The Annual Report of The Orienteering Foundation Charity for 2017 was published last month.

Most of the work of The Foundation involves small grants on a project-by-project basis to further the sport of orienteering in the UK, and these are discussed in the report.

The GB Senior Squad were extremely grateful to the Foundation for supporting the team by hosting an appeal to support World Champs participation. It was very generously supported by many people. The money raised was distributed to 15 of the 16 athletes who attended the 2017 Championships (Estonia).

We also raised, through MyDonate, £10,365 which was distributed to 15 athletes who were in the GB squad for the World Orienteering Cup competition.

The Orienteering Foundation has kindly agreed to a similar appeal in relation to this year's World Champs. This will launch next week.

Some costs of World Championships attendance are paid by British Orienteering, for example competition licence and entry fees, and expenses for support staff. Athlete travel and accommodation are not.

Taking a wider view, the athletes incur many costs through the rest of the year - in general for training and other competitions, and for balancing their work against their need for training and recovery. So for example they work part-time or negotiate additional unpaid holiday with employers.

An appeal allows you - individuals - to opt in to provide support for the international programme, and the athletes are both extremely pleased to have some help, and also to know they have your good wishes.

The setup of On The Red Line has its roots in the knowledge gained during the last appeal that there is interest in the activities of the GB international athletes, and in the challenges of the top-level sport. Our aim is to make it easier to follow the athletes, to read about their training, and to follow the international competitions and feel involved in the athletes' performances.

We hope as On The Red Line grows, we will find ways to bring in more funding for the squad both by involving them in projects to develop orienteering as well as exploring commercial opportunities.

This is in keeping with the British Orienteering Board minutes from February 2017 (the full minutes discuss the context) :

It was recognised that the performance programme needs to move to a position of self-funding by athletes.

The subject of support is discussed more on our support page.

With a smile we observe that in our view perhaps the essential characteristic of orienteering compared to other sports is "self-reliance" in spades. There is nobody but yourself to rely on when you are out there on the course, and the physical, technical and mental abilities built up over years all depend on it.

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