What is SCOA?


You will be aware that you are a member of your orienteering club. You are likely also to be aware of the role of British Orienteering, being the National Governing Body for the sport in the United Kingdom. However do you know that, through your club, you are also affiliated to the South Central Orienteering Association (SCOA)?

This page describes what SCOA does, and why it is of benefit to you.

So what is SCOA?

SCOA is the Association responsible for orienteering in the South Central area of England. This area comprises approximately the counties of Berkshire, South Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, and the Isle of Wight. Orienteering within the region is mostly carried out by the constituent clubs.

There are nine such Associations in England, along with ones in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus the British Schools Orienteering Association. Each of these Associations is itself affiliated to British Orienteering.

OK, but what does SCOA actually do?

SCOA supports orienteering in its area of England (Berkshire, South Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight). It does a wide variety of things:

  1. It coordinates level C events in the region, to avoid two clubs in the same region staging events on the same day.
  2. Similarly, SCOA is represented in a fixtures capacity at BOF level to ensure two neighbouring regions do not hold larger events on the same day.
  3. When SCOA is asked to organise a major event, such as the JK, it is responsible for coordinating all the work involved in putting on the event.
  4. It organises regional championships and leagues, such as the SCOA League.
  5. It helps to share good practice between the clubs in the region, such as publicity work.
  6. It puts on training sessions, for example on organising, or planning, or controlling an event. Such training sessions would be difficult for even a large club to be able to put on.
  7. It provides technical training, especially for juniors through the SCOA Junior Squad. The variety, frequency and quality of training provided to the Junior Squad would be difficult for a single club to match.
  8. It provides grants for athletes, for example for junior tours or for representing England in the Home Internationals.
  9. It provides grants to individuals for training, for example as coaches, in first aid, as event officials, etc.
  10. At a more technical level, SCOA handles requests for rule waivers from clubs. It also analyses how larger (level B and above) events have been managed, to help all clubs in the region learn from others' experiences.

You can find more detail about SCOA on its website, at http://www.scoa-orienteering.org.uk/

What else should SCOA be doing?

This is really a question for you. Are there things you feel SCOA should do for you or your club, which are not on the list above? If so, please write to chairman@scoa-orienteering.org.uk setting out what you would like SCOA to do.

And what does all this cost me?

Currently there is no direct charge on members of clubs.

However there are charges levied through your club. Each club currently pays an annual membership fee currently calculated as £2 per senior member (as at the previous 31st May)

In addition, each club pays a levy on events it holds, based on the number of people participating (with juniors counting as one-third). That levy is currently 45p per participant, but only on Level C events and above.

So where does the money go?

SCOA spends about £4,000 each year. That figure breaks down roughly as follows:

  • £1300 Supporting the Junior Squad

  • £1200 Grants – split pretty much equally between grants for attending Internationals and £700 for training camps

  • £ 650 Contribution to English Orienteering Council, which they use primarily to fund the cost of athletes competing at Internationals.

  • £ 300 Administration costs such as bank charges, website costs, travel.

  • £ 250 Trophies and badges.

  • £ 200 Training courses.

How is all this organised

There are four meetings a year, when the region's affairs are discussed. Each club has a representative who attends these meetings. These are open meetings so you are welcome to come along if you wish. And SCOA is always looking for people to help with running the Association. If you are interested in lending a hand, then just email chairman@scoa-orienteering.org.uk It will give you great insight into what SCOA does.