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Tweet Wednesday 6th January 2021

New Stay at Home guidance issued for national lockdown in England

The government has issued new guidance for the national lockdown in England, which comes into force on Tuesday 5 January.

The guidance states that:

  • Outdoor exercise is still permitted but should be limited to once per day.
  • You can exercise in a public outdoor place:
    • by yourself.
    • with the people you live with.
    • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one).
    • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare.
    • or, when on your own, with one person from another household.
  • Outdoor exercise should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space). If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.
  • All outdoor sports clubs, centres, venues and facilities will close, alongside indoor facilities.
  • Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue, and we will provide further detail on this once we have information from the Government.

All organised orienteering activities, including events, competitions, leagues and coaching, are therefore suspended with immediate effect (except for orienteering for disabled people, on which we will provide further information in due course).


POCs and VOCs can still be used for individual exercise. Courses should be registered with British Orienteering as activities to provide insurance cover for the club and planner. They must not be used for competitions or leagues.

We would recommend that you add any courses on to the British Orienteering POC portal via your club POC Manager or contact

The full national lockdown: stay at home guidelines are available on the UK government website.

Guidance for orienteering clubs

Up to date support and guidance for UK orienteering clubs is available via our COVID page.

Tweet Friday 18th December 2020

Update: Suspension of competitions and activities in Wales from 20 December 2020

The First Minister has today announced that Tier 4 restrictions have been brought forward to the 20 December 2020.

However, the guidance that the Welsh Executive has published is clear that people who live in Tier 4 areas must not travel out of their Tier 4 area other than for legally permitted reasons, and that people who live in Tier 4 areas must not leave or be outside of their home except where they have a specific purpose or ‘reasonable excuse’.

For those living in a Tier 4 area, unlimited outdoor exercise is still permitted, including in parks and the countryside. Exercise must be alone, or in a public outdoor place with your household, support bubble, or one other person. Exercise should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your Tier 4 area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space).

Orienteers are obviously required to comply with the new restrictions and with other government guidance.

British Orienteering will the guidance as further details of the new restrictions become available.

Tweet Tuesday 26th January 2021

Sport England launches exciting new strategy putting sport and physical activity at heart of nation’s recovery.

#UnitingTheMovement is a 10-year vision to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity.

Helping grassroots sport and physical activity recover from the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and investing in tackling the challenges of the next decade are the cornerstones of the new 10-year strategy.

Launched today via an online event today (Tuesday 26 January 2021), #UnitingTheMovement runs through to 2031 but is most immediately focused on helping the people and organisations delivering grassroots sport and physical activity to cope with the pressure of the pandemic.



Find out more here: 


Tweet Monday 4th January 2021

Virtual Coaching Conference starts this weekend

The 2021 Virtual Coaching Conference commences this Saturday and showcases a variety of sessions to support coaches across the UK throughout January.

Sessions will be delivered live across both Zoom and Go To Webinar and hosted by Scottish Orienteering Association and British Orienteering Federation.

Each session is highlighted below and the agenda is also available via PDF download. 

In addition to these sessions, there will also be communication out to all coaches regarding online Safeguarding sessions. The session will depend which part of the UK you live in, with details announced in January. 

Saturday 9th January  10:30 - 12:30

Presented by Zoe Harding

Introduction to S&C

‘A practical session, exploring some of the key concepts of strength & conditioning. Followed by introducing some exercises suitable for club activities. Dress for action, a mat or towel is also recommended.’


Register Here The session will be delivered via Zoom.

Saturday 9th January

14:00 – 17:00

Presented by Iain Embrey

Remote Terrain Safety workshop

This cpd module enables Level 2 (or old Lv3) coaches to operate in type D areas.  It is also good cpd for coaches of all experiences and levels to revisit and refresh our practice around safety, risk mitigation, and dynamic risk management.

