Hi, welcome to summer.
for the first time this year I have no events to report on, the BOK trot which is a solid weekends Orienteering in the South West was cancelled due to issues about nesting birds, the F.C seem to be putting barriers up more frequently along with protecting sites of special interest. Ironic really when pretty much every one I know who Orienteers loves the outdoors, birding and nature so are informed about such thing as Harriers and Nesting birds so are the least likely to be endangering wildlife by maprunning, but thats UK life. Every inch of this land is owned by someone and when multiple agencies are involved like NT, RSPB and the dreaded Natural England , (previously English Nature ) then expect barriers to harmless maprunning. I remember about ten years ago setting up an MTBO event in Rempstone forest and the ranger disallowing a control site near a track due to it being a living spot for one of our 5 native reptiles, we moved the control site, and Jon and I have never stopped joking about how the native lizards were seen swarming all over the track there where people would ride bikes – they werent of course but thats the stupidity of authoritarian rules enforced by people in organisations. (If you want to see our Sand Lizards I can take you to Canford Cliffs anytime and show you them in 2 minutes, ask me)
Anyways this is just a post about observing how O sport has changed since I started taking part 2004 related to the above. Winters were always great for getting into forests and in years gone by you could put on events in managed forest and private without much conversation. Now I read the upcoming events list between now and end of September, there are . These are family introductory and easy summer league events but winters arent much different. So how does this affect O sport? Well Its great to know that our teams in clubs have just adapted and are enjoying the changes now Urbans offer the chance to set up and take down easily and quickly without much in the way of authorization, they are especially in the case of Night events based at a pub, so social activities too. Club volunteers are great people all round and we just make the sport happen. Our elites are getting better results internationally as the fact remains- we dont train in the knarliest forests like the Scandinavians every week, so thats gotta be good. Ultimately I feel like the sport is healthier than ever really with more to do every year, so lets keep promoting and getting people exploring! You the readers volunteers and grass roots sports people are the best asset we have.
Theres loads coming up before weve even asked for people to make a team in a relay which theres 6 of in the S.W every summer, so have a look and get planning some days out. Tuesdays means trail running too so why not do something new- this week is medium hill reps. We may even have a new weekly base if the committee like my idea- watch this space. Wessex Region Summer Series