The Newcomer Retention Group has published its final report.
We are the Orienteering Foundation, a charity that promotes and supports orienteering, to bring all the benefits this amazing sport has to offer the people of the UK, and to ensure that our sport is here for the enjoyment of generations to come.
But the future of our sport is at risk. Only 10% of our orienteering community is aged between 20-34 and in 2017 nearly 10,000 school children participated in our grassroots schemes. Worryingly despite this good work we are seeing drop out rates of 70-80% in those crucial skill building years of ages 13-21.
And our volunteers are getting tired. Last year there was a 4% drop in the number of events run, but a 7% increase in competitors. The demands outside events also continue to rise. We know people want to participate in our sport but we are in danger of burning out our volunteers.
Technology in the sport provides massive opportunity but we need to invest. We have all seen major changes over the past twenty years with the emergence of electronic punching and tracking systems, mapping software, and online analysis tools.
With your support the Orienteering Foundation works to tackle emerging issues. We currently fund junior programmes, invest in elites, support adult coaching opportunities, support those developing tools and techniques to alleviate volunteer workloads, and sponsor projects which look to exploit new technologies in our sport. With your help we can do more.
We were very pleased to support a fourth Orienteering Foundation coaching day in the Lake District in November 2021, kindly organised again by Derek Allison.
We are happy to announce the appointment of Keith Tonkin as our financial administrator and advisor.
This year we were pleased to fund medals and prizes for the British Schools Orienteering Champs.
Last year we made a grant to LOC to deliver Introduction to Coaching and Level 2 Coaching Courses (see award here). Read on for the report from Carol McNeill, LOC Lead Coach, on what they've been up to.
Earlier this year we agreed to help fund an extension to FVO's club development officer role (see award here). FVO have now appointed Kieran Watts into the position
A year ago we approved funding for development of orienteering in the Fort William and Lochaber area, to run alongside the Scottish 6 days (award here). Read on for a report of the progress they have made!
The organisers of the Welsh Middle and Long Distance Championship events at Merthyr Common on 11th/12th September kindly allowed us to showcase the Orienteering Foundation by erecting our sail banner with information cards attached to it. In addition to helping to raise the awareness of the Foundation amongst event participants, we were also hoping that there may be someone who is willing to become our Orienteering Foundation Ambassador for Wales.