Mike’s eNews December 2015

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Mike’s eNews December 2015

Post by Administrator » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:34 pm

Apologies for the silence through November, we’ve been rather overloaded with work, even by our standards!

Club & Association Conference

This year’s Association & Club Conference was held on Saturday 10th October 2015 at NFU Mutual Head Office in Stratford upon Avon. Thanks to all the attendees for making it such a worthwhile day.

After a welcome from the Chair we had a session on the Vision for Orienteering – led by me. The notes to this session are available on the website. This led into a couple of sessions to consider competitive orienteering, the focus for the vision and strategic plan. David Maliphant presented some thoughts from Chris James, Chair E&CC after which there was a great session involving David and Ed Nicholas who talked about what ‘their generation’ want from orienteering. David & Ed were questioned by attendees and the session developed some good ideas about what will suit the needs of this generation.

Group work followed to consider “how we can develop, strengthen, grow the competitive part of orienteering.” This produced some good ideas that have since been included in the draft of the strategic plan.

NFU put on a great lunch for attendees following which a Q&A session was organised between attendees and members of the Board. The matters raised were wide ranging and notes are available.

Finally, Judith Holt ran a session on the need to ‘Simplify events’ which asked attendees to consider: “how we can simplify the organising of events – making it easier to stage events and develop/support event volunteers”. Again there were some great ideas that came out of the discussions.

The Conference finished with a summary from the Chair, Martin Ward.

All of the presentation and notes taken during the day are available on our website.

Vision for Orienteering

At the Board meeting held on Thursday 3 December Board members considered the next steps in developing the Strategic Plan and a short paper will be published in the New Year to commence the next phase in the consultation.

The Board are very conscious that the plan must be for the development of orienteering in the UK and as such associations, clubs, members and some partners will be the main means of delivering the plan. Consequently, the consultation exercise is important to us and we need to understand your views. With that in mind the Board agreed that a meeting with association representatives will be key to the continued development of the plan. See the item below.

Meeting with Associations


The Board would like to hold a meeting with representatives from associations on a Saturday sometime during the February / March 2016 period. The purpose of the meeting will be two-fold:
· to consider the Strategic Plan;
· to discuss the value in establishing a ‘high-level’ Association Advisory Group that will enable associations to raise matters of importance directly with the Board; the current system of a Director liaison with an association will remain in place and the Advisory Group will be in addition to further strengthen Board/Association ties.

We are currently trying to find the most suitable date for such a meeting and we’ll communicate directly with association officials once we have a date or some viable options.

Event Organiser Training

BOK will be hosting two ‘Organising Orienteering Events’ on Monday 14th December, 3pm to 6pm or 7pm to 10pm at Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled, Kingsweston Road, Henbury, Bristol, BS10 7QT.

If anyone is interested please contact Sally Pygott or Craig Anthony.

Club and Volunteer Awards

As we come to the end of the year we start looking towards celebrating the best of 2015. A reminder that nominations for the Club and Volunteer Awards are open now and all nominations for the awards below should be made by Friday 19th February 2016 to be presented at the 2016 AGM.

This year we have brought back the Peter Palmer Coach of the Year Award and encourage members to nominate coaches who have had an impact on their orienteering be that engaging new people, improving performance or mentoring and developing other coaches. In addition to Coach of the Year Award, awards are available for Club of the Year, University Club of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year and Silva Contribution to Orienteering; all details and nomination forms are available at https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/awards.

If you have any queries please contact Craig Anthony.

Major Events – looking forward

The entries for next year’s JK are now open and the entries for BOC will be open shortly for those of you wanting to enter at the cheapest rates!

JK 2016 will be celebrating 50 years since the first JK so please let’s be seeing you all there! Perhaps if any of you have photos or significant memories of the first JK you can get in touch?

Those that are involved in major events over the next few years will now be aware that work has begun to implement the changes to the way in which these events are delivered. In brief:

· All major events must be organised using the appropriate competition rules although it is recognised that these may need simplifying.

