Chairman’s Annual Report 2013
A review of the last year by Anne Hickling, Chair, Board of Directors
As I write this, memories of Moray2013 are still fresh. Those are good memories; Moray was another very successful 6 Day Event, with almost 4000 people taking part. The success of the event was due to the hard work of the Central Organising Team from Gramp and Moravian, led by George Esson; members of all the Scottish orienteering clubs; generous assistance from clubs outside Scotland; and the input of SOA Professional Officer Colin Matheson. The contribution of all is gratefully acknowledged.
We also acknowledge with thanks the generous support of the event from Event Scotland and Moray Leader. Funding from Leader enabled the event to maintain high standards of mapping and to improve the quality of the assembly areas. Event Scotland funding is used for event enhancements and these were largely in the technology field. As well as adding to the spectator value of the event, these offered a useful opportunity to gain experience of the sort of systems that will be required for WOC2015. Of specific benefit to the 6 Day Event is the availability of a large amount of video film which will be used to produce a short promotional piece for use when approaching sponsors, landowners etc.
The inclusion of Euromeeting in Moray2013 added an extra level of complexity to the organisation but also boosted numbers and enhanced the international flavour of the event.
Each 6 Day event includes some innovations, and this year a professional event services team was brought in to deal with the construction, dismantling and moving of the assembly area equipment. This greatly reduced the burden on the organising clubs each day and was well received. The Board is very conscious of the demands on the volunteer workforce and seeks to reduce this wherever possible. There is further scope for increasing the use of professional services at future events, but the benefits of the additional costs must be balanced with the need to contain rises in entry fees.
The work of Mike Rodgers, SOA Development Officer for Moray, led to a great deal of local publicity for the event, but sadly this did not translate into the hoped-for entries from local people. Nevertheless, the event was very well received by local businesses and there was good coverage during the week in the local press.
Day4 of Moray incorporated both VIP hospitality and the launch of Highland2015. Despite a wet day this was well attended by landowners and tenants for 2013 and 2015 areas, representatives from Event Scotland and local councils, and other friends and supporters of the Moray and Highland events. Our guests were impressed by the scale and professionalism of the event and by the wide age range of the competitors!
Good progress has been made over the past year in some areas. The Central Organising Team is coming together under Richard Oxlade (Gramp) with ESOC and INVOC as central organising clubs. Lindsey Knox represents the Board on the Central Organising Team. Richard is also a member of the WOC Organising Group.
The WOC and 6 Day programmes have been agreed and will give the 6 Day competitors maximum opportunity to spectate at the WOC events and to run on the same maps.
WOC and the 6 Days are to be run as a joint venture which brings benefits and challenges. A substantial increase in entries to the 6 Days will be needed to ensure the financial viability of the joint event, and strict financial control will be needed to ensure budget constraints are not exceeded. The benefit to the 6 Day event of the association with WOC is that our event will be presented to a much larger international audience. Anne Hickling is a member of the WOC Steering Group, with a specific remit to ensure that the standards and traditions of the 6 Day Event are (at least) maintained in the joint event.
‘A Few Surplus Maps’
John Colls’ history of the 6 Day Event first went on sale at Oban2011 and the book was promoted again at Moray. John produced a further short supplement to update the story to 2013. Sales of the book and supplement were steady and in addition a number of copies have been donated to individuals and organisations who have supported the event, as well as to libraries.
In conclusion I would like to thank my fellow directors for their work and support over the past year in advancing the Company’s aims. There has been no change in the membership of the Board over the past year, and this stability has been beneficial. The next two years will be a challenging time, as Highland 2015 will outdo previous 6 Day events in its scale and complexity. Its success depends on thorough planning and, as always, the willingness of many individuals to give their time and expertise for the benefit of our sport.
Scottish Orienteering 6 Day Event Company Ltd
17 September 2013