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Are we wasting Grant Money?

Show Profile  addison Posted: 11 December 2008, 3:27 PM  
To offer a bit of a viewpoint for you newbie:

Firstly in this debate I am excluding your guys great results in Australia. Not knocking the results, but Aussie in my mind wasn't a "real JWOC", well not in the respect of being able to fairly compare and contrast previous JWOCs to. It was a special JWOC that was close to NZ, that you guys had terrain advantage and climate advantage in, as well as missing a heck of Eastern Europeans because of cost.

Justifying a large team does nothing. We had 10 people for Lithuania, so the claim of big teams goes out the window. We were extremely lucky that year, and all our applications went through thanks to the hard work of Stuart, Clem and Neil.

The Federation is actually committing more funds for you guys these than ever before from my belief. Saying you are extremely talented, which I agree with, but I don't think you're that shit hot that we should bank everything on you guys. There has been teams previously that have been as strong previously, as well as individuals that were just as talented. Sometimes results come down to the right year or right place.

I love High Performance, and personally feel quite strongly that there should be this pathway to enable people to come into the sport. But the comments you raise saying "help these people out so they can contribute to the sport later", I say it hasn't worked previously and it isn't working now. The attrition rate after JWOCs is huge.

Noone has really justified why we should be putting so many eggs into the High Performance basket, when it comes to grants. This is why I really want some good open debate on it all. I feel that we would be better on utilising the Federations very limited number of grant applications onto things that will aid our volunteers in our sport, as highlighted in our Strategic Plan Draft, as there isn't high performance if there isn't a volunteer base for running our sport.

Clubs are the best point of call for funding applications. We have around 15 or so clubs in the country, each with the ability to apply for funding for their members.

JWOC is expensive. It takes a huge commitment to do well. But get innovative, run events to fundraise... which in turn can get clubs in behind individuals. Putting your hand out doesn't earn my respect.

Maybe I am just a pessimist who thinks that maybe this whole orienteering game is just a bit unsustainable.

This message was edited by addison on 12 December 2008, 8:52 AM

Show Profile  addison Posted: 11 December 2008, 3:32 PM  
Jenni in response to yours:

Most gaming trusts like legacy projects. Things that they pay for that are going to provide a real ongoing return. In particular of late they are quite keen to focus on things which are going to lessen volunteer workloads. I have met with a number of people that are trustees in the past year, done a few applications and netted for our club around $27k in grants for NZSS Mapping and purchasing some Sport Ident. I'd like to think I know quite a bit about them these days.

I bet that between that map and the Sport Ident funds, that we got more $ than the Federation probably did from grants for both WOC and JWOC. At least would have pushed close. Now if thats not telling you something, then I don't know what will.

Things which act against WOC / JWOC / Schools Trust Grants:
- When a team isn't Nationally represented. So if all the members of JWOC are from HB, then the application isn't likely to go ahead as it isn't representative of the area being applied for (all of NZ)
- When dependence has been built up, and trust grants are acting as a source of ongoing revenue for the same thing. This is our biggest issue at present, hence why I don't think we are getting maximum value out of our grants.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 11 December 2008, 4:00 PM  
Since you are obviously in the mood for a debate Simon.

That is blatantly the biggest ABUSE of power I have ever seen from a webmaster on any internet forum. I think you should edit your post to recognise that as soon as possible.

I think your comments about aussie JWOC are off the money, except for the fact that there were a few teams missing from Eastern Europe. Until the latest generation of juniors we have struggled to perform consistently in Australia for the very fact that the terrain over there is so different from ours. The results in recent years are a credit to those juniors and the people involved in coaching them.

However Newbie I also don't buy the invest now get returns later argument. In my observation the people who are likely to give something back to the sport do so all the way through and generally their level of contribution although varying in form stays reasonably stable.

If we are going to support HP we have to do it for its own sake. To support a group of young people trying to be the best they can and take on the world, a noble goal. I am willing to support this as best as I can and am happy to see funding go towards those people. If it came down to applying to a trust for a map that could inspire generations of orienteers; Naseby, Waikaia, ?, ? or for a WOC team I would hope that the latter would take preference.

