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A 2010 wrap-up from the COF (and a look forward to 2011)

(this article is also available as a pdf)

Happy New Year!

2010 was a busy and exciting year for orienteering at the national level in Canada. The intent of this newsletter is to give a summary of what we’ve been up to at the Canadian Orienteering Federation (COF). There is lots happening but we realize that we haven’t always devoted enough time to communicating about the work that we’ve been doing. We want orienteers across Canada to better understand how the work of the COF directly impacts them.

The volunteers for the COF do work in eight general areas:

1) Events and Scheduling
2) Technical (coaching, officiating, rules, standards, etc)
3) Grassroots/sport development
4) High Performance development
5) Long term athlete development
6) Communications and promotion
7) International presence
8) Administration and planning

Here’s a summary of what’s going on in each of the areas:

Events and Scheduling

2010 events and the arena concept
2010 was an exciting year for orienteering in Canada with over 500 registrants at the North American championships in Cranbrook and 300 of those continuing on to Whistler for the Barebones / Western Canadian championships. There were around 320 registrants at the COCs in Ottawa at the end of August. The 2010 NAOCs were significant in that they were officially sanctioned for the first time by the IOF as a regional championship. 2010 saw arena production reaching unprecedented levels with organizers carefully planning great assembly areas with announcing, radio controls, pageantry, spectator legs, ‘red groups’ to highlight the elites and creating a festive atmosphere to encourage more spectating and socializing at events.

Upcoming Championship events
The COCs have been awarded for 2011 (Yukon) and 2012 (Alberta). We plan to confirm the 2013 host shortly. Bids for the 2014 COCs and the 2014 North American championships are due this summer. We are looking for hosts for the 2012 and 2014 ski-orienteering championships. The IOF has asked us to consider hosting a World Cup (foot orienteering) and major ski-orienteering championships.

World Ranking Events
World Ranking Events provide elite orienteers the opportunity to be ranked internationally. The COF, and OUSA, jointly hosted a WRE event advisor clinic in July during the NAOCs in Kimberley at which there were 17 participants. Canada has 3 WRE event advisors (Adrian Zissos, Alex Kerr and John Rance). Canada hosted 6 WREs in 2010 (3 at the North Americans, one at Barebones in Whistler, one in Ottawa at the COCs and one at GLOF in Hamilton). WREs in 2011 are confirmed for the sprint camp in Vancouver in February (one WRE) and the Western Canadians and COCs in the Yukon (three WREs). Applications for WREs in 2012 are due in Sept 2011.

Canada Cup concept
As we roll out the new officials program we are planning to change the names of A, B and C meets. A meets will become “Canada Cup” events and we are working on creating an easy to implement scoring system so that we’ll be able tabulate Canada Cup series rankings in the various age categories.

COCs = Canadian Orienteering Championships
HPP = High Performance Program
IOF = International Orienteering Federation
JWOC = Junior World Orienteering Championships
LTAD = Long Term Athlete Development
NAOCs = North American Orienteering Championships
OUSA = Orienteering USA (formerly USOF)
PTOAs = Provincial/Territorial Orienteering Associations
WOC = World Orienteering Championships
WREs = World Ranking Events


Coaching certification
We are continuing our evolution from the previous National Coaching Certification Program. The Community Coaching Stream (available in French and English) received approval from the Coaching Association of Canada. We’ll be starting the development of the competitive stream materials in 2011. Our goal is to have more certified coaches actively working with athletes at all levels.

Rules and standards
We formalized a rules committee in 2010 with the mission of regularly reviewing the COF rules to ensure simplicity, fairness and consistency. In 2011 we will complete a guidebook for COC and NAOC organizers.

Officials certification
Updating our officials’ program is the COF’s largest project at the moment. We’ve developed a new framework, are creating content and we’ll begin rolling out the new program in 2011. The officials certification program ensures that all event organizers have the knowledge and tools that they need to put on high quality events – from casual training to large championship events.

Grassroots/sport development

National Orienteering Week
National orienteering week (NOW) will be Apr 30 – May 8, 2011. We ask all clubs to add a beginner friendly orienteering event to their schedules during that time. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of orienteering within the community.

Youth Leader Kit
We’ll be getting a graphic designer to help with the finishing touches on a short kit that we’ve developed to assist youth leaders organize a simple orienteering event. The kit will be on the COF webpage as a pdf.

COF Conference
The annual conference that we organize in conjunction with the COCs continues to be a key mechanism for the COF Board to share info and get feedback about its latest projects. We also use the opportunity to hear from some of Canada’s top orienteers and to share topics of general interest to Canadian orienteers. Join us at the 2011 conference in Whitehorse where Jim and Sue Waddington will be talking about their life-long project of searching out the original sites for many of the paintings done by the Group of Seven (their orienteering skills come in handy!).

Sass Peepre junior training camps
There were two junior training camps in 2010. One during the NAOCs and the other at the COCs. We continue to hear great feedback from the camp participants who very much enjoy spending time with their orienteering friends from across the country and developing their O skills.

