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SN local events update

(updated 18th Nov)

Last edited: Sun 1 Nov 2020

We hope to reschedule the postponed Alice Holt event for Saturday 5th December. Those who entered will have been sent a message explaining options to obtain a refund or carry over their entry fee to a future SN event if the new date is not convenient. We have land permission for the club championship event on Wisley (Saturday 12th December), and entry details will follow in due course. Both events are conditional on the relaxation of Covid restrictions when reviewed by the government on 2nd December.

Our biggest challenge in recent months has been to obtain land access permissions from landowners, both for competition areas and parking. It has been very frustrating but we are still aiming to stage two closed (i.e. SN only) events before Christmas, and are seeking permission for further events in 2021, government restrictions permitting.

The new date for your diary is two separate small 'events' on the same day on Saturday 5th December at Alice Holt (postponed from original date of 7th Nov). At time of writing this is subject to final confirmation, and is conditional on a relaxation of current lockdown constraints when reviewed on 2nd December. The event was fully sold out (strict limit on numbers imposed by Forestry England), and a separate email with waiting list information and withdrawal instructions was previously sent to SN members. Those who had entered should have been sent a message explaining how to obtain a refund or carry over your entry fee to a future event if the new date is a problem for you.

Further details for the event at Wisley (Saturday 12th December) will follow in due course - keep an eye on the web site and your inbox. We still hope to use this event for our 2020 Club Championships, but clearly this is also conditional on the lifting of Covid restrictions. Entry instructions will be issued nearer the time, but could be at relatively short notice when we find out whether current Covid restrictions are going to be relaxed.

There are a few things you will need to be prepared for, 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 are likely to 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)
  • confirmed and finalised at relatively short notice, due to the ever-changing 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 due to the strict number limits (so unfortunately, none of the usual free runs if you offer to help - we simply won't need the usual army 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 few and far between (even the Army events on Wednesdays have now become closed to civilians), but many neighbouring clubs are now finding ways to re-start at a local level. Continue to check the British Orienteering events listings here for anything which is open to all, and don't forget that we still have Solo-O and virtual orienteering opportunities using the MapRun app, more detail on SN website. Other clubs may also have similar virtual activities in publicly accessible or urban areas.

Several members of the committee logged into a British Orienteering webinar in October to hear what has been going on elsewhere in the country. A summary can be found on the BO Webinars page here.There will doubtless be some ideas we can copy and adapt to our local circumstances, but always subject to landowner permissions and wider government guidance.

There are emerging plans to start up a Southern England GPS Orienteering League (SEGOL) for 2021, and the first event in the SN MapRunF/GPS league went live in mid November.

It's not going to be 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!).