Minutes of SMOC Committee meeting, 14th September 2007


Attendees: Steve Hardy, Robert Dove, Keith Downing, Helen Nisbet, Neil Carter, Ann Harris, John Shaw, Rosie Shaw and Karen Vines


Apologies: Sue Leaker, Richard Pownall, and Jason Falconer


  1. Sunday’s event at Stowe is cancelled as the National Trust countryside day on which the event was piggybacking does not appear to be happening.

  2. The club social last month went well, though it would have been nice if more new faces had turned up. Next social will be after Christmas – for consideration at next meeting.

  3. Badge Event update. The map is complete and the courses are looking good. It was hoped to just use open starts, however this is unlikely to be suitable for Interland competitors. Thus, subject to numbers, it is proposed to use a 2 minute separation between competitors, hopefully with ½ hour blocks. This should have the added bonus of giving time to extract a single map ready for competitor before they start (and hence reduce the risk of more than map being taken at once). The seeding for Interland competitors is only going to be known after entries close, so it is proposed to just allocate entries to blocks for the moment. It was also felt best to avoid giving Interland competitors very early starts as it is felt that this might lead to such competitors being unduly disadvantaged.

  4. Future District event. Discussion of this is left to the next committee. It is still felt that running as a joint event with Leicester at Irchester is a good idea.

  5. Keyne-O. Everything seems to be on track and this year’s dates have been set (Subject to final confirmation ). The aim is to get the events registered with BOF so that they are listed in the fixture list. . Robert has volunteered to polish any maps produced for Keyne-O so that they look as good as any other SMOC map. It might be possible to source extra funding for Keyne-O from the MK Community Foundation Small Grants scheme. The funding (a maximum of £1500 can be applied for) could be used to pay for mapping software, production of maps, a generator and publicity (including leaflets and `What is orienteering’ booklets from BOF). Ann will take forward publicity, such as getting Keyne-O on Parks Trust literature, on MKWeb and in libraries/leisure centres/running clubs. At Keyne-O it is also felt that greater effort could be put into getting people to join SMOC. After all its free for new orienteers, and if they join now they are members for the whole of 2008.

  6. Expansion of Keyne-O. One possible way in which Keyne-O could be to run events at Salcey. This would get people actually out into the forest and also provide something for people in the Northampton area. The courses would be of the same type and could be of the same frequency (but fortnightly apart from the Keyne-O events). Neil has offered to run the events. It was noted that though we have to pay to use Salcey for big events, this may not be the case for small events. Also being a small event it may be possible to use the main carpark. It was noted that there is a £2 charge to use the main carpark though this comes with a £1 voucher for the café. To be further considered at next meeting.

  7. BOF EGM and conference. Two delegates from each club are requested to attend. Robert and Steve have offered to go. SMOC members are requested to consider the implications of the proposed BOF reorganisation. It could lead to the leadership of BOF being dominated by a few particularly vocal and strong-minded individuals from just a few regions. The interests of EAOA, could end up being ignored. And there could be little to stop moves such as the ditching of ranking lists and regional events should a few people at the top wish to push them through. Assuming that they don’t wish to personally attend the EGM, SMOCcies are strongly urged to consider giving proxy voting rights to the SMOC delegates.

  8. Permanent Courses. In response to a recent survey by BOF, SMOC has not admitted to any permanent courses. This is because there are problems with all of them. Responsibility for the upkeep of permanent course is not something that SMOC wants to take on and its not clear that other organisations have the money for it either. Community Funds for other towns might help but SMOC priorities and resources are such that it might be better to forget about them. An in-between strategy might be to offer maps and advice about the current state of courses to groups and schools. We could possibly use the Beds and Bucks Sport e-mail lists to advertise such as service.

  9. Minimum operating standard for clubs. With a little bit of effort, SMOC could satisfy the ‘minimum operating standard’ that is laid down for clubs for events where juniors are involved – in particular coaching unaccompanied juniors. Although this mean jumping throw some hoops, it represents a good opportunity reassess how SMOC operates. Possibly all that is required is for someone to attend a child protection workshop (and Ann has volunteered to go) and for the addition of an Equal Opportunities Statement into a constitution. Keith has offered to create an electronic version of our constitution from the paper version and to draft the requisite change. It was noted that the constitution can only be changed at a quorate AGM or EGM.

  10. AOB.

  11. The next committee meeting will be 8.00pm, Friday 23rd November.