Ski-Orienteering (and Mountain bike and Trail)
The IOF is working to get ski-orienteering onto the program of the Olympic Winter Games. (It’s much easier to get a new sport into the Winter Games than into the Summer Games). The IOF is encouraging all orienteering countries that have snow to host more ski-O. They are also encouraging greater participation at the World Ski-O Championships which are held every two years. We will soon be confirming the Canadian team for the ski-orienteering World Championships in March in Sweden. We are planning to create a COF ski-orienteering committee in 2011 to help develop the discipline in Canada. There are a handful of clubs organizing mountain bike and trail orienteering events. A trail orienteering module was written for the coaching program.

Assistance to clubs
Most Canadian orienteering clubs are now using zone4 for event registration. We are working with the owner at zone4 to find ways to simplify event and membership registrations. The COF continues to host the RouteGadget database. In late 2010 we launched a Digital Orienteering Map Archive (DOMA) for the High Performance Program athletes. We will soon launch a DOMA that all Canadian orienteers will be able to use. We will continue to post a wide variety of templates on the COF website so that clubs aren’t re-inventing the wheel.

High Performance

National teams
In 2010 Canadian athletes attended the World Orienteering Championships (Norway), the Junior World Orienteering Championships (Denmark) and the World University Orienteering Championships (Sweden). Magnus Johansson of Vancouver continued in the role of national team coach.

2010 national team highlights
13th place – Emily Kemp (Ottawa) middle distance at JWOC
28th place – Louise Oram (Vancouver) middle distance at WOC
16th place – Louise Oram (Vancouver), Carol Ross (Moncton), Sandy Hott (Waterside, NB) WOC relay

High Performance Committee
The high performance committee works to improve elite orienteering in Canada. They oversee all the administration involved with the national teams and they implemented the High Performance Program, created the Athlete Handbook and Agreement and most recently developed the Rising Star awards.

High Performance Program
24 athletes were selected as members of the High Performance Program in 2010. The HPP provides a support structure to Canada’s elite and up and coming athletes.

2010 HPP members
Angela Forseille, Dahria Beatty, Emily Kemp, Emily Ross, Kendra Murray, Molly Kemp, Colin Abbott, Damian Konotopetz, Graeme Rennie, Lee Hawkings, Serghei Logvin
Carol Ross, Louise Oram, Sandy Hott, Daniel Rokitnicki-Wojcik, Darius Konotopetz, Eric Kemp, Hans Fransson, Jeff Teutsch, Jon Torrance, Mike Smith, Patrick Goeres, Robbie Anderson, Will Critchley

Rising Star Awards
This new program awards two promising Canadian orienteers $1500 each to assist with their training costs.

Team Leader funding
We are grateful to Randy Kemp and Magnus Johansson for taking on the team leader roles in 2010. The team leaders fill an important coordination role at JWOC and WOC. The COF asked Canadian Orienteering clubs to assist us with funding to help pay the costs of the team leaders to attend the World and Junior World championships. In the past the team leaders have paid the majority of the expenses out of their own pocket in order to take on this important volunteer role. We are thankful to the 12 or so clubs that responded to our request for funding.

Athletes CAN
The COF continues its involvement with Athletes CAN which is a Canadian association for national team athletes. Brent Langbakk attended the Athletes CAN Forum in Ottawa as the official athlete rep for orienteering. Jeff Teutsch and Eric Kemp of Ottawa also attended. Next year’s Forum is in Edmonton.

World Masters Orienteering Championships
Canadian orienteers are competing yearly at the World Masters Orienteering championships (for athletes over 35). The 2011 World Masters will be in Hungary and the 2012 championships will be in Germany. Will Nesta Leduc of Whitehorse reclaim the World Championship W75 title that she won in 2009?

Long Term Athlete Development Model

LTAD model for orienteering
Long Term Athlete Development is a made-in-Canada framework which changes the focus of how sport associations and clubs present sport to youth and adults. LTAD focuses on athlete development with special reference to growth, maturation and development with the intent of creating better sport experiences that encourage kids and adults to stay involved in sport and physical activity. In 2010, we wrote an orienteering specific LTAD model which we’ll launch in 2011. We’ll also incorporate the orienteering specific LTAD model into our coaching and officiating programs and develop a national junior program curriculum as many other sports have done.

The LTAD stages
Active Start
Learn to train
Train to train
Train to compete
Train to win
Active for life

Communications and Promotion

Web presence
The COF launched a new and very much improved website in 2010. We are constantly working on improving and developing content. The members of the HPP posted about their races and training on the national team blog at and the COF developed a stronger presence on facebook.

Branding and awareness
We developed new branded materials for the COF: letterhead, PowerPoint template, business cards, etc. And we partnered with the NAOCs, Barebones and the COCs to get COF branded items to the participants with the goal of increasing awareness of the COF among the Canadian orienteering community.

This was a weak spot for us in 2010. We are hoping to be able to dedicate/find more manpower to help with this in 2011.

