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.