At its final meeting for the year on 8 November, the OACT Board reviewed issues associated with coming out of COVID including gathering limits, Twilight/Street-O/MapRun/Sprint Series, event entry and season passes, status of Schools Coaching and SC-ORE. The Board noted it has been challenging trying to keep pace with the changes to easing of restrictions. All our programs are getting going again. Schools are currently not available to us for the Sprint Series and this is unlikely to change for the early part of 2022, especially as some of the schools we have used are already sites where positive cases have been identified in the two weeks since students went back. Season pass numbers are looking really healthy and there will be 3-for-free to enter on the day. Pre-Registration is now also available for individual events. Some schools have permitted individual coaches back on site with proof of double vaccination for coaching as part of the curriculum, but not otherwise especially if it could lead to classes or schools mixing. For the same reason there was no practical alternative but to cancel the Spring SC-ORE.
The President reported that OA has proposed 4 sessions for the end of the year starting 22 Nov for 4 consecutive weeks covering: High Performance and Coaching; Participation; Events; Governance and Strategy. Various Board members to attend. In the meantime OA has readvertised the General Manager position. Geoff has listed 5 stresses we could nominate as affecting OACT, namely: Availability of controllers at league and higher events, particularly higher level controllers; Availability of club persons to conduct high level events; Availability of Leaders for the association; Our Saturday and Twilight programs during COVID restrictions; Acquittal of accumulated funds. They are apparently shared by other States. The OA work on common membership structures appears to have stalled for now. A decision on Australians attending Oceania in NZ in January 2022 is yet to be made, but seems unlikely. Airfares are currently only available by ballot. Phil has written to OA suggesting it and the States pool efforts especially around promotional material.
The Treasurer spoke to the circulated financial summary, which shows OACT continues to be in a sound financial position. ASOC uniform inventory costs can be transferred to next year. The cost of hoodies is to be borne this year as these have been provided to the students. There had been some outstanding Sporting Schools invoices from 2020, but Stephen has chased these up. Some had been paid but no reference was given with the payment so they were coded elsewhere in our accounts. Peter was going to arrange to consolidate the term deposits, but it appears interest rates may go up soon, so will hold off for six months now. Phil noted that the Eventor licence fee is based on the number of transactions, not the number of entries – so it costs less if one enters multiple events at once.
The Secretary spoke about work OA is doing on a new National Integrity Framework. Stephen has agreed to assist on an OA panel to establish compliance with the National Integrity Framework being promulgated by the new national body known as Sport Integrity Australia. This will include selecting an Integrity Officer and in time will focus on such issues as child protection, disability, gender diversity and member protection information. Stephen has also suggested to OA that it might be appropriate to seek National grant funding next year – under the Women Leaders category – to develop the capability of our female controllers, course setters and possibly mappers. The Board noted that advancing age is as much an issue as gender in these areas. In the meantime it would be good to plan an OACT controllers workshop early in 2022. Stephen reported that ACT Sport & Rec has approached sporting organisations seeking expressions of interest to participate in the Australian Masters Games if they come to Canberra in 2025. OACT has indicated it is interested, especially if there is a way we could combine that with hosting the Australian Championships, which would in turn involve negotiating with OQ to swap our current slots in the forward years calendar for 2025 and 2026. We have indicated our preferred venues would be Canberra Nature Park (various) and Namadgi National Park.
The Executive Officer reported that memberships appear to have picked up again post-COVID for all clubs apart from CGS junior school (where orienteering has been downgraded from an official school sport to an elective). The Board noted Matthew Purcell had recently left CGS, which may affect senior school memberships too. Western Emus remains small, with 21 members. Phil reported that with SC-ORE cancelled Susanne has time available for additional promotion. Phil has spoken with her about establishing some options/promotion for mobility-impaired participation.
Stephen reported that Jindabyne Sport & Rec Centre are still to send us costings but are keen to have us. St John Ambulance have also not started taking bookings for 2023, but have received our application for first aid assistance. The two biggest risks are: landowner permission – one owner is reluctant for us to use the site as he is concerned about the presence of wild cattle. Other sites can be considered; Ensuring we have course-setters and controllers for each day, but day organisers are following up on this.
2022 Event Program
Rolling the Champs over from 2021 to August 2022 means the Events subcommittee needs to reconvene soon to make sure the distribution of events remains comfortably balanced. Geoff will try to convene a meeting for Thursday 18 November.
End of Year Function
The lockdowns have made it difficult to plan for an event this month as planned, so it has been rolled over to early next year, perhaps as a picnic attached to a Sprint Series event so people can conveniently attend both. Valerie and Tate to liaise over the summer about a possible date.
Land Use Approvals
David Hogg has developed some general and specific environmental guidelines for use in ongoing discussions with ACT Canberra Nature Park managers – with a view to streamlining at least that part of the Public Land Use permission/application process. The Board expressed its thanks to David for his passionate ongoing work in this area. Stephen reported on a recent experience with original approval to access the Arboretum for a rogaine being declined when the postponed event was to be re-staged. We may need guidelines for staging events at the Arboretum in due course too. It is a timely reminder that clubs should ensure they start the permission process as early as practicable.
CBR Sports Awards
OACT has nominated Canberra Cockatoos Women’s team. The awards are to be announced at an online function on 2 December.
The Board’s next meeting is due to be held on Mon 17 Jan 2022.