The British Orienteering Championships and British Relay Championships were due to be held in the South East of England in March 2020. Sadly they were one of the first in what became a very long series of events cancelled due to Covid throughout last year. It was hoped that the events could be rescheduled in March 2021, but the ongoing Covid situation has rendered that unviable. You can read the full cancellation notice on the BOC website.
On cancellation, British Orienteering agreed to bear the majority of the unrecoverable costs, but also agreed with SEOA to encourage individuals and clubs (for relays) to consider donating their refund, with a default 50:50 split to British Orienteering and the Orienteering Foundation. The Orienteering Foundation in turn decided to give any such donations we received from BOC/BRC refunds to support the Junior Regional Orienteering Squads (JROS).
BOC and BRC entrants generously donated more than £11,000 in refunds available to them, with most choosing to split half to British Orienteering and half to JROS via the Orienteering Foundation. With Gift Aid recovery we increased our share to provide more than £6,500 to JROS.
Keith Marsden explains how the money will benefit the juniors:
JROS put on summer junior training camps in Scotland and Sweden, a coaching course for junior coaches, and the Hawkshead M/W16s weekend. Although run by unpaid volunteers, the combined expenses are significant.
Usually JROS benefits from donations accompanying major event entries, but are missing this through cancellation of the British Championships and Jan Kjellstrom in 2020 and 2021.
In a normal year JROS proceed knowing what donations they have received via major events, how many juniors they will select, and book accommodation and travel logistics, confident that any initial deposits or bookings will be covered by athlete contributions.
However, things are now very uncertain on all those fronts, and the donated funds will allow us to proceed with plans for summer 2021 and be more resilient to future disruption. They also allow us to reduce athlete contributions to attend the camps, making them more accessible to more juniors.
On behalf of the Orienteering Foundation and the Junior Regional Orienteering Squads we would like to say a huge thankyou to everyone who donated their BOC/BRC refunds. Your help is much appreciated.
If you woudl like to make a further donation to JROS, we have an ongoing appeal for individual donations open until the end of April. See this link for how you can Support the tremendous work done by JROS.