Devon Orienteering


Chairman’s Chat

October 2017

(One of the features which Sue Hateley included on a regular basis within the Club Newsletter was the “Chairman’s Chat”. I hope to keep this going through the club website and MailChimp.)

We are now one week away from the CompassSport Cup and Trophy Finals, being held, of course, on Roborough Down, near Plymouth on Sunday 22nd October and being hosted, to my knowledge, by Devon OC for the first time, together with significant support from Cornwall Orienteering Club. 

The weather forecast is promising and we are all looking forward to keen competition in the Cup (larger clubs) and Trophy (smaller clubs) Finals. We expect to have twenty three clubs attending, comprising approximately 750 competitors, taking part across 10 different courses.

Nicholas Maxwell is leading on the organisation (and has been doing so for many months) and is depending on a large team of volunteer helpers and officials from across the club. Thank you, in advance, to all of the club members who will be involved in the run-up to the event and on the day. It is one of the most prestigious events with which the club has been involved and this can only happen with everyone playing their part. Tom Lillicrap has been putting in a great deal of time as the Planner and will, I am sure, be setting some challenging and interesting courses. I would also like to acknowledge the support we are receiving from Cornwall Orienteering Club; Roger Hargreaves is the event Controller and many Kerno members are assisting in a range of ways.

In addition, of course, the club is competing in the CSC Final as a result of our performance in the regional heats at Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset, in March 2017.  At a recent count we have 58 Devon members taking part in the Final and Ruth Chesters has been working hard to make sure we can put out as strong a team as possible. Good luck to all of our club runners; every point counts and bear in mind how close the final scores can be once all of the runners are in!

All of the details for the CompassSport Cup can be found on the Devon website under Events. If you are thinking of attending the event and are not yet entered, please bear in mind that the only courses available to enter on the day are White, Yellow and Light Green and these do not count towards the competition scores. 


In a different vein, one of the items the club considered at our last committee meeting on the 11th October was a “Club Improvement Tool” produced by Sport England. British Orienteering have recently offered to see how they may help take Devon OC forward through some support provided by the new English Development Officer, Phil Conway, and this tool may help in that dialogue. We feel that we have a pretty good idea of our priorities and how to address them but an external perspective can often be helpful.

In summary, the big issues for the club arising from this exercise at this stage appear to be:

  • Recruiting more members, through effective marketing and other means
  • Developing our coaching programme
  • Extending the pool of club event officials
  • Securing more effective feedback from club members

Most of these points are familiar territory and we will be working on these areas, and others, in the coming months. However, the question of club feedback arose a few times in this exercise. In that spirit, if you have any views or comments about any aspect of the club (events, coaching, fees, information, results, safety, membership etc etc) please do get in touch with one of the committee members and we will take it from there. Whilst we will look at ways of gaining additional feedback, the best way, of course, is often a face to face conversation at a forthcoming event. ‘Hope to see you there.

Bryan Smith, Club Chairman, 14.10.17