Something else I have always stuck by is that as an HP athlete I should expect nothing and be thankful for what I do get. And I should definitely not compare the lucky breaks of previous years or others.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 11 December 2008, 4:25 PM  
So you're saying Jamie that terrain didn't play any part in making Australia a special case in its own rights?

Of course it did. Its the equivalent of South Islanders going to Woodhill for the first time. Most do crap for the first time. But if you send them there for almost every year for a big event, they will get better. Better yet go on a few training camps there, and it'll start becoming second nature to you - or at least will aid your performance compared to those that have never run there.

I'm not knocking the results, I thought they were absolutely superb. It's just that it wasn't a "Normal JWOC" in the respect that it was the exception because of its special conditions, primarily its proximity to NZ and therefore the advantages that that provides.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 11 December 2008, 5:15 PM  
An interesting debate about priorities. Gives everyone a chance to chime in with their favourite project doesn't it. Sometimes its easiest just to go ahead and do the bloody thing yourself.

Actually, I'm a bit uncomfortable about the increasing role of gaming funding. I think in time that we may begin to compare it with tobacco sponsorship.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 12 December 2008, 1:15 AM  

In Simon's case I think he would like to go ahead and do it himself

In my case, it is about strategic direction and my actions would make no difference. NZOF has structure for coaching, hp, development and media, all of which evidence suggests clubs are barely interested in...but it has nothing for mapping, which almost every club struggles with at the moment.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 12 December 2008, 6:52 AM  
A little aside to priorities within priorities - HP. We did seem to make a special effort for international participation where we thought we had a relative advantage. Like JWOC in Australia, and WOC in Japan. So do the numerical results in terms of placings matter more (for our reputation in NZ, and our sense of pride) than knowing we did well for lower placings in Scandinavia?

If so, then we should be putting all our HP budget into MTBO.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 12 December 2008, 6:58 AM  
You make a fair point Michael.

But there is a reason why we don't put all our All Blacks in the Rugby 7's competition - as most people care more about the 15-man game than the 7-man game. I'd tend to say most people either care about Mountain Biking itself or Orienteering itself, not the combination of the two.

Show Profile  Ellmo1769 Posted: 12 December 2008, 10:36 AM  
I will let you guys debate this one. Nut I think Jamie's comment "In my observation the people who are likely to give something back to the sport do so all the way through and generally their level of contribution although varying in form stays reasonably stable" is 100% on the money.

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 12 December 2008, 12:22 PM  
You would have to say that most of us are passionate about maps to some degree or another so you would presume a general consensus on a forward looking new map strategy to keep our sport from going stale wouldn't be too hard to agree on. Various O-forms help but in the end new maps and new places inspire and excite us.
Time and cost constraints indeed keep us closer to home for the majority of events but we must ensure that the wow factor of new terrain is prioritised before it becomes extinct by a long slow death followed closely by our membership.
I think I've put forward my idea before that we should put our National Championships up on a higher pedestal...not just for the courses and event atmosphere but also for the terrain and maps.
As part of the allocation process for the annual event a larger priority could be put on the intended area chosen, less on convenience or just another map upgrade and income for the club. Financial contributions from the NZOF would help fund otherwise unviable map locations.
Surely something like this could insure that we get at least one or two great new maps somewhere around the country each year and the Easter pilgrimage could be legendary.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 13 December 2008, 10:29 PM  
"Maybe I am just a pessimist who thinks that maybe this whole orienteering game is just a bit unsustainable"

Yeah you are. Orienteering in NZ was happening before you were born and it will still be going (bin Laden willing) after you die.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 13 December 2008, 11:12 PM  
In repose to the original post, the whole rationale behind gaming trust funds is local money going back to the local community. Key word is LOCAL.

While many (and certainly the larger) trusts earmark funds for national projects, the majority of funds go back to where the neighbourhood problem gambler spent them (I hear you Mr Wood).

