Presidents Report

OABC  - AGM 2001





In the year 2000 OABC continued to address the following areas: Organizational Development, Athlete recruitment and retention, athlete development, Officials Development, Junior Participation Program and Coach Development with respect to the OABC's policy Manual, Vision 2000 accountability process, and the 5 years Strategic Plan.


OABC continues to offer sport access for all age groups, both genders, athletes with a disability, all ethnic groups, and for all regions of the province.  OABC’s central resources are its experienced volunteer corps, who provide the leadership for orienteering development throughout the province.  We try to move towards conducting the business of managing orienteering in the province in a professional manner.  OABC is in a state of continuous development in improving the critical elements of the sport: coaching, officiating, and hosting of events, mapping, and training for athletes.


Our Goals


1.      As presently structured, the organisational workload falls on too few people.  As a small all volunteer association, our goal is therefore to work with the key volunteers and executives to broaden the involvement of volunteers and make our work more effective. 

2.      To increase our membership by 5% per year. 

3.      To introduce orienteering into the curriculum of BC schools.

4.      To continue to improve our web page, our communications by e-mail with members, and to take advantage of other information resources, to upgrade our system and database. 

5.      To introduce Trail orienteering for disabled athletes.

6.      To research available funding to re-establish the position of Provincial coach

7.      To continue to strengthen OABC finances.

8.      To qualify more officials and at higher levels


Areas of Emphasis

Organisational Development


This is the area where we need to do some changes and adopt new way of thinking if we want to keep our best key volunteers and executive on board.


Professional Development: Each year Sport BC hosts several mini-seminars.  This is a very worthwhile professional development opporutunity, and as such the OABC consider funding requests for members who wish to attend.


Recruitment of volunteers: A new approach is needed, in order to save our organisation. See as an attachment the sad report from KOC (one of our clubs). Similar things are happening in Prince George and other distant areas. The numbers of the regular OABC members are falling for the last few years.


In a contact with Volunteer Vancouver I found out that by becoming a member organisation we will have access to all the seminars and workshops they provide as well as having access to their volunteer data base and recruit volunteers through them. We suggest this possibility to other clubs around the province. This will lower the load from our key volunteers and allow them to focus on more technical work and not burn down.


Board: It not a secret that many of our key volunteers are getting burned out from the amount of work and the insufficient communication between executives and members.


We will need to involve more people in to the board and have broader base so more people will do less work. Unfortunately lack of funding for a co-ordinator, an executive director, coach or even PT office assistant is the biggest obstacle. It is vicious circle and I am getting burned out as well. Very few people are doing most of the work.


We need  to have new people in the executives. This always brings new energy and ideas. Enyone can take the opportunity to be involved in OABC board as an executive or as a member in large. We have many talented people with experience that love orienteering and might be interested to help and use their talents.


We might have a Fundraising committee or an executive in charge with sponsorship and fundraising, some one to focus on promotion, some for volunteers recruitment, someone …..just being a right hand of the president.


Marketing and Communication: That is another area that needs focus. We have a new brochure devloped this year and it can be used as a tool to promote the sport.


The Outdoor Adventure Schow draws the right audience from the province and is very good opportunity to be seen and personally answer questions to all interested. We should keep our spot there.


But, that is not enough. We need better promotion. Why not have a volunteer student or a class of marketing that can help us a lot. They don't need to be athletes at all. Same applies to the sponsorship and fundraising.


ACTION : Application for InVOLve BC - Organizational Development Grant

Athlete Development


Structure of the Athlete Development Program: Athlete development is centred mainly within the club system.  Clubs offer many opportunities to compete.  All courses are gauged to ability levels.  All beginning levels are supported with local coaches.  Athletes can then progress at their own rate by trying more difficult courses at future meets.  OABC provides opportunities to participate in local, regional, and provincial level meets, courses and camps.  OABC stresses individual commitment and initiative.


