This year has been very challenging in many ways for everyone. But despite the pandemic, orienteering has been possible, albeit in modified formats and always without the socializing before and afterwards.
With a collaborative effort, the clubs and AOA were able to provide safe outdoor activities to more than 6000 participants in 2020.
I really want to thank all those volunteers who have continued to offer their time and experience to make anything happen at all. The board members in each club have had to meet more often to ensure all orienteering activities conform to the ever-changing health regulations as well as managing finances that have been hard hit by program cancellations. Coaches have had to deal with physical distancing, mask-wearing, hand sanitizing and other changes to their coaching routines. All this is added stress in an already stressful environment.
Sadly, the 2020 Western Canadian Orienteering Championships that were scheduled for last July had to be postponed. This after the organizing committee had already put in a huge amount of work to create new maps, plan and vet courses, manage registrations, acquire permits, arrange transport and accommodation – the list goes on for such a big event. Let’s hope all this work comes to fruition sometime in the not too distant future.
I want to finish by saying the Alberta Orienteering Association needs you! I have been president of the AOA for four terms and, to conform with our bylaws, cannot continue as president after the next AGM in April 2021. Apart from needing a new president, it would be beneficial to have a couple more “regular” board members, especially from Edmonton. At the moment, the AOA board has five members, of which only one is from Edmonton. The board meets once a month on-line and twice a year in person (when we were allowed!). The main duties of the board are overseeing the work of our amazing Executive Director (Bogi), managing finances, adopting relevant sport policies, coordinating an annual forest event schedule, coordinating forest mapping projects and representing orienteering to the provincial government, Orienteering Canada and other sport bodies. So if you think you can help out, please contact Bogi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I wish you all a safe, healthy and active 2021.
What happened in 2020?
Regardless of the many challenges posed by the pandemic, the clubs and AOA were able to provide opportunities to over 6000 participants to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment. With Orienteering Canada's support and extensive work on Covid 19 guidelines for orienteering safely, the clubs were able to return to the sport through the summer and fall.
Thanks to our Club's organizers for many activities in the form of online programs and individual-based GPS orienteering.
In-person events and kids programs ( KRW and SOGO)
Try it sessions
School and small group programs
3 coaching courses and two outreach school programs in Grande Prairie
Thanks to Marion Owen who mentored the O100 courses (run online)
Thanks to our mappers ( Don Bayly and Teresa Winn ) who completed two forest maps ( Lusk Creek / Crowsnest Pass) and a couple of outreach maps.
Maintained our PSO ( Provincial Sport Association) grant and obtained two new grants to support clubs and outreach programs
In this year that challenged everyone, we thank our amazing COACHES and VOLUNTEERS for continuing to offer their time and energy to support orienteering in Alberta. Their commitment to our sport will allow us to get back on track to enjoy regular programming and events just as soon as this pandemic is over.
We are highlighting the coaching teams in this newsletter to show that it really "takes a village" to run orienteering programs. A BIG thank you to all of you for being so agile in adapting to this new challenging environment.
Kids Run Wild / EOOC coaches and volunteers:
Hannah & Gordon Hussell
Marilyn & Geraint Edmunds
SOGO / FWOC coaches and volunteers:
AOA coaches and volunteers:
Activities for the winter
New (independent) activities may arise over the winter when volunteers find themselves with time on their hands! Check the EOOC and FWOC websites on a regular basis!
There is a new orienteering children's book written by an AOA member.
We are so excited about this new book by Malin Hansen. (The Picture is from the 2019 AOA training camp where we met Malin and her family). Her book - Don't Get Lost! - aims to inspire children to get outside and learn how to read a map. It also teaches them what to do if they get lost, helping them build confidence in their own abilities. But most importantly, it's just a fun read! O-Store.ca and Amazon both have it in stock.
AOA website for sport-specific covid measures
Return to Sport Guidelines
AOA is following the Provincial Health authorities' measures and Orienteering Canada developed guidelines to provide a safe environment for our sports participants. The focus and expectations must be shifted away from competitive events to the opportunity to be outside, doing a sport we enjoy, respecting our collective responsibilities to health and safety, and being extra-appreciative to the officials who are creating opportunities to orienteer. Visit these webpages which contain the updated recommendations: For organizers: Return to Sport
For participants: Safety in Orienteering
These guidelines and forms will be implemented by the organizers. Make sure to follow your activity specific instructions if you attend any activity.