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Are we wasting Grant Money?

Show Profile  addison Posted: 10 December 2008, 11:52 AM  
With all this financial turmoil occuring around the World, and also here in NZ, gaming trusts are getting tighter.

This makes me wonder. For the last few years we have been creaming it as a Federation off Gaming Trust Grants. I remember going to Lithuania for JWOC in 2006 and we all got a few thousand dollars each?

Recently there has been a number of mergers of largish trusts, eg The Perry Foundation has moped up a few. What this means is that often we only get 2 shots at each Trust, per entity we have. Of course the NZOF out of all entities is lucky as it can pull resources from all over NZ, so isn't so tightly bound by the local funds going to local areas.

But what do we have to show for all these grants over the years? They have primarily gone to WOC and JWOC, which hey I benefited from so can't knock it too much... but the question must be asked, "Was it the best thing to use our applications up on?"

I would tend to say no.

The Federation is going to find it harder and harder to get $ out of these gaming trusts in the next few years. Shouldn't we be applying and spending money on things that are going to make our sport easier? Something like a kick ass online member management system on a mint as website? An automated email system for emailing members? A system where people can go and sign up for any club in the country? An online entry system?.... Maybe even as extreme as 'Jamies mapping fund for maps that would otherwise be unviable and unjustifiable, but are great areas that get his mojo happening'

Keen to hear peoples thoughts. What would be your priorities for funding from gaming trusts for the Federation?

Show Profile  addison Posted: 10 December 2008, 11:55 AM  
ps the "I would tend to say no" is an answer to my question "Was it the best thing to use our applications up on?"

I must expand this. Perhaps it was the best thing to spend our applications on at that time. I think times have slightly changed though and we really need to work on 'investments' for the future. Things which are going to really get orienteering as a sport moving forward.

The percentage of people that drop out after JWOC from either competitive orienteering or from orienteering as a whole is staggering. I'd love to see some statistics of people still actively orienteering from teams such as the Schools Team, JWOC, and WOC.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 10 December 2008, 12:13 PM  
Extreme? Yep you know my opinion, orienteering has lost itself in the paperwork, we need investment and excellence in maps, the more the better.

I am tired of watching every club in the country learn the same mistakes (I'm aware of at least one project at the moment extrapolating from topo map contours). Lets forget about "development" and "coaching", even "high performance" and create some strucuture and expertise specfiic to the needs of our sport.

And yeah give me back my mojo.

Show Profile  marcusd Posted: 10 December 2008, 12:19 PM  
Simon - interesting thoughts. In respect of stuff like online member management and/or entries, automated emails etc it is actually not hugely expensive to set up. I am more than happy to help out here and pass on my experience in the commercial event world on how we now do it and what we have learnt through trial and error.

I agree stuff like this is the way of the future of the sport as well as ensuring all clubs/regions have good maps. Without maps the sport will die. Grant money spent in this direction is fantastic but it must also be a priority for club funds as well.

Show Profile  stu barr Posted: 10 December 2008, 12:21 PM  
jamie ain't nothin without his mojo

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 10 December 2008, 1:15 PM  
I've got some goslo if that helps Jamie.

Show Profile  Tane Cambridge Posted: 10 December 2008, 3:43 PM  
Well one of the current problems seems to be finding people to fill these roles such as Mapping and Website management. I believe Michael Wood didnt get many takers on his mapping apprenticeships and the webmaster job has been around for a while now....So are the funds already there allocated for these areas? and are they just not being currently utilised?

Show Profile  Claire Paterson Posted: 10 December 2008, 4:48 PM  
Over the last year I have been developing and designing an interactive promotional and learning/coaching CD that I believe will really help to target both youth (14-18) and any newcomer to an event (as well as the average orienteer who wants to brush up on skills). By making these CDs free and readily available the idea is to mass-market with them.

The final stages of this project - which includes paying a Flash expert to fix-up and finalise what I have already designed as an amatuer, replicate the actual CDs, and construct the corresponding website, all needs some funding (I have done the hard work for nothing, but also as my final year project).

I believe this project is a very viable one for both grant money, NZOF funds and club funds for the following reasons:
- It will generate more interest in the sport, and a more knowledgable public.
- It will encourage youth to give it a try, and help retain newcomers.
- The above two points mean more people at events, which in turn means more money generated at events, which also means the clubs should have more money to fund new maps... and so goes the good growing cycle... Good promotion is money well spent in my opinion.

Your thoughts?

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 10 December 2008, 5:43 PM  
If the Strategic Planning process worked as intended, the answer to Simon's questions will be in the plan.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 11 December 2008, 12:28 AM  
hahaha, thats cutting Michael.

All I remember about that plan process was that I couldn't go and that my revolutionary and brilliant ideas went down like a tonne of bricks.

Some big hulking guy from the Waikato (second biggest person in NZ orienteering) told me that it was a real valuable and worthwhile meeting with good ideas coming soon and that I should wait for the report before I judged it.