A number of elements need to be implemented to facilitate athlete development:

·        a provincial coach to work with all Junior and Senior OABC members through local clubs

·        provincial training camps designed for Juniors and for Seniors but open to all athletes

·        local training clinics at introductory events are held in various regions, notably Kamloops, Victoria, Duncan, Rossland, Prince George and the Lower Mainland

·        a coordinated events list to balance opportunities and reduce conflicts

·        a coordination with Alberta and Washington State to be maintained to maximize participation

·        all events are open to all interested participants at all age levels and abilities

·        progressive levels of competition are available at all events

·        participation to be stressed, not results

·        travel funds under a travel fund policy to be available for qualified athletes for Western Canadians, Canadians, North Americans, or the Asia Pacific Championships


All populations are welcome, however, the wooded terrain in which orienteering is typically practised tends to exclude some types of disabilities. Some of the activities offered at the club level for promotional purposes include street ‘O’ which is good for those in wheelchairs or others who find the rough undergrowth too difficult for them. A course for disabled wheelchair orienteering will be offered at BC School Championship in Burnaby- April 2001


Training Camps:  A provincial training camp was held each year, usually in the Interior of BC, and was open to all interested participants.  This year we missed the opportunity to have a training camp, but one is being planed for late April 2001 by GVOC.


Growth and Development:  Although orienteering is interested in all newcomers, particular efforts often centre on juniors to ensure continued growth and a base for the future.


We need to focus on different target groups as adventure racing teams and individuals, Scouts and Guides, military groups, and similar cross-sport groups - cross country running, cross country skiing, mountain biking, canoeing, snowshoeing, hunting/fishing and others.  Groups for future targeting will include aboriginal groups across the province, and communities where no development is presently found.


Most recruitment initiatives are community based with local coaches offering “learn to orienteer” courses, support to schools, or holding local introductory meets. OABC provides support by distributing materials, and on request, by funding or subsidizing, directly or indirectly, costs for meets and clinics.


School System:


This year Elementary School Champ was presented as a Festival of School Orienteering in order to attract mass participation. A wheelchair accessible course was available.


We offered: a string course, a Mini Rogaine, free workshops and 4 courses for 10 different categories. About 20 volunteers from OABC, GVOC, Burnaby Volunteers and some personal friends came to help. Burnaby RCMP bike squad was guarding around and making sure that all kids are safe in the woods of Central Park. It was a great event culminating in Swan Guard Stadium award ceremonies.


All the participants in this year event will be reimbursed for their travel expenses from the Gaming account. We will apply again this year. That will allow more schools and individuals to come and participate in the event province wide.


School Boards, Adult Education Courses and the Community Centres are other avenues to promote the sport of Orienteering. Throughout the province courses are offered.


Several after school self sponsored programs are running during the school year. In Burnaby for the last 4 years, and during the fall 2000 at "St. John" school in Vancouver. The newest programs just started this May  in Vancouver-Kerrisdale and Port Coquitlam.


Junior and Senior Team Development: In the past, the Provincial Coach, through the funding of the Regional Centre, has established a Junior Team and a Senior Development Team.  We hope to re-establish funding to continue this program. The utilization of email and training combined with events will continue to be used.


Martin and Marta are conducting some training sessions for GVOC members. Beginners and advance clinics are provided regulary from UO Adventures through all the community Centers in Lower Mainland, also all clubs have beginers clinics before each event that helps peole get in to the sport.


Promotion:  The best “selling points” used by OABC and its clubs include:

·        all ages and abilities accommodated

·        family orientation (the entire family can participate concurrently)

·        a “fit for life” sport

·        strong connection with environmental issues

·        life skills development - navigating, wilderness survival, map-reading, etc.

·        higher level of intellectual skills development as individuals progress

·        orientation towards new orienteers - support systems, coaching, graduated challenges


The sport world-wide is a close-knit community with publications and sport science information shared through various forums - the Internet, Orienteering North America, newsletters (including SBC listings), and electronic bulletin boards.  Orienteering seems to produce many technical people who have excellent computer skills.  Information is shared world-wide and is very accessible.


The new brochure was distributed to all clubs at the OABC.


Events Schedule:  Competition schedule was developed reflecting all local, provincial, national and international events.


The event flyers are mailed to all OABC members, and are also available on our web site. The results are also posted on the homepage for all to view immediately after each event.