· After 2016 the BOCs will be delivered by clubs (on behalf of associations) based on a ‘super levy’ model. A small group was established to provide the Board with some recommendations and at the recent Board meeting it was agreed that the ’super levy’ will be 3x the levy in place the year before the event is due to run. The reason for the added complexity of the ‘year before’ is best explained through an example:
At the AGM held at Easter 2016 the levy will be agreed for 2017; this will then be known in time for the budget for a major event in 2018 to be developed. If we wait until the levy for 2018 is known (Easter 2017) it is too late to be used in developing a budget.
· The JK; it was agreed that a similar approach may be difficult to apply to the JK which is a far larger event than the BOCs (4 days, greater number of participants and greater financial risk). After JK 2016 it was agreed that the association coordinating the JK will be able to negotiate with the Major Events Manager (MEM) regarding a number of issues:
· The MEM’s time and role – note the cost of MEM time will need to be included in the event budget
· The risk/reward basis of any agreement – this will replace the current partnership agreement; we appreciate that British Orienteering may need to provide cash flow and/or underwrite the JK
· The potential use of an event organiser or event company to help stage aspects of the event

The Board agreed they are happy to see a variety of different solutions used to deliver future JKs but that the income generated from partnership events continues to be required to enable British Orienteering to function.

The Board also agreed that the more we underwrite the event the more direct control of the event we will need to have. It is clearly not appropriate for British Orienteering to underwrite a JK if we are not in a position to manage the risks and opportunities.

Safeguarding & O-Safe

Many of you will already be aware that O-Safe, our reference document for safeguarding and welfare, has been updated and published. The consultation on the discussion draft of O-Safe highlighted the concerns relating to ‘photography’ and safeguarding good practice and I hope you will see a far more pragmatic approach to help event organisers deal with this matter.

There is also a short summary document of key messages although this does not replace the full O-Safe document which should be used as a reference document. Please note that O-Safe is now considerably shorter than it was originally and ultimately British Orienteering has to provide you with the information otherwise we fail on several counts:

· Most importantly, in our responsibility to safeguard children involved in orienteering
· To meet the good practice expected and required of us legally and by funding partners
· To meet the expectations and requirements of our insurance provider to whom safeguarding is a major risk they are insuring us against.

Social Media & Safeguarding

We definitely cannot DBS check a person monitoring and I think it only requires a 'common-sense' approach to moderating the social media activity. Any safeguarding aware adult should be able to do this provided they are prepared to read and digest O-Safe and our social media guidance in the Policy Booklet. If you can link it with the Club Welfare Officer all the better.

Board and directors

There will be positions for 2 directors to be elected at the AGM and we are currently seeking a further independent director to be appointed to the Board as a consequence of a recent withdrawal.

The Board needs:

· Directors who will help us make sure the constituency of the Board reflects the population of competitors and volunteers; for instance we know the membership and participation base is around 45% women and 55% men whilst the Board is currently only 33% women.
· Directors that will improve the geographic spread so that it is more closely aligned to our membership and participation base.
· Marketing, legal, promotion and PR expertise.
· Commercial expertise.

If you know members or non-members that might be approached to see if they will stand for election or appointment, please let me know. After a request in the last eNews I’ve received no suggestions or recommendations so far.

The Board want genuine competition for places at the Board table and it is a great opportunity for anybody to gain experience of operating at Board level or of gaining new skills, experiences and knowledge that will strengthen a CV – besides which it can be extremely interesting, and often entertaining!

For those interested in developing their CV it is worth noting that the Board operates under exactly the same legal framework and operational framework as does a Board of a small or large business – it is a great opportunity to gain insight and a significant addition to a CV.

We will need nominations or any recommendation by 3 February 2016 the date specified (50 clear days prior to the AGM) in our Articles of Association.

POC Portal


We have been working with our developers to update our POC (Permanent Orienteering Course) portal on the website. Testing has been on-going over the last few weeks and we are shortly going to be making the portal live. Once it is live we will be issuing guidance on how to use the portal and speaking with the clubs that have indicated they are interested in using the portal to host maps and in some cases charge users for downloads of the maps.

'More People, More Places, More Podiums'

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