How does the idea of tripling the orienteering membership in the next 5 years sound? Or having a stronger place for young adults to feel part of the sport outside high performance? Or where running major events is exponentially easier than it currently is? These are just a few of the things that came out of the “Future Possibilities” session, part of the recent club forum which was attended by club members from across the country. Whilst this “blue sky” thinking doesn’t constitute a plan, it does point to what people across the community are envisioning, and I was especially pleased with the level of collective ambition which came through in the discussions.
For ONZ and clubs, our challenge now is; how do we take these things further, translating them into actionable goals and priorities at local and national level? There are big implications in some of this which could force a change or reset in how we approach certain parts of the sport. For instance, the idea of tripling orienteering membership from 3,000 to 10,000 sounds fantastic, but how do we do that without further stressing the system (especially volunteers) that already feels under pressure in some areas? We can’t just load 3x more work onto clubs, we need smarter ways of doing things, better operating models, systems and processes, access to resources and paid expertise. This and the other things which came out of the club forum will be picked up by the ONZ Council as part of our business planning session in 2 weeks time. We look forward to sharing the outcomes from this and also hearing more from clubs about their thinking and ambitions in due course.
Content aside, the other great thing I loved about both Club and Presidents forum is seeing so many people participate and get involved, contributing to some very rich discussions. This willingness to participate and add effort to things was also very much on display at the recent MTBO champs which I was fortunate to be part of – seeing so many people put their hand up to help was humbling, be they major organising roles or just helping on the day. This is very much the orienteering way – the glue which holds the system that is orienteering in NZ together and strong. So many people epitomise this across the sport, so it was really pleasing to see one person recognised recently for his contribution at a regional level. Congratulations to Nick Collins (Taranaki OC) who received an Impact Award at the Taranaki Sports Awards for his contribution to orienteering, rogaining and adventure racing – well done Nick!
Peter Swanson | ONZ Chairperson
Ph: 027 302 4863. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org