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Finding Our Way back to Orienteering

At last, there is hope that we can return to the forests, moors and urban areas!

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the relaxation of restrictions on Monday 22nd February we held a DVO Fixtures Committee to consider the pattern of events we would look to put on over the rest of the year. We are obviously waiting for further guidance from the Government and British Orienteering as whatever events and activities we put on will necessarily operate within these guidelines.

We have been giving some thought to the return to orienteering for some time and the DVO Development Group met on Zoom on 22nd January. We made use of the recently-published British Orienteering Participation and Strategy Consultation in which the majority of respondents thought clubs should offer more local events, be more encouraging of participants that want to volunteer and offer more training sessions. Further, the key motivators for people orienteering were identified as fun or enjoyment, followed by the challenge of the sport, and to stay healthy and improve physical well-being. It is also important that all our events, at whatever level, are high quality, meaning not just the quality of the terrain and the planning but also the organisation of the event.

The next few months

Fixtures Committee took the indicative dates for the implementation of the Four Steps outlined in the Government’s announcement as the basis for planning our future events, as follows:

  1. April – use of four Thursday MapRun events, which will remain available after the event for people to have another go, together with encouragement to use Permanent Orienteering Courses.
  2. May and June – six Level D/Local events spread throughout the DVO area to provide a league to encourage members to return to regular competitive orienteering. The emphasis will be on fun, challenge and physical activity and there will be Short, Medium and Long courses.
  3. 27th June – East Midlands Championships (level B/National) at Chinley Churn.
  4. Scottish6Days in Lochaber at the beginning of August or taking the opportunity to have a longed-for holiday during July and August. From September onwards we will put on a programme of Level C and B events as well as competing in the CompassSport Cup Final on 17th October, probably at Sutton Park in the West Midlands.

We’re also looking to provide online, video and face-to-face support for training and coaching to help us improve our skills and results and to remind us, after such a long break, what to do before and after you pick up your map.

Want to have a go at Planning or Organising, or mentoring others?

DVO is very keen (i.e. desperate!) to get more people involved as Event Officials – Planners, Organisers and Controllers. Without these key people, together with volunteers in all the other roles, we cannot continue to put on our events. We’re particularly keen to recruit juniors and younger members to have a go (as some of the most experienced officials are getting somewhat long in the tooth!) but also people who would like to have a go but would like some support and mentoring. If you feel you haven’t had the confidence before, now is the right time to try your hand. It’s so rewarding and doesn’t need to be too time consuming.

If you would like to have a go, contact (DVO Event Officials Co-ordinator) who will match you to an experienced official and an event. You will need to complete the Event Safety Workshop but those who have completed it say it is very valuable. The e-learning workshop costs £10, which the club will refund, or we may continue to put on face-to-face workshops.


We hope we can see a way back to ‘normal’ orienteering soon and that everyone gets their skills up to speed again for the CompassSport Cup Final – your club needs you and you can ALL contribute to the result!

Sal Chaffey (DVO Chair) and Ranald Macdonald (Chair of DVO Fixtures Committee)

25th February 2021

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