Did I miss the report?

Show Profile  addison Posted: 11 December 2008, 1:02 AM  
There is plenty of mappers around - as long as we are willing to pay. But on that note, it still is a pretty voluntary pay rate. But if we could line up a few applications for a big event or something, maybe we could actually start to treat mappers like the professionals they are. ie Have jobs lined up for them. The thing I am really worried about is Photogrametry. Who is learning this from Stewart Hyslop? We are going to be stuffed for new maps once he gives it up.

The funds aren't really already there. The webmaster is a volunteer position and the federation doesn't believe in getting involved in mapping, much to big man Jamies dismay

Note - it says "for comment". Got a problem with it, then comment!

Great ideas.

Show Profile  newbie Posted: 11 December 2008, 2:31 AM  
I don't think putting the majority of the funds into JWOC and WOC is a waste at all. I'm sure you did get a decent amount of money when you went to JWOC Simon, but now that there is such a large group of extremely talented juniors coming through, shouldn't they receive much of the support?
As of the last two years, there have been teams of 12 and 10 people in the JWOC team. With the limited resources there are anyway each runner is only receiving around $600. Which when travelling to Europe, is a help but just not enough. Shouldn't we be supporting these athletes who could go a very long way in the sport with a bit of financial backing. I know of one athlete who has performed consistently well in the last two JWOCs and may not be able to attend next year as they just don't have enough money. Wouldn't it be better to help out these people so they can contribute to the sport later?and if they can concentrate on training without having to have a job to get themselves there, surely they would be able to achieve better results and so raise the profile of orienteering in NZ.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 11 December 2008, 2:51 AM  
In resonse to some of Simon's original comments (and I guess going along with the strategic plan reference from Michael).

One has to know what the aims of the NZOF are to make judgements on whether the money was well spent.

I thought one of the aims was to support NZ's representation by our best athletes at WOC and JWOC. The most useful support here is financial whether it comes from NZOF levies or gaming grants. Of course it would be nice if those same athletes continued on in orienteering and gave stuff back to the sport but I don't think that's relevant as to whether the money is well spent in this endeavour. (Noone says All Black funding is mispent if team members don't keep playing rugby right into their golden oldie days do they?) I think as a sport rather than a recreation we should financially support our best athletes going to WOC and JWOC. There are of course questions over who is worthy of support (definition of our best athletes and the development aspect of supporting those who are not yet the best but hopefully will become - and these questions have given Carsten as HP officer a lot to argue and dsicuss with various people over the last year....)

I know that there are many in our sport who think the money should just go into making the sport better for them and the things they do but hopefully they are a minority. This is the same in every sport - when I played hockey there were people who complained about the amount of their fees which went to supporting regional and NZ rep teams. I was quite happy that I was giving money to the NZ hockey team as I thought that someone should be. But I'm the kind of person who rings up and says when I haven't paid enough tax!

Given NZ's low population base it is always going to be hard to support our NZ rep teams both through government (tax generated) and the NZ body (levy generated) funds unless they have sponsor appeal.

I do think that the NZOF should also fund other development or promotional projects. But the gaming grants are most easily targeted at simple projects where you can get quotes - rep team travel, team clothing and maps are easiest here. They don't like funding things they think that volunteers within the sport should be doing (the example we heard was a cricket club who wanted money for painting their club rooms - the gaming trust thought they should do it themselves.) For maps we say we have many volunteer hours used but the most challenging jobs require professionals.

It's certainly true we need someone who can do photogrammetry but who can make a living out of doing it at the price Stuart Hyslop charges? Maybe we should exploit Eastern Europeans who I've herad are cheaper at this??

Show Profile  thomasr Posted: 11 December 2008, 4:00 AM  
This isn't my idea, heard it from simon j i think but i think it is something that nzof really needs to do...
Need to have a centralised web based management system for clubs and events. Scrap the format (hard to use) and use something more like maptalk with a simple interface. Then have a central nz orienteering site with news links to all the clubs off it in one place. these clubs all run a generic format webpage with component add-ons based on what the club wants. personalise these for each club. Through this system run the entry management (event director works well for the mtb club and can email out), membership, routegadget, splits and even newsletters. Make it a one stop shop with clear links.
Currently stuff is "hidden" in nzorienteering and clubs are impossible to find on the net with their free hosted urls.

The unknown factor orienteering has in the public eye can be better adressed with a well thought out, easy to use online system that people can search in their own time and discover what they want to know about the sport in one place.

I think we must remember orienteering is a sport and not just a recreation. High performance is a central component of a sport and i think we need to keep this portion of orienteering supported.

Show Profile  thomasr Posted: 11 December 2008, 4:03 AM  
i see this is in the plan already, i was just emphasising it...

Show Profile  addison Posted: 11 December 2008, 9:08 AM  
Hey Tom do you know how much event director costs?

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