Author: Sarah Brown
The GB Orienteers are very grateful for the support they receive from clubs and regions.
They also thank the The Orienteering Foundation the UK Charity that promotes the sport of orienteering in the UK through enhancement, innovation, and alleviation of hardship.
They would also like to thank everyone who has given significant help over the years, from family and friends to coaches, companies and many individuals who have donated money.
Many of the athletes do want to be involved in inspiring our juniors to become the best. Individuals in the squad have a wealth of useful experience to pass on, so if there is an opportunity where they can help you, (coaching talks, Q and A, promoting an event) please get in touch.
In July 2022 the first Sprint-only World Championships were held. There were 5 races. The team won four medals in all, which is as many as in the previous 17 years combined. Additionally there were two top-6 results, two top-10s, and three top-20s. It was a highly experienced team with all eight athletes having run a World Champs before and having many international races behind them.
In August the forest-focused European Champs showed GB forest orienteering was not at the same level, with the team gaining two individual top-20s in 4 races, and coming 10th and 18th in the relays.
Regarding support the focus is on the 21-25 age group. The Orienteering Foundation project "Aspiring elites" explains one relevant initiative supporting British Orienteering's lead.
from The Orienteering Foundation Annual Report 2021
"We also commissioned a three year project to support our Aspiring Elites in the 21–24 age group who benefit little from other funding streams. This programme is aimed at providing support to individuals in the first few years after they move out of the supported part of the Talent and Performance programme. The athletes have now been selected and several meetings and mentoring sessions have been held with them. Our support also covered meeting the coaching costs for the squad at the Euromeeting in Switzerland in 2021 and a small part of athlete expenditure."
No World Cup or International Championships took place because of COVID,
An appeal was again made as in the two previous years, by the Orienteering Foundation, for contributions towards the expenses of athletes attending the World Championships. This used Charities Aid Foundation rather than the now closed BT MyDonate. Perhaps unfortunately this did not provide the same mechanism as MyDonate to add public messages of support. The athletes are once again very grateful for such support, and thank all those who contributed as well as The Orienteering Foundation.
In the summer of 2018 there was a short fund-raising campaign to help support the team for this year's World Championships. It raised £8,000. For more information please see the The Orienteering Foundation who kindly offered to help with this. The Orienteering Foundation will also accept donations specifically to help the squad as a whole.
Before 2017, Team GB had specific funding to help support training for, and competition in, international races including the World Championships (WOC). British Orienteering and the athletes also contributed to taking part in international competitions. A reduction in funding led to the Board agreeing immediate steps to reduce costs. There is more about this on the British Orienteering site, in announcements and meeting minutes.
One of the consequences of this was raising awareness of how hard it was for the squad members, especially the younger ones, to work enough to afford to live and afford the costs of competing, at the same time as doing what they need to to develop into international senior athletes.
In 2017, British Orienteering partially funded the team at the World Championships (paying entry fees and accreditation) as well as covering costs for team management, a physiotherapist and medical staff. Athletes made individual contributions of approx £600 for accommodation, transport and travel to the races. An additional cost to the athletes was travelling to test races. A crowd-funding appeal, linked to The Orienteering Foundation charity, raised approximately £10,000 that was shared amongst the GB athletes* attending the World Championships.
(*athletes were invited to accept or decline support, and the sum raised was shared equally between those who accepted.)
GB Teams also attended three World Cup rounds: Finland, Latvia and Switzerland. This was to gain experience and ranking points necessary to get more advantageous start times and thus do better at future events. For Finland and Switzerland, athlete costs were around £300 (accommodation, transport and travel to events.)
Four athletes attended the World Games in Poland; all costs were paid by the World Games organisation apart from travel which the athletes organised and paid for.
Individual athletes can get financial help from their clubs and regions, and this support is of course most welcome.
The position for 2018 is described in a British Orienteering announcement from November 2017.
For all World Cups and World Orienteering Championships, British Orienteering will cover the following costs:
- IOF Athlete license
- Event accreditation
- Event entry fees
Athletes will be required to fund all remaining costs including travel and accommodation. For all World Cups and World Orienteering Championships, British Orienteering will identify a volunteer Team Manager. This role will coordinate the GB team attendance at competitions aiming to provide, as far as possible, a stress-free competition experience for the team.
In addition, at World Cup 1 (the European Championships) and World Orienteering Championships British Orienteering will recruit two additional support volunteers.
Additionally, in 2018 British Orienteering is making awards to those judged potential medal-winning athletes (criteria are published on the British Orienteering website.) It is expected this will move to 2-year funding from 2019. For 2018 these athletes are (see Performance Athlete Awards in the British Orienteering News Archive):