We are now well into the new year which will I am sure be a year of many changes within the sport both locally and nationally.
I am pleased to report that Ranald MacDonald has been elected Vice Chairman and I look forward to his support during my tenure as Chairman.
As an association we therefore have two of our four principal official positions filled by new faces and a new venue for our meetings.
As part of the housekeeping exercise undertaken to kick start the new regime we have reviewed the roles required to effectively run your association and propose recommending to the membership a change of constitution to create two new positions.
Despite development being one of the main aims identified in our plans we do not have a Development Officer and we will be seeking approval to create this role. In effect Pauline Olivant has carried out large parts of what would be deemed this function as part of other roles she has had (although not actually a member of the committee) but as these are drawing to a close we feel it appropriate to seek a volunteer for such a post. It would also involve monitoring the regions performance to it's development plan which has to date been done by the Vice Chairman.
Similarly our constitution does not provide for a Mapping Officer. We have co-opted Mike Godfree on to the committee as our mapping representative but as BOF does not have a mapping committee as such his role cannot technically by a committee position. We propose seeking approval to create this position as it is felt essential that the principal tool of our sport should be given due attention and he can provide a conduit for debate and information to pass both ways between clubs and the BOF Map Group which works under the auspices of the Technical Committee.
Our Treasurer will have completed his three years tour of duty by the next AGM and we will therefore be looking for three new officials and perhaps you would all give thought as to whether you would like to put yourselves forward in due course.
At present the committee meets in alternate months at Kegworth and it seems unlikely that any changes within the BOF national structures will change this.
You will all be well aware from BOF mailings that original ideas for major change at BOF have been scuppered but events are moving rapidly towards the next BOF AGM by which time many of the administrative changes envisaged within the original plan will be back on the table.
Electronic punching is now successfully being adopted within the region and thanks are due to John Allen for his work on our behalf.
Looking ahead, we are to run day 2 of the 2003 JK and have appointed an organiser, Chris Philips of LEI, but still require a planner. The status of the event restricts considerably the number of members qualified to take on this role and I would ask those individuals to seriously consider having a go at this prestigious event.
We have a number of night events in the calendar but unfortunately given the late provision of details to our fixtures secretary they will not this year be incorporated into a night league as such. To prevent such a problem arising again next year all clubs are asked to finalise such arrangements before the end of September and let Ian Whitehead have them to publicise a league before the events actually begin.
I hope you are all working on development or promotional schemes for our competition for a grant to assist funding. Entries must be in by May.
By the time this goes to press we will have staged our Championships and the results will be known. I should like to congratulate all the winners and commend all other participants for their endeavours.
As you read this I will be the other side of the world and would wish you fulfilment in your orienteering and better weather than we have seen of late and I look forward to seeing you in the woods again later in the year.
To Karen and Andy Jackson on the birth of their son, Matthew David.
Born on Monday 5th February and weighing in at 6lb 3oz
(as orienteering is a metric sport I feel that we should have the weight in Kilos, but unfortunately I can't find a conversion table at the moment).
A little brother for Nicola, mother and son both doing well. Karen hopes to be running at Newborough in early March (subsequently cancelled ed.)
Congratulations also to Anne Marie and John Duckworth on the birth of their baby girl. Mother and baby are both fine. Details to follow :
(This was picked up from the DVO web site at www.dvo.org.uk where the details mentioned will appear)
Sports Personality of the Month
I have two nominations for Sports Personality of the Month. Both are from DVO but there the connection ends. My first nomination is for Karen Jackson who was still orienteering just a few days before the birth of she and Andy's new son (see above) and had intended to be back for the Newborough National Event. We shall never know whether she would have made it as the event was cancelled, but my money was on Karen.
My second nomination, James Allen, came to light when I received an email from him informing me that the Shining Cliff badge event was cancelled. James had obviously not only had to type in all the email addresses, but more difficult still, interpret them from the handwritten entry forms. I have no doubt others were involved in notifying everyone of the cancellation, if so they can consider themselves included in the nomination.
BRITISH SCHOOLS ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS 2001
Saturday 17 November Training Event
(Venues undecided) World Schools Championships Selection Race
Sunday 18 November British Schools Orienteering Championships
This year EMOA is hosting this weekend of junior orienteering. For the young people who compete this is a very special event and may be a stepping stone to future national and international success. Described as a "Championship Event with a Colour Coded income" it will be a challenge to deliver a successful weekend so we are asking for the support of all members of EMOA.
There are 3 things you can do now:
- Note the dates in your diaries and try to keep them free.
- Ring us (tel (0115) 922 5578) if you could team lead a particular area of the weekend's activities.
- Talk nicely to philanthropic employers and colleagues and ascertain if they would be willing to lend financial support. Every little counts and it is the type of event which they can include in their "we help the community" claims. (Please do not make any firm promises/agreements without contacting me first - after all, we do not want 4 different sets of medals!)
