head.  Credit: Ken Daly (INT)

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Celebrating the re-start of orienteering.  
What activities or events has your club organised? Have you recently attended a re-start event?  Was it your second or third?  How did you find it?

Permanent Orienteering Courses are a great way to enjoy the outdoors in a socially distanced way.  Maybe you have downloaded a Permanent Orienteering and/or Virtual Orienteering Course and enjoyed it with your family?  However, you have been taking part in orienteering, share your experiences and inspire others. 

Send your news snippets and photos to Jennie Taylor Communications Officer.  
Email:  jtaylor@britishorienteering.org.uk 

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To view the current British Orienteering Guidance visit:  
https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/COVID19_Safe_Orienteering

#StaySafe

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