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Tweet Thursday 15th April 2021

Thriving Clubs for a New Generation: introducing British Orienteering’s new strategy

Thriving Clubs for a New Generation are at the heart of the new British Orienteering Strategy to strengthen the sport in this country. It will allow us to engage with a new generation via a thriving club network.

British Orienteering believes that if we change perceptions about orienteering, improve accessibility and deliver engaging fun experiences, more people will become hooked on the sport.

Once engaged, clear pathways to progress in competitor or volunteering will enable people to enjoy the sport for life.

The four focus areas of the Strategic Plan are:

  • Change the perception.
  • Create engaging experiences.
  • Strengthen lifelong pathways.
  • Provide foundations for success.

Thriving Clubs for a New Generation” will be formally launched at the AGM on Wednesday, 21 April 2021 and we will be consulting further with the membership and key stakeholders.

Read the Full Strategy here

Call to Action

British Orienteering is keen to hear from you as we turn Thriving Clubs for a New Generation into reality.

  • How can this strategy benefit your club, new and existing orienteers in your local area?
  • What ideas do you have to support the news strategic priorities?
  • What is working well for you that we could share?
  • Would you be interested to be involved in a focus group?

All views are valued and we will factor them into our thinking as we take our sport and the plan forward.

Please click here to fill out the survey and help us to collect as many views as possible or send your comments to


Tweet Saturday 12th June 2021

#GreatCoaching : Tell Your Coaching Story on the Interactive Video Wall

Tell Your Orienteering Coaching Story! 

As part of #UKCoachingWeek, UK Coaching want to show the nation what #GreatCoaching is all about by sharing YOUR stories.

  • Why did you get into coaching?
  • What challenges have you faced?
  • What adversities have you overcome?
  • What advice would you give your fellow and aspiring coaches?

Let's join together and get our fantastic sport of Orienteering on the interactive video wall and celebrate #GreatCoaching across our sport of orienteering.

Share YOUR Orienteering Coaching Story by make a short video to share by simply....

Don't forget to include links to British Orienteering

Tweet Saturday 12th June 2021

#GreatCoaching: Nick Lightfoot (South Yorkshire Orienteers)

#UKCoachingWeek, British Orienteering earlier this year were very excited to once again be recognising the exceptional work that continues to be done within the orienteering community.  The National Annual Awards take place every year and receives nominations for the category of Coach of the Year.

2020 was a challenging year, and the work that was done was impressive.  The Coach of the Year award is presented to coaches who demonstrate success in engaging new people, improving the performance of orienteers and/or developing other coaches.

This year’s winner Coach of the Year was awarded to:  Nick Lightfoot (South Yorkshire Orienteers). 

Nick Lightfoot (South Yorkshire Orienteers) - Awarded Coach of the Year

Nick coaches regularly at weekly club coaching sessions and is also coach to the High Storrs orienteering team. He also coaches the Yorkshire Junior Squad and is a personal coach to orienteers aiming to compete at international level.  

At club level his focus is mainly on the development of beginners and improvers. He coaches both adults and juniors, planning and delivering coaching activities. 

Personal coaching activities include devising and reviewing training programmes, planning exercises for terrain and armchair training, analysing races, research to support athlete development and specific race preparation, liaising with squad and team coaches and supporting the athletes before, during and after their target races.  

On average Nick spends around 10-12 hours per week volunteering as a coach. 

Nick's achievements in the last 12 months have contributed to him being awarded Coach of the Year 2021.

While Nick has had major success in coaching athletes to international success in the past, his focus and way of working has changed significantly this past year due to the pandemic. Nick deserves particular recognition to the way he has adapted his methods to cope with lockdown restrictions. His personal sessions with athletes have continued, switching from face-2-face sessions to online. He has also instigated the very successful SYO Catching Features sessions which provide coaching and competition to a huge range of club members ranging from beginners to elites. He has also set up a regular Monday night coaching clinic via Zoom. The sessions are wide ranging in content and include areas such as theoretical presentations, practical map exercises and race analysis. These sessions have been very popular, particularly with improving adults who have really appreciated the chance to talk over maps and routes. 

Outside of lockdown he has continued to deliver coaching sessions for the High Storrs team and weekly club night sessions. He has also planned and delivered a real life coaching session for the YHJS squad and has assisted regularly with coaching a “break out” group in the on-line sessions. He also assisted with the virtual Deeside tour in the summer. 

