Orienteering is all about getting out there in the forest, the park, or on the streets. But that's only possible thanks to our fantastic volunteers who plan and organise events,along with many other jobs that need doing both on the day and in the background. Without our volunteers, no one would be able to orienteer, and we are always looking for the next generation of volunteers! If this sounds like you then contact , or find out more below ...
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering can be very rewarding, for many reasons:
- Get out and meeting new people
- Opportunities to acquire and develop new skills too (which might be work-relevant / good for CVs)– e.g., project management, communications, working with people, using technology. The club will support members to get training, both financially and in arranging opportunities, and provide mentoring where desired
- Counts towards awards for young people such as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the Saltire Award
- Giving back to the sport you enjoy, and mentoring newer volunteers
- Planning courses can help to improve your own orienteering
- Get feedback from orienteers who have enjoyed your courses
- See your name in print for articles and photographs published on our website (and beyond)
- That glow of satisfaction at the end of the day when it all went to plan (or at least no one noticed when it didn't!).
Many companies and organisations encourage their employees to volunteer, even giving employees additional days off for volunteering (eg Edinburgh University), or matching hours volunteered with funding for charities (and orienteering clubs, but no obligation of course).
So How Can I Help?
The aim of this page is to outline the different roles involved in running an event, and to provide pointers to resources to help with these roles and expand on what they involve. If anything takes your fancy, get in touch with anyone on the committee. We can explain more about each role, or put you in touch with someone more experienced. Many existing volunteers are very happy to mentor new volunteers so there's no reason not to put a toe in the water and give something back. Start with a local event and see where you end up - it could be you planning or organising the British Championships some day, or you might prefer to stick with the informality of our summer Sprintelopes. It's up to you! Training and mentoring is provided where needed, so don't worry about lack of experience or knowledge.
Volunteer Roles - Overview
Apart from the club committee, most but not all volunteer roles are related to the club's event programme.
Key Event Roles
There are a few key roles for each event that require involvement prior to the event. The British Orienteering Federation (BOF) and / or the Scottish Orienteering Association (SOA) can provide training for all these roles. For a small local event, only 2 or 3 volunteers may be needed, with no requirement for a controller, and with the IT aspects being handled by planner or organiser.
- Planner - planning the courses for everyone to run, preparing and ordering maps for the event
- Organiser - co-ordinating everything for the event (sorting permissions, managing entries, bringing the right equipment to the event, recruiting and managing volunteers etc)
- Controller - overseeing the planning and organising for larger events, checking that everything has been thought of and thought through!
- IT Manager - managing the downloads and results on the day, and uploading to the web etc afterwards
Additional Event Roles
Depending on the size of the event (local, regional or national), some or all of the following roles are required on the day:
- First Aid (training provided)
- Putting out / collecting controls
- Car Parking
- Helping at registration, download and start
- Welcoming newcomers
Other Key Roles
There are other roles that aren't tied to a specific event, but are vitally important:
- Coach - helping other club members develop their orienteering skills is vital
- Mapper - while some maps are professionally prepared, this is not a requirement, and anyone can get into mapping
- Publicity - if you are a keen photographer, a budding journalist, or a social media expert, then you can put those skills to use and help the club raise awareness for its events and other activities