January Newsletter

Connel Bridge in the mist

Connel Bridge in the mist

Posted: Wed 3 Feb 2021

Who would have predicted that we would be in another Lockdown, this time last year? To say it has been an 'interesting' year is a bit of an understatement. EckO hopes that you are all in good health and spirits and focusing on the future. With that in mind EckO would like to draw your attention to what you can do now and some things to look forward to.


Although we can't run events for the foreseeable future, we have still been active behind the scenes and throughout January a ROMP course was available at Dunstaffnage. Many thanks to Finlo and Ross for planning the courses, putting out the controls and collecting them in. Please remember to Log your ROMP to help us keep a tally of how well used the courses are. You can of course still visit any of our ROMP courses by downloading a map or contacting Alan Partridge if you wish a map to be posted out to you. Just bear in mind that there will be no control kites to confirm your position.

Along with all the other maprun courses, there are now 2 new MapRuns available at Tralee and Dunstaffnage in the form of a scatter course. This means that you can visit all the controls in any order you like or you can make up your own course. Why not give it a go? Full instructions are available on the EckO website.
Dave Bleazard has been very busy planning a ROMP at Inverawe and has now put the controls out. Maps are available for download. (see website). There is a long and a short course available. If you have not done much orienteering, a guide on how to tackle the short course has been posted on the website. The long course is for experienced orienteers only.
There is a series of excellent starter videos (Let's Get Started Orienteering), ideal for teachers or parents to use at home, produced by SOA which also contain some ideas and suggestions for follow up here

Volunteer Development
Over the last few months, the SOA have hosted a number of excellent on-line orienteering courses and workshops culminating in the annual coaching conference. A few EckO's members have taken advantage of the on-line training opportunities. After completing the basic planner's course, Finlo very enthusiastically and competently planned his first Orange Romp at Dunstaffnage.
As well as attending several workshops, Gill is training as a tutor in order to deliver a 'coaching safely in remote terrain' workshop to club members.
I have attended most of the workshops and training available and am looking forward to cascading my learning to club members.
Emma, one of EckO's junior members is starting out on her coaching journey this week and has undertaken to do the coaching foundation course mostly on-line. We can look forward to some great coaching sessions hopefully in the near future.
One thing I have learnt is that a lot of training and coaching can be done virtually so watch this space! On a personal note, I have really enjoyed the fact that I don't have to commit a whole day or weekend to a course with no travel involved. I can interact, take part and socialise (re-connecting with many friends) in the comfort of my house for an hour in the evening. Why not dip your toe into one of these virtual events? EckO needs you and your skills :)
If you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions please get in touch via contacts on the EckO website.

Club AGM - Friday, 19th February at 7pm via zoom.
Why not start your orienteering on-line experience by joining EckO for the Annual General Meeting. Our constitution requires us to have an AGM and we need a certain number of people to validate the meeting. Please do make every effort to attend - it won't be long and there will be no pressure to join the committee although new blood and a fresh pair of eyes is always good and welcome. Come and meet other EckO members or re-connect with old friends - the more the merrier. More information and a zoom invite will be coming shortly.

SWAT (Scottish West Area Training)
This is open to any junior from around the age of 11/12 who is happy to navigate an orange course independently. A few of our EckO juniors have taken advantage of this opportunity to meet juniors from other Orienteering Clubs in the West, improve their skills and have lots of fun. The emphasis is on enjoyment. Last Saturday, the SWAT squad enjoyed the first of 5 virtual sessions arranged by Roger Goddard from FVO (many thanks to Roger and the other coaches). It was great to see Ruari and Finlay taking part. We enjoyed a Kahoots quiz, strength and conditioning session and an interactive discussion in break out groups on route choices. Looking forward to the next session this coming Saturday. If any junior is interested please contact me through EckO contacts

Lochaber 2021 (Scottish 6Days) (1st - 7th August, 2021)

This is an opportunity to enjoy and benefit from an orienteering extravaganza. Every two years Scotland hosts 6 days of amazing orienteering and this year the event is centred on our doorstep in Lochaber. It's a fantastic opportunity for our members to experience a national orienteering event. You can enter for 1 day or you can enter for the whole 6 days or somewhere in between. You can also enter a course for your age class or a colour coded course (eg yellow, orange).
Check the website out - www.scottish6days.com to enter or for further information.
If you want advice on what course to enter or indeed on anything related, please contact EckO via the website at contacts

EckO's chair Ross, is heavily involved with the management group which is a huge and time-consuming undertaking and is really appreciated. Nearer the time, EckO will be looking for a lot of volunteer/club involvement although we are not responsible for the organisation of any particular day. We really pulled the stops out at Strathearn 2019. Enter, join in and come and be blown away by an amazing event. Team EckO!

Finally, just a quick reminder to renew your membership if you haven't already. See website for further details.
We look forward to the time when we can re-start our events, coaching and training and start to develop as a fully functional club but in the meantime get your orienteering fix through the ROMP's and MapRun's provided and we look forward to seeing you virtually at the AGM shortly.