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Tweet Friday 27th November 2020

UPDATE: Resumption of orienteering in England from 2 December 2020

Following the confirmation by the Prime Minister yesterday (23 November) that England will return to a three-tier system of regional restrictions once the current period of national restrictions ends at 00:01 on 2 December.  The Board of British Orienteering met on 27 November and have agreed that: 

From Wednesday, 2 December 2020, orienteering events using electronic punching and timing equipment can take place providing that they follow these guidelines.

People are advised not to travel into or out of tier 3 areas (very high alert) in order to participate or volunteer in an orienteering activity or event.

This does not apply to travel where it is necessary to enable supervised coaching sessions and competitions for under-18s or activities for disabled people.

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.

Further guidance will be published on Tuesday, 1 December 2020.

Tweet Wednesday 4th November 2020

Suspension of Competitions in England 4 November 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s official announcement on Saturday, 31 October 2020, there will be a new, month-long set of restrictions coming into force throughout England.

These new measures will come into force across England from 00:01 on Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December 2020.

Having reviewed both the new laws and the official guidance published by the UK government for England, the Board of British Orienteering has made the difficult decision that all orienteering events and organised club activities will be suspended in England from Thursday 5 November for as long as these restrictions remain in force.

The full statement can be found here.

The latest Orienteering guidance for the whole of the UK can be found here

Tweet Wednesday 25th November 2020

East Ayrshire Learning Outdoor Support Team achieves British Orienteering Recognised Centre Status

British Orienteering is delighted to announce that the East Ayrshire Learning Outdoor Support Team has been accredited to their Recognised Centre scheme.

The East Ayrshire Learning Outdoor Support Team has been recognised by British Orienteering, the National Governing body for the sport as providing a positive first experience to visiting groups. East Ayrshire Learning Outdoor Support Team is one of a number of accredited centres awarded British Orienteering Recognised Centre status.

Wille White, Education Officer from the East Ayrshire Learning Outdoor Support Team said: 

"Our experienced staff team can offer a tailored orienteering experience that is adventurous, progressive, innovative, challenging and exciting in order to meet a variety of high quality learning outcomes and we support schools with training and resources. We are currently collaborating with local clubs; STAG to install permanent orienteering courses in most Secondary schools to enhance outdoor PE and AYROC, TOPAyrshire & Scottish Orienteering to establish a dedicated local development officer.”

Howard Blackman, Business Development Officer for British Orienteering, said:

“Our Recognised Centre scheme is designed to work with Outdoor Centres to understand how orienteering is used as a tool to deliver a wide variety of educational outcomes. We are pleased to recognise the East Ayrshire Learning Support Outdoor Team as delivering a high quality orienteering experience to visiting groups.”

Recognised Centre status is awarded to Outdoor Centres who can show a consistently high standard of orienteering across a range of criteria that covers orienteering delivery, staffing, resourcing as well as policies and procedures. These are examined in detail by British Orienteering advisors and accredited to outdoor centres only if they meet the standards.

British Orienteering, the National Governing Body of the sport, provide specialist advisors to help Outdoor Centres across the country to provide the highest standards in orienteering delivery.   

For more information about the scheme and how to join visit the dedicated Recognised Centre section on the British Orienteering website

Tweet Tuesday 17th November 2020

Woodhall Spa Event enjoyed by Lincoln Orienteering Group (pre-lockdown)

Report by Alison Wright Publicity Officer at Lincoln Orienteering Group 

Will it be the last traditional O event of the year?

#covid19 #adaptingtochange #orienteeringlife

Please note:  this event took place before new lockdown measures came into force in England at 00.01 on Thursday 5 November 2020.

British Orienteering, at the start of the year, held a development conference focused on increasing both membership across the age brackets as well as general participation. The closing thought was that each club had a responsibility to do ‘something’ and to figure out where on the following spectrum they were:  

Ground Zero..........Communication..........Engagement..........Performing

Little did we know that we were about to enter a pandemic, and our focus would be more centred around ‘survival’ full stop.