Attendance is also particularly welcome from any Level 2+ Coach or former Level 3+ Coach who may wish to deliver this workshop in the future. Please state this interest when you sign-up. We may run tutor training at a later date.

(If a coach attends this workshop and subsequently attains Level 2 Coach, then they will be able to practice in type D areas thereafter, provided of course that the necessary first-aid qualification is in place.)

Register Here The session will be delivered via Zoom

Monday 11th January

19:30 - 20:30

Presented by Paul Murgatroyd & Mark Nixon

Keynote - Systematic Orienteering


Register here Delivered through Go To Webinar

Thursday 14th January

19:30 - 20:30

Presented by Helen O’Donoghue

Coaching and Covid – assessments and precautions

Different home nation governments/associated sports bodies have addressed requirements for continuation of sporting activities during the coronavirus pandemic in different ways. 

The starting point for this talk and discussion is the required approach to orienteering coaching in Scotland, where orienteering clubs must appoint a Covid officer and produce a Covid risk assessment for each activity. 

Holding Zoom discussions on how to comply with the requirements and how to deliver safe coaching sessions has been useful in SOA and participants are invited to join in the discussions this evening so that experiences can be shared widely.

Expected duration: 60 minutes but it could be 90 minutes if there is plenty of discussion.

Register here The session will be delivered via Zoom

Monday 18th January

19:30 - 20:30

Presented by Tim O’Donoghue

Safety for coaches – a presentation of the SOA CPD package for coaches

Event safety training is required for Organisers and Planners (& Controllers) and many coaches are safety trained through their event roles.  But not all coaches have taken on event roles when they are first trained and yet they organise and plan coaching sessions.  This training is for people in this group and for anyone else looking for refresher training on safety in coaching sessions.  It addresses risk assessment (including dynamic risk assessment), area dependent hazards, the hierarchy of precautions, emergency plans and reporting.

Expected duration: 60 minutes

Register Here The session will be delivered via Zoom

Tuesday 19th January

19:30 - 20:30


Junior squad coaching practices and experiences.

Presented by Angela Darley, Carol Lovegrove (SEOA).

Register here Delivered through Go To Webinar

Thursday 21st January

19:30 - 20:30

Chaired by Sarah Dunn, with contributions from Helen Errington, Suzanne Robins-Bird and David Robertson.


Additional Support Needs in Orienteering Coaching

Orienteering appeals to many youngsters with Additional Support Needs, notably those on the autistic spectrum, with the technical and individual nature of the sport being a particular attraction. It can offer massive developmental benefits, including confidence building and self-reliance, as well as being fun. As coaches, how can we ensure that we are meeting the needs of such youngsters and that they are gaining maximum benefit from the sport, particularly when coaching in a mixed group setting? The objective of this workshop is to share experiences of working with youngsters with ASN and to map out some simple tips for other coaches to assimilate.

The focus of the workshop will be on learning difficulties and disabilities rather than any form of physical disability. Several coaches have been invited to outline some of their personal experiences of working with youngsters with ASN. We will then break out into groups to discuss this and give other participants an opportunity to share their experiences before feeding back to the full group. Workshop participants should be prepared to informally contribute ideas and experiences for discussion.

Register Here The session will be delivered via Zoom

Tuesday 26th January

19:30 - 20:30

Led by Natalie Weir

Using Virtual Platforms for coaching

A discussion on the ways virtual apps such as MapRun, Routegadget other virtual platforms has and could be used for coaching.


Register here Delivered through Go To Webinar

Thursday 28th January 

19:30 - 20:30

Presented by Paul Taylor SYO

Simulating Sweden

We can’t always get to top quality terrain. So how do we bring Sweden (or Scotland) to our local wood? This practical session will present an exercise designed for YHOA juniors and give participants a chance to share their own ideas on physical simulation of elite orienteering experiences.


Register here Delivered through Go To Webinar


Tutor training workshop

Details to follow.

Conference starts this Saturday 9th January