SN local events (update 3rd April)
Organised outdoor sporting activities have resumed from 29th March, subject to obtaining required land access permissions. National governing body Covid-safe protocols will apply.
SN are planning to resume regular Wednesday evening training activities from 14th April, and other activities for club members only on Friday 2nd and Saturday 10th April (details sent via email).
Virtual and solo-O opportunities are still available. The news item issued by British Orienteering contains clear guidance about the use of such courses, which should only be undertaken near your own home while we are required to minimise non-essential travel.
Our biggest challenge in recent months has been to obtain land access permissions from landowners, both for competition areas and parking. We then had the added constraint of a new national lockdown.
The Wisley event had to be postponed from December and we had been hoping for a new date in February. This was not possible, and from March onwards the area is off limits until the autumn due to nature restrictions.
Forestry England had given us a January date for Alice Holt, which we clearly had to postpone. We are now enquiring about possible dates from April onwards, and will review the event format and entry limit based on any new guidance from BO (we were planning for two separate small 'events' on the same day). The event was fully sold out due to the strict limit on numbers imposed by Forestry England. Those who had entered will have been sent further information via Race Signup.
There are a few things you will need to be prepared for when we do get back into the forest, because we will be adhering to the British Orienteering Covid-safe protocols, including the Participant Code of Conduct published on the BO website here. In particular, please be aware that these initial SN re-start events may be:
- closed events (i.e. available to current SN club members only), due to strict limitations on numbers
- very limited on facilities and infrastructure (no use of buildings, and often no toilets)
- confirmed and finalised at relatively short notice, due to the rapidly evolving guidance and restrictions
- deliberately not aimed at complete beginners/novices (we're currently unable to offer any direct assistance/tuition due to social distancing), and groups/shadowing may be discouraged
- strictly pre-entry only - this captures details for 'track and trace' purposes, and avoids the personal interactions associated with on-the-day entries and payments
- operated with the absolute minimum number of officials and volunteers to minimise social contact and to reduce pressure on any attendance limits (so unfortunately, none of the usual free runs if you offer to help - we simply won't need the usual armies of helpers)
- a little more expensive than usual because of pre-entry service costs, and the need to recover any fixed costs from the smaller numbers participating
Current opportunities to enjoy our sport remain relatively few and far between. Continue to check the British Orienteering events listings here for anything which is open to all. Fixtures are starting to reappear after the end of March 2021, including some rescheduled major events later in the year.
We still have Solo-O and virtual orienteering opportunities and you can find more detail on SN website, including the SN MapRun league (which is temporarily suspended). Other clubs may also have similar virtual activities in publicly accessible or urban areas, but you should follow the relevant Covid guidance re travel and exercise, and only use those courses in your local area.
There were plans for a Southern England GPS Orienteering League (SEGOL) for 2021 - provisional details here. These are most likely to be urban events intended as a substitute for the Southern England Orienteering Urban League (SEOUL) if that cannot go ahead.
A summary of what has been happening around the country during periods of Covid restrictions was shared via a British Orienteering webinar in October, a summary of which can be found on the BO Webinars page here.
It's not going to be fully back to normal for a while yet, but we are exploring several ideas to provide whatever we can, so you can get out again with a map and compass (or Smartphone!).