There is an anecdotal concern that too large a proportion of newcomers to orienteering do not go on to become regular participants. It is recognised that some people trying orienteering may quite reasonably decide the sport is not for them, but, given the effort often involved in recruiting newcomers, a good or better retention rate would be beneficial to the sport.
Newcomer Retention Project
We are putting together a small group of 5 or 6 people to study this issue in the coming months, meeting from time to time by Zoom. It will be a good opportunity to input your experience of handling newcomers and/or using your analytic skills to investigate the issue.
The remit of the Newcomer Retention Project group is as follows.
- Define "orienteering newcomer", and define and research the current retention rate
- Define "regular participants", and research and quantify reasons why newcomers do not become regular participants
- Identify and document examples of good practice in dealing with newcomers
- Make recommendations designed to improve retention of orienteering newcomers
- If appropriate, identify follow-up work that could be considered
- Produce a written report on the group's work and conclusions
Group members will be expected to participate in a series of Zoom meetings (perhaps 6 or so), each lasting no more than 90 minutes. The dates and times of the meetings will be agreed by the group itself and will be to a schedule that reflects the state of the discussions. Once every 2 to 3 weeks would be typical.
Some work will need to be done between meetings, and a willingness to play a part in some of these will be expected.
If you are interested in getting involved in the project, please complete the volunteer form here: PDF or Word and return to Neil Cameron at the email address on the form by 24th April (extended from 11th April).