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Stragglers' Forum • Mike’s eNews – October 2016
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Mike’s eNews – October 2016

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:12 pm
by Administrator
A fairly brief eNews this month – not that there isn’t a lot going on but that I’ve not had the time to pull together other items that might be of interest.

With several major work projects all in progress at the same time it has been a challenge over the last 2 months to try and stay on top of day-to-day business, like responding to emails unfortunately. The significant projects that have been on-going are: Strategic Plan & Budgets, EGM/Club & Association Conference, submission for funding to Sport Northern Ireland and another to Sport England, an audit on our internal governance and finance procedures, an audit on how we are performing as a National Governing Body (these last two both required if we are to be able to bid for government funding).

My apologies to any of you waiting on me responding to emails.

EGM and the Membership & Levy Fees 2017

You will have seen our ‘Use Your Vote’ campaign – I hope.

We’ve put quite a lot of work into both understanding our financial situation after 31 March 2017 and in trying to communicate the significances of the changed funding position to our members.

I’m not going to repeat all of the discussion as there’s now plenty of background information published on the website here. I will though repeat the importance of this vote to British Orienteering; we can currently afford to employ 3 full time members of staff from the income generated by members and participants, if the vote goes AGAINST the proposal that is the position that British Orienteering will be in. Even if the vote is FOR we will still have only a small increase on that number of full time staff to deal with our core, day to day role and responsibilities. We may get government funding after 31 March 2017 but it will be for ring-fenced project work and funding will not be available to support the core business.

We would ask you, in your capacity as chairs and secretaries of clubs and associations and as significant volunteers, to encourage members to ‘use their vote’ and if you want an organisation that is capable of delivering the core business support us in asking them to vote FOR one of the membership and levy options.

Whichever way they wish to vote we would like to understand the position of members on this matter so it really is important that we get as many to use their vote as possible.

If you do want to communicate with your members electronically by email for instance you can use the website membership database to access members email addresses. If you need any help let us know.

Club & Association Conference

The EGM, and this year's Association and Club Conference is taking place at The Priory Rooms, Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AF, in the Main Meeting House. The Priory Rooms is located in the centre of Birmingham approximately 0.6 miles from Birmingham New Street Station, 0.2 miles from Snow Hill Station and 0.3 miles from Moor Street Station.

Although the venue itself doesn't offer any parking, they do have discounted rates at the nearby Londonderry House NCP, the NCP provides secure parking and is only a short walk from the conference centre. More information on directions and transport can be found here.

If any of you are around Birmingham pop in to the EGM or better still come and join us for the Conference as well. Please let the office know if you are able to join us but you will be most welcome.

The EGM will start at 11 o'clock on Saturday 29th October 2016 which will then be followed by the Association and Club Conference. The Conference will finish at 16:30 as the room is only available until 17:00. More information and the agendas, will be available shortly.

An outline of the programme for the Conference is:
1. A brief introduction to the Strategy Plan for orienteering and how we launch the strategy
2. A report from a working group looking at what has worked locally in recruiting and engaging more participants/members
3. How we can simplify and strengthen our competition structure

By the end of the Conference we hope we will all have:
· a more detailed, shared understanding of the strategy
· a clear picture of current C&As activity that is aligned to the strategy
· identified the things C&As can contribute to implementing the strategy; clubs and associations are different and will be contributing different things done in different ways
· identified the support C&As want and need to do these things
· explored a range of means to resource the implementation of the strategic plan

It will be an interesting conference and an opportunity to address some of the matters facing the sport.

Club & Association Constitutions or Governance Documents

Many of your AGMs will have taken place over the recent weeks and it will therefore be too late for many of you to consider the following clauses for inclusion this year. When you do have opportunity you should look to include the following clauses as it will provide you and your organisation with better protection.

I’ve been working with a number of you to develop these clauses and I think what we now have is three succinct clauses that build the links between your club or association and the British Orienteering rules, regulations and policies.

When you have the opportunity I would advise you to recommend to your membership that you include these clauses:

1. The [name of The Affiliated Body], agrees to adopt the up to date British Orienteering Policies, Procedures, Rules and Regulations as published on the British Orienteering website.
2. All individuals involved in orienteering through [name of The Affiliated Body], in any capacity, are deemed to have assented to and abide by and adhere to the British Orienteering Policies, Procedures, Rules and Regulations as published on the British Orienteering website.
3. Both the [name of the affiliated body] and its members agree to abide by the final outcome of any disciplinary and appeal proceedings.

These clauses supersede the clauses published previously and particularly those included in the appendix of O-Safe.

Orienteers Sporting Backgrounds

Many of you, over 600, took part in a survey to gather information about the sporting backgrounds of orienteers. A big thank you to all these people; it was a great response.