International presence

Lobbying and representation at the IOF
Charlotte MacNaughton attended the IOF meetings in Norway on behalf of the COF. At these meetings we, most notably, voted to support changes to the event program at the World Championships and voted to continue the relationship between the World Masters Games and the World Masters Orienteering Championships. We successfully lobbied for a change to the World Ranking system to allow a longer period before ranking points expire so that we’ll be in a better position to have more North American elite women with World Ranking points.

Regional Development
Charlotte is the IOF regional development delegate for North America. The IOF regional development goals in North America include the creation of more orienteering federations in the Caribbean (Barbados recently became a member of the IOF).

Administration and Planning

Revenue generation
In December 2010 we hired a sport marketing company to assist us with the creation of a sponsorship plan and package. We are also looking at creating an endowment fund to provide a longer term funding source for the COF. In 2010, we held successful fundraisers at our major events (eg silent auctions at Barebones and the COCs, HPP sprint during the COCs).

Strategic Plan
We finalized a 4 year strategic plan in 2010 which will be posted on the COF site shortly. The plan helps us to focus on our efforts in 5 cores areas.

The COF’s 5 core strategies:
Growing the Membership – Grassroots Development
High Performance Development
Building Organizational Capacity
Developing Strategic Partnerships
Building Profile and Communication

Sport Canada
The COF is applying for funding from Sport Canada. This has been time-consuming in 2010 as we developed our strategic plan, long term budgets, long term athlete development model and created new policies – all requirements from Sport Canada – and all positive initiatives for the COF.

Charitable status
The COF is able to issue tax receipts for donations. We created a policy regarding the issuing of charitable receipts for fundraising done by the PTOAs and their member clubs.

We posted an insurance info document on the website to help the PTOAs and clubs better understand the COF’s insurance policy which benefits all the clubs and PTOAs that are affiliated with the COF.

By-laws and policies
We did a major revision of our by-laws in 2010 and we developed a number of new policies, many of which are required by Sport Canada.

Our 2010 and 2011 priorities

Our 2010 priorities were:
• Strategic plan development
• Sport Canada funding application
• Officials program updating
• New web site
• LTAD development

Our 2011 priorities are:
• Strategic plan implementation
• Creation of competitive stream in coaching program
• Guidelines for COC organizers
• Roll-out of new officials program
• New resource development (sponsorship, endowment fund)
• Stronger communications
• Possibility of national membership and event registration system
• Staffing

Who does the work?

The COF board members and the COF committees (all volunteers) do the majority of the work. There are a few other volunteers who assist us as well. During 2011, we are planning to hire paid staff to work on specific initiatives.

COF Board members
Alex Kerr (BC), Andree Powers (AB), Brent Langbakk (YT), Charlotte MacNaughton (AB), Dave Graupner (MB), Ian Sidders (ON), Mark Rosin (SK)

Officials Program Update Steering Committee
Laura Querengesser, Adrian Zissos, John Rance, Alex Kerr, Andree Powers, Charlotte MacNaughton, Don Ross, Teresa Winn, Linda Hildebrandt

Long Term Athlete Development Steering Committee
Marg Ellis, Patrick Goeres, Bill Anderson, Charlotte MacNaughton

Sass Peepre Committee
Kitty Jones, Meghan Rance, Ann Teutsch

High Performance Committee
Brent Langbakk, Magnus Johansson, Adrian Zissos, Eric Kemp, Patrick Goeres, Charlotte MacNaughton, Nevin French

Coaching Program Update Steering Committee
Bill Anderson

Rules Committee
Alex Kerr, Marilyn Edmunds, Mike Waddington, Mike Smith

Endowment Fund Committee
Dave Graupner, Adrian Zissos

Where does the money come from?

The COF’s current revenue sources are:
• Affiliation fee from PTOAs
• Levy at COCs and NAOCs
• Donations
• Self-funding by national team athletes

Future revenue sources may also include:
• Sport Canada
• Sponsorship
• Endowment fund
• Greater donations

We want to hear from you

Please let us know what you think:
• Was this summary useful for you?
• Do you have questions after reading this?
• Is there other information that would be helpful?
• Are you interested in helping out with any of the COF’s projects? One of our biggest roadblocks is not having enough volunteers and we welcome more assistance.
We look forward to hearing from you >>

5 comments to A 2010 wrap-up from the COF (and a look forward to 2011!)

  • Nick Duca

    Great stuff !
    will be forward to our club tiny typo..under “administration and planning”- charitable status, there is a repeat ” by the by the PTOA”..

  • Thanks for the excellent update. Lots of exciting things happening in the Canadian orienteering world.

  • An excellent summary of 2010 and of the key goals and directions of COF!

  • Karen Martino

    Great job! There is so much going on in Orienteering in Canada. It is great to hear about it all.

  • Udeo Grady

    Thanks for the super job you have done in your summary.
    One thing, i would like yo suggest is: get a foot in the education of the teacher and so that orienteering plays a more important rule in school sport.

    Udo and Ursula Grady