Kingdom of Fife Orienteers development report
Last year we made an award to KFO to map Devilla (see award) which was part of a wider project to develop orienteering in the area, starting with local activities, building up to local events, and with the mapping of Devilla providing a useful extra resource. Here Claire Duncan from KFO reports on the progress of this project.
The aim of the Orienteering Foundation grant was to build a pathway from the new introductory sessions for juniors new to orienteering, into regular and more technical activities and to sustain the participation.
The introductory courses in orienteering for young people at Duloch Park (March 2022) were very successful. A total of 14 young people ages from 10 to 13, all new to the sport of orienteering attended three activities leading up to a local event where many took part. Most of the others expressed interest but had prior commitments.
The Orienteering Foundation project picked-up at this point, and a further two training sessions were staged in June to build on the skills already learned and to introduce the compass. This was consolidated with an activity comprising of three courses at different skill levels. 8 young people attended the training and subsequent activity. By this time, we had also built positive relationships with the parents and some of them took part in the event also.
In addition, 5 juniors and some adults from these households have joined the club after coming along to the sessions. The feedback from the activities was very positive and a common theme was contention with other activities meaning they could not attend the follow-on sessions or event.
The group have been engaged with the regular “what’s on” notifications within the club and the East of Scotland resulting in some attending ESOA coaching. Some are also regularly attending our local events.
Following on from this successful programme, another introductory series has just been completed (September) at nearby Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline. A training hour for the graduates of the first introduction to orienteering series and any others of similar ability, was offered beforehand, to sustain the interest, and to continue the personal development and participation. Eight participants from the first “Introduction to Orienteering” sessions attended these training activities.
The original plan was to use Devilla as a follow-on venue. However, a bit of an oversight on our part, we realised that Devilla was embargoed leading up to the Compass Sport Cup in October 2022. Rather than have a gap in activities and risk losing the interest, we realised continuing the activities and advancing the skills was still possible at Duloch, and then at Pittencrieff. In October 2022 we are now preparing another training hour at Townhill Woods in Dunfermline for club members only. This has prompted another three young people from the introductory courses to join the club.
The Orienteering Foundation grant has facilitated many (7) activities and junior participation numbers (51), orienteering training and club engagement which would not have been staged without the award.
As a club we are delighted with the outreach facilitated by the grant and the increase in the activities we have been offered and the positive impact on participation and club membership.