Nick is an enthusiastic and passionate coach who devote UndoKeyboard shortcut Ctrl+Zs many volunteer hours to developing orienteers of all ages and abilities. 

 Commenting on his award Nick says:  
In trying to be creative and keep going as best we could during a challenging year it raised the question, what are we trying to achieve in orienteering coaching?  For a sport that prides itself in navigational excellence I think many of us have lost our way in recent years with too much emphasis on results and forgetting that it’s the quality of the journey and experiences along the way that are important. It seems fitting then that I should receive an award in a year when races have been few and far between. I’ve had many special moments in my 40-year coaching journey and met far too many inspirational people to thank them all, but I recall one youngster who, after competing for the primary school I was coaching, declared that orienteering was his ‘new favourite sport’.  His enthusiasm survived the pandemic and last weekend, 4 years on, he ran past me on a regional squad training exercise, still with a smile on his face. That seems like a result to me - so thank you Isaac!”

Many congratulations again Nick.


Tweet Monday 8th March 2021

Return to Orienteering Guidance - England

British Orienteering has produced the latest Back to Orienteering Guidance for England.

With the current lockdown restrictions being eased across all areas of England as the country moves to Step 1 of the Government's roadmap later this month. This will mean that organised outdoor orienteering, including competitions and coaching, can resume in England from Monday 29 March 2021.

The Government has not yet produced detailed guidance for the restart of grassroots sport. However British Orienteering understands that the full guidance may not be available until nearer the restart date.

British Orienteering have therefore taken the decision to publish British Orienteering's draft guidance for the restart of events now, so that clubs can begin to make plans. There have been very few changes from the guidance that was in force before this lockdown began. However, this is being publishing with the caveat that the British Orienteering guidance may need to be revised when the Government guidance for sport is published, particularly if the Government guidance proves to be more restrictive than is currently expected.

British Orienteering's guidance reflects the Government's requirement that, from 29 March, everyone should continue to minimise travel wherever possible. Beyond saying that overnight stays are not allowed, the Government has not clarified what 'minimising travel' means in practice, and there are not currently any defined limits on travel distances or times. Along with other outdoor and adventure sports, we are waiting to see whether any further clarification on this is provided when the Government guidance for sport is published. If it is, then this guidance will be updated accordingly.

In any case, British Orienteering are clear that it will not require clubs or organisers to check how far participants have travelled. Ultimately it will be down to individual participants to satisfy themselves that their travel plans fall within the letter and the spirit of what the Government has asked us all to do.

When England moves to Step 2 of the roadmap, which will be on Monday 12 April at the earliest, overnight stays will be allowed. The expectation is that Government guidance on travel to be relaxed at this point, and a further update of the British Orienteering guidance published if required.

British Orienteering are also writing to the major landowners, including Forestry England, the National Trust, and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, to find out their timetables for allowing orienteering competitions to resume on their land and whether they are intending to apply any additional constraints.

For all the latest guidance and support documents, visit our COVID webpage.


Further Event Updates

British Championships 2021

Organising for the various British Championships in the current climate is very difficult. All those involved in hosting the British Championships this year are working hard to find a way to stage their event in 2021. British Orienteering are providing information now to allow those who wish to take part in the British Championships to plan their diary and training schedule accordingly, but all dates for the 2021 British Championships are currently provisional. We are working with each of the organising teams to agree a cut-off date, at which point  a decision about whether it is possible for the events to go ahead in accordance with the COVID-19 restriction across the various parts of the UK.

The British Middle Championships on Summerhouse Knott, in the Lake District, have been rescheduled to Saturday 5 June, as a result of the restrictions that will still be in place in May. The Northern Championships on High Dam have moved with the Middles and will now take place on Sunday 6 June.

The British Sprint Relay Championships & British Sprint Championships in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, have lost landowner permission for the original dates in June and have been rescheduled to Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August.

The British Long Championships are currently being planned for Saturday 2 October 2021 at Braunton Burrows, in Devon. We had already agreed to cancel the British Relay Championships for 2021, but there are plans for a second individual event on Sunday 3 October on the same area.

The British Night Championships on Cleeve Hill, near Cheltenham, have been provisionally rescheduled for Saturday 27 November. BOK is hoping to stage an event the next day, near Coleford, to make a weekend of orienteering in the South West.

Latest Guidance for England announced.