Volunteer Strategy

Orienteering is recognised as a sport built on a strong foundation of volunteer activity. It’s often quoted as being an example of good practice regarding its ethos of volunteer involvement, with participants embracing the concept that it is normal to give unpaid time to their sport.

The current level of personal commitment given to orienteering is immense with an estimation of over 3,000 people working at club level to help stage events and run clubs.

The role British Orienteering plays in supporting this workforce is recognised and is becoming an even higher priority as we work to bring about the vision for the future of orienteering. There is no doubt that for orienteering to succeed and grow it will rely on the skills, knowledge and commitment of the volunteer workforce.

Volunteer development will be a major component of the Whole Sport Plan 2009/13.

Why is a Volunteer Strategy needed?

A strategy is required due to:

  • Orienteering being heavily dependent on voluntary effort (organisers; controllers; planners; mappers; event officials inc. parking, start, finish, etc; administration at National, Association and Club level; etc)
  • Anecdotal evidence leading to a belief that the pool of volunteers is growing steadily older and a new generation of volunteers is required to take on key responsibilities
  • The need to utilise the current pool of experienced volunteers to help train younger volunteers.
  • The recognition that British Orienteering needs to provide a lead in this area of work and to support the work delivered at all levels of orienteering.
  • The Vision for orienteering focuses on increasing participation and will require a re-think regarding the way that events are staged and the use of volunteers to stage them.

The strategy will provide an action plan to retain the current volunteer workforce and support the recruitment and development of people wishing to be involved in a volunteer capacity. British Orienteering is currently looking for people to join a workgroup that will develop the Volunteer Strategy and are seeking people with the following skills and knowledge:

  • People working in a volunteer capacity across British Orienteering at all levels i.e. National, Association, Club
  • Event officials
  • Coaching
  • Club administration
  • Education/training programme
  • Parents
  • Young people (with appropriate support)
  • People with experience of volunteer development outside of orienteering

If you are interested in joining the group please register your interest by email

In addition to developing a Volunteer Strategy that will address the retention, recruitment, training and monitoring of volunteers, the Workgroup will be responsible for:

  • Clarifying the volunteer roles and responsibilities in orienteering, with role descriptors, knowledge and skill requirements
  • Developing procedures that will enable education/training programmes to be established, delivered, monitored and reviewed
  • Establishing mechanisms to analyse the success or otherwise of the Volunteer Strategy and whether or not it meets the needs of the sport
  • Reviewing British Orienteering’s policies and procedures and making recommendations for changes necessary for them to underpin the Volunteer Strategy

This website will become a delivery mechanism for the volunteer strategy and will help volunteers to:

  • Find a role that matches their interest and skills
  • Effectively manage and support other volunteers
  • Share good practice in recruiting and retaining volunteers
  • Raise any questions regarding volunteering
  • Keep up to date with news about volunteering in orienteering
  • Access training
  • Access British Orienteering policies, procedures and resources that will support volunteers in their work

Please email any questions about volunteering in orienteering here