On the weekend there will be many opportunities to help including jobs suitable for non-orienteers. Perhaps you have a kindly face and could reassure nervous youngsters at the Start? You may prefer to be in the woods and could be an in-forest marshal helping lost children. If you would rather be indoors you could help by acting as a liaison person between accommodation/catering staff (hopefully in a local school) and the teachers. The list is endless (or so it seems at the moment!). Previous volunteers have commented on the great satisfaction they gained from helping with the event, we hope you will feel the same in 8 months time!
HOW TO GET A RUN AT THE BRITISH SCHOOLS ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The British Schools O Championships is usually a great day out. There are over 1000 competitors, 300 prizes, a memento for each runner and last year there were even fireworks! In addition to the main championships, selection races for the World Schools Championships in Portugal in 2002 will be taking place on the Saturday. Why not ask your teachers/coaches if you are eligible for these?
It is possible to enter BSOC as an individual but you must enter via your school and your Head teacher must sign the form. It is also more expensive to enter this way because there is a charge (at least £5) for each school which is on top of the individual entry fees. It is much better if you can arrange a team. This means you have got to recruit at least 2 other team members and help them complete 3 orienteering courses before November 18th. The courses at the British Schools are usually quite straightforward so only basic orienteering skills need to be mastered. If your school does not organise any orienteering it should be possible to get some help from the coaches in your club. Alternately, Pauline Olivant, is the Schools Development Officer for the East Midlands and she will be able to offer some assistance.
Although it sounds difficult to enter it could be well worth the effort. There is a separate class for each school year so you may not be racing against your usual rivals - as an experienced junior orienteer this could be your chance for glory.
We will need some posters around the Assembly Area to discourage the dropping of litter and would like your help. Instead of the usual "NO LITTER PLEASE" we would prefer to use colourful and imaginative posters designed by junior orienteers. Please use your pencils/pens/computer drawing packages to design some posters and send them to us at
6 Long Lane,
Nottingham NG9 6BG.
The posters will need to be at least A4 size (preferably A3) and we will not be able to return them. However we will give a small prize to the designer of every poster we use. Do not forget to put your name, address and telephone no. on the back of the picture so we can contact you!
Closing date August 31st.
The Editor's Ramblings
As I write this I should be out "enjoying" myself at DVO's Shining Cliff Badge Event. Unfortunately Shining Cliff had to be cancelled due to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. I must admit that the connection between Foot and Mouth and orienteering had not really occured to me until I received an email informing me that the event was cancelled. Checking the BOF web-site I discovered that several other events were also cancelled including the National Event due to take place on 3rd March at Newborough on Anglesey. The use of email and the Internet demonstrates how communication has moved on in recent years.
The last outbreak of Foot and Mouth was, I believe, in 1967. Orienteering was in its infancy in this country then so presumably it had little impact on the sport. Today it could have a devastating effect on orienteering if it carries on for any length of time (hopefully by the time you read this the worst will be over, but who knows).
Whilst it means a lot of work by a lot of people going to waste (hopefully some of the planning etc. may be able to be used in a future event) this is nothing compared to the catastrophic effect on the farmers whose livestock has to be slaughtered and whose livelihood is in jeopardy.
For the moment we will have to put up with the relatively minor inconvenience of missing our Sunday "relaxation" until the crisis is over. The message at the moment is stay away from the countryside unless you absolutely have to, or, of course, if you happen to live in the country.
Letter to the editor
18 January 2001
The policies and procedures which spring regularly from BOF and the Regions will be of little avail if costs to the competitor rise unreasonably.
BOF Restructuring, an independent Financial Advisor (how pretentious), a projected budget, a C3 event which "is not a badge event but it is of the same status in all respects"(!), and a new competition for 35s+ based on ranking points do not give one confidence that commonsense is at large.
Entry fees keep rising and parking fees are now common. But it is the DEE Newborough National Event which has provoked this letter. Entry fee £9; Parking £1; 2 9x6 SAEs £0.54; paper details £0.50; paper results £1.00. Total £12.04.
There is discrimination at work here and not just because 1 am a poor pensioner. Entry is via the lnternet and if you do not do this you will be penalised. Their explanation is that they wish to cut down the workload so they will only send out paper details and results if you pay extra.
But presumably their workload will decrease anyway if a number enter on the net. So why penalise those who do not access. This is discrimination. And eventually as more greedy organisers see that they can get away with it it will become blackmail.
1 should add also that at the time of writing 1 have not received the results from SYO Burbage National Event on 3 December. So much for the lightning fast computer. In any case a national event is not the big deal which we like to make out.
(Those with Internet access could argue that they pay in different ways e.g. the cost of Internet access and phone calls and the costs of paper and toner or ink to print out details or results, plus the initial cost of the computer, printer etc. Does anyone else have a strong view on the subject ed.)
Judy Buckley, 1947-2001
The orienteering world will be saddened to hear of the recent death of Judy Buckley, who for several decades has been one of the most active members of Derwent Valley Orienteers and a consistent top performer in the sport. Judy's love of outdoor exercise started at school in her native Chesterfield (when she completed the Pennine Way on her third attempt) and developed when she was a maths student at the University of Bangor, where she met her future husband Steve.