Recognition programs:

·        Orienteer of the Year Award

·        Volunteer of the year Presidents Award

·        Club Awards


Athlete Travel Funding : As per our funding policy for travel to major events, designed to encourage both female and male elite athletes to compete at events of the highest calibre, particularly championships for which they are eligible and to encourage promising junior athletes who have the potential to develop into elite orienteers. 


OABC should:

1.      allocate a minimum budget available for funding by April 30 (this may be augmented as additional funds become available);*

2.      designate events eligible for funding by April 30;

3.      strike a Competitions Committee chaired by the Competition Co-ordinator to accept applications and award funding.


* In 2000 $565 was allocated to fund approved member athletes’ travel to major championship events within North America. 


ACTION:  Apply for Casino Grant and Funding for a Provincial Coach

Research other sources of funding for the office assistance or Executive Director, rent of office and other programs. Eli is currently researching some possibilities.

Officials Development


The Officials’ Clinic for this year was not offered due to the lack of interest. We are planning to have official's clinics this year.


Orienteering survives and relies on events to promote itself.  The recruitment strategy is both a club driven process and a provincial process.  Clubs conducts events and officials are necessary for most events.  To meet national and international hosting and sanctioning requirements OABC will continue operating within a 5-year plan from 2001.


Coaching Development


Published materials are made available through the COF, PSO, and through clubs.  The Premier’s Sport Awards Program is available in almost every school in the province.


            Publications include:

·        Premier’s Sport Awards Program (BC, updated 1994)

·        Orienteering Instructors Manual (Oct. 1984)

·        CANOI Handbook (Alta., 1987)

·        NCCP Manuals


Participation in the BC Summer Games is seen as a means of developing new participants, coaches, maps, and officials in the various regions of the province.


A Provincial Coach is needed to ensure that courses and clinics are offered on a consistent and regular basis, both regionally out of the High Country area, but also provincially, as requested, within the limitations of time and money.


Teachers and leaders showing a keen interest are encouraged through assisting in providing school and park orienteering maps, essential to O' instruction.


NCCP, CANOI, and PSAP courses are delivered by qualified and experienced instructors.

Mentoring is mainly available and encouraged at each event and the  provincial camps. 



Mapping Report was not submitted. I have a little knowledge about what is happening.


Junior Development


All over the world orienteering is presented at very early age (the best age for developing navigational skills 10-12). At the European Events, 75% of the participants are children and youth.


Our goal is to develop strong junior participation program in the province.


The Three big clubs are trying their best and contributing many hours as volunteers to help but it is difficult to co-ordinate everything when the clubs are spread geographically and funds are limited and based on the assumption that Orienteering is a sport for adults.


Our efforts in the last 3 years have been and continue to promote the sport to younger generation and provide quality maps and events to all participants.


Existing Programs:


Premier Sport Awards Program is well known throughout elementary school system. They provide manuals, posters and information and teaching resources to elementary school teachers.


We had few self sponsored after school programs in Burnaby, Summer Camps in Vancouver, many demonstrations and workshops to schools and scouts.

Two new programs were started in Vancouver - Kerrisdale Area and Port Coquitlam this May


In collaboration with Park Boards we have several Learn Orienteering courses. Workshops are offered to other NGO's, schools and conferences.


For fourth year Nature Discovery Summer Camps in Vancouver introduced orienteering skills for a week-long program in different parks of Vancouver.


The  Festival of Orienteering on the last Friday of April with free workshops, games and activities and the Elementary School Orienteering Championship in the afternoon with official ceremony and medal presentation.


1.      Media contacts and better promotion - TV Channel 4 with Jack Christy, Burnaby Now

2.      Possible sponsorship - Coat Mountain Sport, Purdi's, Panagopolus Pizza 


Map and compass workshops have been provided to other NGO-s, boy scouts, girl guides, and hiking clubs and other interested organizations.


A training camp for the athletes was held once a year in May organised by OABC.


The OABC is committed to working with and supporting our educational partners in promoting Orienteering with young people as well as adults.




Prepared by: Jackie Slavenova, President of OABC

May 17, 2001