The information provided has been of great help to us and will be published shortly on the website on the Consultations page here. A news item will announce the publication of the final report.

There are some interesting findings and although some of you may look at them and say ‘we knew that, it’s obvious’ there’s a difference between saying it and having the evidence to support it. Particularly when you are talking to external partners or wanting evidence to support the arguments underpinning a strategic plan.

Some snippets that might be of interest:
How did participants first become involved in orienteering?
The majority of people enter into orienteering through 4 main routes:
· Went along with a friend or colleague (23%)
· Taken by parents, family members or partners (22%); if trying orienteering because you went along with your children (6%) is added to this it amounts to the largest route into orienteering (28%)
· Went along to an event (17%)
· Tried it first at school (14%)

How frequently do participants orienteer?
The majority, almost 90%, of people that completed the survey were members of British Orienteering therefore it is not surprising that 40% take part in orienteering activities weekly; another 40% take part once a month or more frequently and only 20% orienteer less frequently than monthly. Overall there is a very dedicated group of orienteers!

Who do participants go orienteering with?
Confirmation that families and partners are important in orienteering. Participants go to events with family members (28%) and with partners (23%) making a combined total of 51%, over half of participants go with family and partners. Almost a third of participants (29%) go alone to events and another 17% attend with friends and colleagues.

What could be changed to encourage participants to orienteer more frequently?
Almost half of the responses stated that they would orienteer more frequently if there were more events/activities closer to home (25%) or if there were more regular local events/activities (21%).
Additionally, responses demonstrated that if participants could orienteer on a different day of the week or different time then 9% would orienteer more frequently.
Over 15% of responders indicated that they were doing all the orienteering they wanted and that they didn’t wish to orienteer more frequently, or that they had no time to orienteer more.

What motivates participants to go orienteering?
Two factors stood out as prime motivators for participants; the challenge/adventure of orienteering (22%); and the sheer enjoyment and fun of orienteering (18%). Surprisingly only 2% saw competition as being a motivator.

Coaching Conference 2017

Please can you make the coaches in your clubs and associations aware of the Outline details - book the date in your calendar NOW!

· Date: 14th & 15th January 2017: 11am start Saturday, finish 5pm; Sunday 9am start, finish 1pm after lunch. CE, IV, Assessors have a session after lunch Sunday (finish approx. 4pm); if you wish to continue to be a Coach educator / Assessor / Internal verifier then you must attend this session. If you are interested in becoming a CE, IV or Assessor you are welcome to come along.
· Location: Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), Cheshire Campus in Crewe. This is convenient to the train station and several 'budget' hotels. Delegates should book their own accommodation for the conference.
· Co-ordinator: Vicky Thornton
· Theme, speakers & seminars / activities: this is currently being worked on and will be detailed in an article in the Autumn edition of 'Focus'.
· Booking will be confirmed in the Autumn 'Focus'.
· maps will possibly be available of Crewe Park in advance for those who would like informal run in the park Saturday am.
· Catering during the conference will be provided by MMU and included in the conference fee
· Cost: this will be confirmed before bookings open.

British Orienteering Website

Work is progressing to develop a fresh presentation of the website. The next release will include some new features that I’ll specify nearer to the release date; these consist mainly of some different views on the data, so there should be a member dashboard which you will see immediately you log in. The dashboard will bring together much of the underlying data, results for instance, that already sit in the website.

One big difference is that the public facing website will be targeted more at members of the public, presenting orienteering in a way that will be attractive to them – without the more fundamental information that members frequently need. The libraries containing much of the detail required by volunteers will be within the membership part of the site that you will need to log into to access. For example, competition rules are often used by event officials but are not really the ‘friendly’ reading material that will promote the sport to a member of the public.

A variety of matters have diverted attention away from the development work, for instance we’ve spent considerable time increasing the security on the current site. We do take security seriously although that is balanced by the resources we have and the nature of the data held within the underpinning database. We do store email addresses and years of birth but in reality there is little sensitive, non-publically accessible information stored within the site – there are no bank or card details for instance.

I’m sure you wouldn’t want us to spend vast amounts of members’ money in protecting the website but you should expect us to take reasonable precautions.

I’ll continue to keep you updated as changes become ready to roll out.

O-Safe and Images & Image Taking

There will be another updated version of O-Safe published shortly; this update will include:

· Inclusion of the recently changed ‘Images & Image Taking’ regulations and guidance
· Some changes relating to the change in law that have taken place recently

Happily, there are no major changes but it is necessary to publish updates as the law changes or as good practice changes.

In the meantime, the full document describing the 'Images & Image Taking' changes can be viewed at https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/ ... 0(002).pdf.