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What should the future of Junior Development look like?
By Christo Peters - Wed 2 Mar 2022 6:41pm

The Junior Development Committee (JDC) has been the ONZ body responsible for leading the national development of junior orienteering for many years.  Traditionally their mandate has included: the Junior Camp, working with what is now called School Sport New Zealand, and helping clubs to make junior development easier.  Recently the current JDC has retired after many years of service. In standing down, the committee recognised that it has been fairly inactive over the last two years of Covid, much of the original committee terms of reference are no longer relevant, and many of the key recent goals for the JDC have been achieved.

In recent years the area of Junior Development has been well served through the creation of a number of ONZ-led initiatives which include: the development of the schools’ knowledge hub and resources, the national coaching framework, the updating of NCEA accreditation standards for NZQA, the roll-out of coach accreditation for new coaching levels, and regular schools discussions that are taking place monthly.

Many of these achievements have been overseen by the recently appointed ONZ National Training Officer as ONZ has prioritised investment in this area. Over the same period, the Coaching Working Group was created to produce the new ONZ coaching framework. Both these examples show an evolution in the way junior development is taking place. 

At the February ONZ Council Meeting, the role of the JDC was discussed, and it was agreed that there was an opportunity for us to get feedback from members and clubs on what they felt was most needed in the area of junior development and what structure members thought would best deliver these outcome.  It may be something as simple as a change in the JDC terms of reference, perhaps removing the JDC altogether and using working groups to achieve specific tasks, perhaps incorporating the roles of the JDC into the National Training Co-ordinator’s position?  Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons which we are interested to examine.

ONZ invites members and clubs to email in your thoughts as the first stage in this process. Please email our GM your thoughts and ideas.  We look forward to your feedback.

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