Judy's first taste of orienteering was in the very early days of the sport when maps were monochrome photocopies of the OS 1:25,000 and an essential part of pre-race preparation was the doctoring of the map with a blue crayon to show streams which photocopiers didn't pick up. This was long before the days of recommended winning times, and courses might be long and arduous, and hideously unfair by current standards. Judy once recalled her first competition, the 1969 BUSF in Grizedale, where she won the Wayfarers course - in three hours!
On leaving university in 1970 armed with teaching qualifications, Judy and Steve settled in Belper, Derbyshire where they rapidly discovered that a new orienteering club, of which Jenny Tennant was one of the pioneers, had just been formed to serve the Derwent Valley. They rapidly became pillars of DVO, being heavily involved in putting on events - all members helped with every event then - and managing the club - not too difficult when the whole club could easily assemble in even Jenny's cottage lounge at Blue Mountains. Also, at that time, and for some years later the club dinner was hosted by Judy and Steve: memories are of gargantuan meals to which only those running 50 miles a week could do justice. (And not many orienteers ran 50 miles a week in those days!) Judy was always in the thick of the club's social activities, despite having to maintain her position of serious competitor with serious ambitions!
It rapidly became apparent that Judy had a natural talent for navigation. Her forte was fine navigation in detailed and rough terrain, where speed was of less value, but she was a good all-rounder and would always give a good account of herself. While the individual character of orienteering suited Judy's self-reliant character, she was never happier than when competing in relay events with her fellow club members. There were many team successes, with even an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, but as often as not her less consistent team mates would let her down on the big day - missing a control, or punching the wrong control in the heat of the chase - something which, despite her competitive nature, only ever evoked from her a sympathetic response. In the individual sphere, she regarded her win in JK88 as her finest achievement.
In her professional life, Judy was a vigorous, committed and successful teacher. As well as normal teaching duties she was often involved in extra-curricular activities such as running sports clubs and cross-country teams.
It was not too long before motherhood came into the picture, but like many orienteers Judy was adept at organising her life to ensure that such things did not hamper training and competition. Soon Alastair, and two years later, Kim were being carted around events in carry-cots and papooses all over the country and to mid week training venues. In addition, Judy was planning and organising events as well as holding down a demanding full time job. Before long, the youngsters were competing themselves, demonstrating that their mother's genes were not lying idle, and impressing Junior Squad officials.
Around this time Judy and Steve both started to get interested in longer outings like the Karrimor and long distance walks in the Alps and other such areas. Judy loved the challenge of flying out of the country with just a backpack (and Steve, of course), ahead of her 14 days or so totally unsupported, camping high in the hills, and getting away from the pressures of a busy life. By the end of what was to be her last summer they had, over several trips, walked the entire length of the Western Alps between Liechtenstein and Nice. Many times Judy has completed the KIMM with a variety of DVO partners, often pushing them with her encouragement and determination to levels of performance undreamt of, usually in a class perhaps one step higher than what might have been comfortable. Being too comfortable was never part of Judy's gameplan!
A cloud appeared on the horizon in 1991 in the form of a breast tumour which turned out to be malignant. After the initial shock of diagnosis and treatment Judy was soon back in action with, if anything, an even more determined attitude. By now she was giving valuable support to her offspring's international ambitions. For a long time Judy has been confident that Kim would be a WM medal winner, and while she has not survived long enough to see this dream come true, no doubt she was pleased to be spared long enough to see Kim compete with distinction in WM99.
Only Judy's family and closest friends will be aware of her strength in supporting other people who have fallen unlucky in life's lottery. Her loyalty towards and interest in the lives of her friends have been her hallmark. Just one example of many: recently a friend lost her husband prematurely to cancer. Judy was her rock through a difficult time, a period such as that which Steve, by cruel irony, is himself now enduring. For in the spring of 1999 a lot of pain in the shoulder turned out to be a secondary cancer in the liver. She was given a few weeks to live. For many this would have been the signal to give in but this was a phrase despised by Judy. She sailed through a course of chemotherapy without ever taking time off work and by the end of 1999 a miracle seemed to have occurred. She and Steve had promised themselves a sabbatical which they somehow, don't ask me how, managed to negotiate with their respective headteachers, and over Christmas they were off for the World Masters in New Zealand. It was almost as if Judy's determination to make and enjoy this trip had cured her, but sadly this was a temporary relief and on her return the news was more worrying. All through 2000 treatment continued which even a few weeks ago was deemed to have worked again. But even the strongest frame can only take so much and it seems that in the end the side effects of treatment were too much.
Judy has always lived life to the full, but particularly in the last 10 years. She has shown us how to use every minute positively, enjoying what was available. She has left a hole not only in her family's lives but in the lives of a much wider group.
Roger & Debbie Wilkinson
My memories of Judy reach back into the past when DVO had just begun Wednesday evening training at my home, 17 Blue Mountains. With the persistent enthusiasm, which characterised everything she did, Alastair and Kim were brought in their carrycots. One would be placed under the sink and the other on the back door step! Then there were the occasions she wouldn't let you forget, like when she went round too fast in a relay at Thetford and I wasn't ready and waiting - and one I wouldn't let her forget when she kicked me at the last control at some badge event.
Happy memories they are. Latterly her fortitude has been a model for us all.