I am extremely proud of the way Lincoln OG has performed and the ability of the club to adapt and meet the targets set by British Orienteering, at January’s conference. I will be honest: had we not entered a pandemic where people’s lifestyles have changed, where team sport was diminished and restricted, and other time pressures on people’s lives being reduced, I am not sure we would have been as successful. We have managed to utilise the situation we have found ourselves in, and as Einstein would say ‘in the middle of difficulty we have found opportunity’.

At the start of the pandemic, whilst in our socially distanced burrows, we kept our links between club members open by replacing our weekly training night with a Zoom ‘Pub & Quiz” night where members were encouraged to keep their activity levels up via a series of challenges using the Strava club function, as well as our usual ‘ LOG banter’ WhatsApp group. We even did a LOG socially distanced relay around the county passing through various mapped areas with over 30 members taking part. Committee meetings continued to run via Zoom and plans were made to ensure access; planners, controllers, organisers were sought for upcoming events, and any changes necessary were made to the calendar. A risk assessment was completed on managing risk of transmission should events be allowed to continue and as challenges arose these were problem solved by the committee. By the time British Orienteering guidelines were disseminated and the government green light was given, we were prepared to push on and start our jointly run Lincolnshire Urban Summer Series with our friendly rivals and neighbours HALO. This was hugely successful, and participation was increased significantly on recent years. We went on to host our annual Lincoln City race, which again was well received, and despite the purposeful lack of publicity surrounding these events (so not to encourage travel), numbers again were good. It is fundamental to exercise both the mind and body. These are evidenced as being significant factors in reducing the risk of Covid19.

We were restricted on numbers at our Woodhall Spa East Midlands Urban league event to 100 competitors and due to surrounding areas being placed into Tier 3, we had some cancellations in the week running up to the event. It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure they are ‘fit’ to attend an event and the disclaimer formed part of the online registration form. As a committee, we previously had veered away from pre-registration and event payment due to costs involved and deemed it unnecessary. In the light of Covid19, we have found the SI entries system has proven to not only help take away the need to handle cash and providing socially distanced start times, but it also provides map numbers which saves printing costs, and allows us to send updates to competitors prior to the event. For those that decided not to attend, they were refunded, and their places became available. The event closed with 98 competitors taking part on the day. Despite being a small club, we have a strong contingent of ‘helpers’ who were identified prior to the event and assigned roles. Helpers were advised to maintain social distancing and start/ finish/ download/ base tent/ car park/ toilets were set up to allow adequate spacing and encourage competitors to run and go. The usual huddle at download was discouraged with no results screen set up, and print out given with a QR code to take you electronically to the live results page. Competitors behaved responsibly, abided by the guidelines set and were relieved to be able to get out on what turned into a beautiful sunny autumnal day and orienteer.

It was great to see faces from our orienteering family in the flesh, albeit at a distance. It felt sociable and safe due to the adaptations we had made.  As much as we’ve enjoyed Strava challenges/ VOC/ zoom calls as it has shown that there is more to our orienteering than running between circles on a map, it’s the connection with the people as much as the sport itself that we have missed.Thanks to Craig Lucas for planning, Pete Harris from Humberside and Lincoln Orienteers (HALO) for controlling, Amanda Roberts and Trudy Crosby for organising, LOG Committee for ensuring it went ahead, and all the helpers that made the day run smoothly. Craig certainly caught a few people out with the uncrossable gate at the last control as you can see in the photographs.

This has been an active and successful year for Lincoln Orienteering Group, and we have taken on board British Orienteering’s ‘do something’ task and have performed. We even have managed to pick up a few new faces, retain last year’s recruits, kept current membership involved, and had some returners to the sport. Orienteering has the ability to survive well in this new world in which we are living, and we need to ensure that we safeguard it for the future by harnessing the opportunity we have to show it off whilst we have the chance.



Please note:  Woodhall Spa event took place before the new measures came into force across England  at 00:01 on 5 November 2020.

The full statement can be found here.

The latest Orienteering guidance for the whole of the UK can be found here.