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 received over £4000 in donations via JK 2020, and are putting this into a "Back to Orienteering" fund for projects helping the return to orienteering when the Coronavirus situation improves.
We are very pleased to welcome Martin Ward as a new Orienteering Foundation trustee.
We are pleased to be once again helping fund junior coach development at the JROS junior training camp at Lagganlia in 2020
We were very pleased to support a third Orienteering Foundation coaching day in the Lake District in November 2019, kindly organised again by Derek Allison.
In 2019 the Orienteering Foundation once again supported coach development at the Lagganlia summer training camp. Here we find out what an impact this has had over the years.
Charlotte Ward writes about competing at the World Cup Final in China, supported by the Orienteering Foundation.