NZOF have been incredibly lucky, or deserving because of the efforts of the outgoing GM / Team Managers, to have secured gaming trust funding in the past for HP teams, and it's my perception that funding for HP teams is probably the area a sport with a low profile such as ours is most likely to succeed when it comes to applying for grant money (on a National basis).

So while it might be nice to consider other areas for gaming trust applications, in times when it is likely such funding is going to be harder to achieve, the risk/reward may not be worth it.

Perhaps the area we should be looking is to get clubs more active in applying for projects on a local basis (and mapping fits into here nicely) - maybe they are already I don't know. Remember SportIdent came into NZ because of a sucessful trust application the Auckland club made - it's more of this that is needed IMHO becuase there is more money available at the local level than there is on a national basis.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 13 December 2008, 11:36 PM  
One final thing, what really is the attrition rate after JWOC?

Using Bryan's excellent website, here is a list of JWOC participants from 1990 (when first held) to 2004 - and I've asterisked the ones who remained in the sport for a reasonable period of time after / competed in elite / represented NZ at senior level:

Jeni Martin
Aidan Boswell*
Tania Robinson*
Matt Tuck*
Darren Ashmore*
Richard Bolt
Mark Hudson (?)
Michal Glowacki*
Karl Dravitzki*
Brent Edwards*
Fraser Mills*
Melissa Edwards (?)
Stu Barr (?)
Rebecca Smith*
Andrea McDiarmid
Madeleine Barr
Michelle Nash
jonine Nash
Jamie Stewart*
Aaron Prince*
Matt Backler
Lisa Frith
Penny Kane*
Anderw McCarthy*
James Bradshaw*
Greg Flynn*
David Stewart
lara Prince*
Ross Morrison*
Bryn Davies*
Claire Paterson*
Kate Bodger
Todd Oates
Tim Renton
Martin Peat*
Chris Ingham

I respectfully suggest Simon the "huge" attririon rate is a myth.

Show Profile  valerie Posted: 14 December 2008, 5:26 AM  
Im not sure if you are wasting grant money, but i as a parent of 'four' reasonable orienteers lay awake many a night and worry what will become of them. They LOVE their chosen sport and believe they can do well at it...but i wonder at what cost. It is hard enought to bring up four kids financially without them doing a sport that to be really good at it you have to go to the other side of the world. I have No3 off to Uni in Akld in a couple of months and she has had two good results in the last two JWOC and is passionate about training and going again to Italy in 09 if she gets selected. I havnt the heart to tell her i cant see how this is going to happen. Her hostel for the year is a trip TWICE to Sweden return!! If i could have my time over again and know what i know now i would never have encouraged them to do, tennis, hockey maybe. It will NEVER be an Olympic Sport therefore we will always be struggling for funding for these kids to get any better. Maybe that is what the 'attrition' rate is all about? They've been keen and fundraised like hell to get to JWOCS and when it come to WOC they just cant do the overseas thing anymore and give up. Good luck with this debate...let me know if there is a magic answe...i doubt you will find one, strategic plan....i hope it works.

Show Profile  nick Posted: 14 December 2008, 3:54 PM  
scattered thoughts:

the website concept mentioned earlier is a must-have. and a priority.

was jwoc in aussie a kiwi advantage, or just an unusually level playing field?

mapping and access are two ongoing strategic priorities for our sport (more fool us for wanting to play every game in a new place!) mustn't be ignored, ever.

in one shape or form, a "sport" needs hp. without focus on competition the incentive to improve performance wanes, and the sport loses credibility, and steps onto the slippery slope towards becoming a "hobby".

chicken and egg, you say. and i agree; without maps there are no races/competition. then again, without competition why bother making the maps? or put another way, who's gonna fund it?

lets not even mention our scrambled race calendar. ahem, whoops.

so mapping, hp... the more the merrier. does something have to give, or can we find ways to do both? is it the case that we *have* to do both? there are already a few good suggestions on this thread...

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