Mike’s eNews January 2016

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Mike’s eNews January 2016

Post by Administrator » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:53 pm

Happy New Year

I’d just like to say a big thank you for all your hard work during 2015. We really do appreciate all your hard work on behalf of members and in supporting British Orienteering.

AGM & Board Directors

With the AGM looming on 25 March at Leeds University there will be the usual election of Directors. Please let me know if you are interested in the role and if I can be of help in explaining the role and responsibilities give me a ring or drop me an email. It is a great opportunity to add ‘being a company director’ to your CV or if improving your CV doesn’t motivate you then perhaps you will enjoy the experience of being a director? It’s an opportunity to give something back to the sport or to help to shape it for the future. Perhaps you think British Orienteering should be more focused on meeting the needs of our older members or you feel strongly about making orienteering more accessible to new participants, perhaps you have great experience in marketing and promoting? These and other views, ideas and experiences are wanted on the Board so give me a ring and let me talk you through the role.

In addition to the elections for directors a recruitment process is commencing to appoint an independent director. In this context ‘independent’ means not having been involved in the governance structure of orienteering at national level. Again if you are interested please get in touch.

Board / Association Meeting

The Board are keen to instigate a meeting with representatives of associations and are communicating with the officers of associations regarding a meeting on Saturday 13 February. Invitations are about to be circulated.

The intention for the meeting is that 1 or 2 of the senior officers or representatives of an association be invited to the meeting to discuss:

· The Strategic Plan for the sport;

· Associations part in these plans;

· How the Board can best gain input and feedback from associations about the matters the Board deals with – key strategic issues.

Hopefully we can also consider the value of such a meeting and whether or not further meetings will be beneficial and if so the frequency of meeting.

Government Strategy for Sport

You will see that the Government has published a new strategy for sport and, personally, I think it is a modern and impressive strategy that puts sport and an active nation amongst the Governments priorities.

There is no doubt that the strategy is a great opportunity for sport and hopefully orienteering is well positioned to help the Government bring their strategy to fruition if we choose to take the opportunities presented.

You can find the strategy and a brief note about it in the news section or the full strategy at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... SSIBLE.pdf.

Volunteer Organiser Training

Many thanks to BOK and Alan Honey in particular who enabled us to run a couple of pilot sessions at the end of last year.

Thanks too to the participants who experienced the pilot and completed feedback forms after the sessions – and for your honesty and insightfulness.

I joined a review meeting on the Thursday before break and there is no doubt we learnt a lot from the two pilots. In brief we came to the conclusion that a rethink is required and that the pilot course does not yet fully meet our needs or the needs of the participants. It is very clear to me as a ‘3rd party’ that the pilot served to raise some significant issues – which is the purpose of a pilot after all.

We are working to pull together a clear statement about this training and hope to be circulating something fairly early in 2016.


Approximately 2 years ago I sat down with Hilary Palmer, Pat Mee and various other people involved in coaching and we took the decision not to modify the coaching scheme until decisions had been taken by Sport Coach UK and the body responsible for qualifications. These decisions were promised in 2014 and then early 2015 and we are still waiting the final sign off on them now. Our level of frustration is high as you can imagine.

1st4Sport has just (8 Jan) sent us a draft of the new qualifications for a Level 1 Award in Coaching (actually for 'coaching single sessions') and a Level 2 Certificate in Coaching (actually for 'coaching a series of sessions'). They are still in draft but we are led to believe they are only awaiting final sign off. On this basis we have decided to commence work to align our coaching awards with the new qualifications – in reality we have no choice in this matter.

The new qualifications will be on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) which has replaced the Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF).

Our current L1 and L2 will remain OK until the end of 2017 but we will not be able to deliver any more courses after that date. Any attendees of courses that have commenced by that date will have the usual 2 years (latest by the end of 2019) after their registration date to complete.

We are now able to start work on mapping our current awards against the new coach qualifications and importantly to make sure that the new qualifications meet our needs. We hope to be able get on with this over the next 6 months and be ready to launch the new qualifications at the Coaching Conference in early 2017. Until then we will continue to deliver the current coaching awards.

Alongside this, the Board of British Orienteering is working towards the completion of the Strategic Plan for developing the sport for the 2017/25 period. In this context it looks as though the new government's Sports Strategy to develop a more active nation recognises (as we do) the importance of volunteers such as coaches and we are hoping this will provide the opportunity in the next cycle of funding (2017/21) to access funding to support the training of coaches as we did some years ago.

The Board strategy to develop volunteers looks as though it will be built around 3 hour workshops or modules delivered through clubs or families of clubs, such as happens with the Event Safety Workshop. We are considering a similar short workshop as an introduction to coaching for people to 'dip their toe' into helping an already qualified coach and then those who enjoy this being persuaded to do a coach qualification. The Strategic Plan recognises the importance of making qualifications / workshops attractive and providing modules for continued development after the initial training.

We are scheduling a meeting for late February, early March for the Coaching Steering Group to discuss the development of a short introductory workshop and the new qualifications. We will be looking at 'how to coach' and the 'orienteering’ content that might be included in the short introductory workshop. We will also consider what orienteering content will be appropriate for the new L1 and L2 Coach qualifications.

Very importantly we will also consider how experienced orienteers will be able to use recognised prior learning to gain the new qualifications.

Finally, ….

Once again thank you for your support and hard work during 2015 and if you have any ideas about how we can improve our support to you in 2016 please let me know!

Best wishes,


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