Introduction to Orienteering

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AGM 2007 – Chairman’s Address

Recently one of my committee colleagues said “there is so much happening its almost impossible to keep up” Well ladies and gentlemen it is going to get busier over the next year.

The event programme will be as full as ever. We are hoping to run 5 C4 colour coded events and 2 C3 Badge events. Mark is well advanced with the 2008 Summer League Programme which will include some new areas, thanks in part to our Schools Partnership Programme and we shall see some sprint events in the League. The Winter League continues to be well supported and will continue to appear in the events programme in an extended format with more events in the autumn.

There are currently some early discussions taking place regarding a series of two or three sprint events in the East Midlands. Peter Hornsby is currently working on amap drawn to the correct sprint event specifications and whatever else happens I am sure that we will not be able to resist the temptation to use it.

The team who run the open days in the country parks is currently looking to expand what we do on those days and it may be possible to offer some longer and more interesting courses suitable for the more experienced Orienteers. If we can find the volunteers to help there is a possibility of doing more of these events.

A rough estimate shows that we will be running about 48 events during the next 12 months.

I have not yet mentioned, this evening, Permanent Orienteering Courses. During September we were able to establish with the help of Leicester City Council POC in Abbey, Knighton and Evington Parks. The design and funding is in place for a course in Martinshaw. We are currently in discussion with the National Forest Company and several local authorities regarding further POC in the area covered by the National Forest. If all our plans come to fruition we should by the end of next year have at least 10 POC in the area covered by the club. This has increased the workload in this area and I am pleased to welcome John Marriott to the club committee as Permanent Orienteering Course Co-ordinator.

The Development Team will be building on the schools partnership agreements that I mentioned earlier in the evening. These agreements do give the sport a real opportunity to introduce orienteering to a new generation and whilst for a club like ourselves they do not produce an instant hit of new members they do have, I believe, an important part to play in the long term growth of the sport. After the success of the event at Ratby Woodlands we are currently giving some first thoughts to a similar event in another part of the area in perhaps the second half of 2008.

I hope you will see that there is a theme running through our current plans. One of development and recruitment. POC’s, partnerships with schools, a presence at country park open days, events such as the Ratby Woodlands day in March are all aimed at bringing the sport to the attention of a wider audience. Within this theme of development we are also building closer links with Local Authorities and organisations like the National Forest Company. In the current climate where health and encouraging people towards physical activity are high on the political agenda Orienteering “ticks a lot of boxes” There is on offer money and resources. We have over the last 18 months been successful in obtaining some of these. We need to obtain more. Over the next two years Sport England is changing its funding methods. Money that was previously handed out at the centre to umbrella organisations like British Orienteering will in future become available at county level to clubs like ourselves. For what purposes and with what conditions attached as yet we do not know. We will be monitoring the situation closely.

We have in the club a small, a very small, and very dedicated band of mappers. As you are well aware maps are at the core of our sport We are very dependant on two or three people. We need more. Now is the time to volunteer!

Your committee is currently examining how to proceed with regard to SI kit. Although the club does own a very small amount, as I mentioned earlier we currently share the pooled EMOA kit and EMOA are looking at the economics of purchasing some more. The scheme has been very successful but it does have it limitations, not least a volunteer having to trek to the outposts of the empire (or DVO land as its usually known) to collect it and the increased use of SI is making this journey more and more frequent. If EMOA obtains more SI it may allow us to have some permanently based it the area. If not we shall have consider what provision we make for ourselves.

Looking to the longer term. On Saturday British Orienteering is holding a club conference and EGM . One of the purposes of the club conference is to discuss the Competition Structure of Orienteering. The draft proposals are currently on the British Orienteering website and I think they are quiet interesting and will be of benefit to the club. I don’t propose discussing them tonight for if the conference follows the usual track record of major discussion for changes in the sport the end product will be nothing like the one we started the day with.

As I think many of you know we have been invited to host the 2009 British Middle Distance Championships. Subject to final access permissions the event will be held in Cademan and Thringstone Woods. Some of the ground work for the event has already taken place and as Roger has already mentioned provision is being made in this year’s budget for cost that we will incur over the next year, including mapping.

In 2010 there is the possibility of the club holding a National C2 event at Belvoir. We are currently in discussion with the estate over access, given that we would need a larger area than the one they normally generously allow us to use.

Two items before I finish. Firstly may I remind you about the club Annual Dinner and Presentation Evening on the 10th November in this very building. Mr Denny is eager to take your order and secondly the LEI Christmas Novelty Event on the Saturday 15th December organised by Santa and his (not so little ) helpers. Again starting from here. Ladies and Gentlemen we are as a club in reasonable health, we have a busy year ahead and I hope that we all have good runs on well planned courses in beautiful forests and if its not too much to ask some dry weather.

Chris Phillips
Chairman