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Are we wasting Grant Money?

Show Profile  Andrew M Posted: 19 December 2008, 4:12 AM  
Orienteering isnt the only sport which is struggling to develop. Athletics both in NZ and in Australia is struggling. This article highlights the problems in Athletics Australia.. 100,000 kids participating in junior athletics but only 1% still participate in the sport when they become adults. I hope that orienteerings capture rate is a little better than this?

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 19 December 2008, 11:24 AM  
Thanks Rob C, I've struggled with this "high attrition" rate bullshit for years. Let's get a little realistic about young adults and life. How many top juniors should we be aiming to retain in the sport of orienteering? Everyone seems to think it should be close to 100%. Get real. What is the attrition rate of Rugby in NZ? What is the attrition rate of swimming?

I bet you alot more top juniors return to Orienteering after having a family than Rugby or Swimming too.

Show Profile  Melissa Posted: 19 December 2008, 7:16 PM  
What does a question mark mean on your JWOC list, Rob C? I'll see you at the Nationals this year.

As Neil says, I would be interested to see some of the data on those that drop out of orienteering and return to it at a later date (with families, etc).
I suppose this has nothing to do with distribution of grant money of course.

Setting aside the High performance issue, it seems sensible to me that mapping gets funding if possible. When clubs run large events on new maps, are the costs of the new map generally covered out of the club coffer (if they have one), or made up at the event in question? Do events on new maps generally have higher entry fees than events run on existing maps?
And if money went into mapping, would it be for individual maps, or generally training mappers or potential mappers to a certain standard?

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 20 December 2008, 3:57 AM  
I think you're wrong Hamish, HP is HP, and wanting to help the sport is wanting to help the sport, funding for one should not be used as an extortion tool for the other.

Some people are driven by wanting to be the best they can for their country and we should be trying to support that, good luck to them, if they want to help the sport then that is totally up to them. If we start laying down the law as "You can only represent NZ if you promise to sign up for 20 years of volunteer work" then we are going to kill any chance we have of possibly discovering NZ's world champion(s).

Show Profile  addison Posted: 22 December 2008, 8:16 AM  
It isn't very common for me to agree with Greg, but I have to in this instance.

We shouldn't be putting absolute pressure on individuals to help. Wanting to help is all about the right culture and having instilled in these individuals a sense of community. If you lived in a very small town, which is a bit like being in an orienteering club, we should be able to see who we shouldn't put pressure on as they are our shining lights of the future. But, at the same time, there is no way that I am going to bend over backwards if someone has their head as far up their ass as most pro rugby players do.

Getting back to the funding situation, Hamish I also note that we can't really apply for funding for events via the NZOF. This is what clubs should and are doing.

What we should be either doing, is doing the status quo where we use all our grant applications up on teams (which the success rate of grants is diminishing quickly - as we have built up dependence and the funding bodies can see this) or we should be looking at the occasional thing which is going to make running those local, regional and national events easier to organise. Laying it down as a bit of infrastructure today to help us tomorrow.

Because at the end of the day, once all the grant money goes dry (as Michael notes - a bit like Tobacco) what do we have to show for it?

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 22 December 2008, 11:27 PM  
"Because at the end of the day, once all the grant money goes dry (as Michael notes - a bit like Tobacco) what do we have to show for it?"

A number of people who treat Orienteering as a competitive sport having had opportunities they MIGHT not otherwise have had - and as shown by "the list" (apologies for the inaaccuracies it was compiled hastily) a reasonable number of those remain in the sport to ensure the competitive element doesn't go down the toilet - and a small number become pillars of the Orienteering community as the sport survives/prospers for future generations.

Actually Simon I think its good for the priorities of national funding from gaming trusts to be questioned, but personally I remain unconvinced we would have BETTER success for applications in other spheres, but I may be wrong. Something to talk about one day soon.

Andrew, that article was sobering reading - thanks for the link. When I get my hands on the GM laptop I'll be able to tell you our "churn rate" as we have a membership database, but its nowhere near 99%

Show Profile  addison Posted: 23 December 2008, 12:12 AM  
Continuing on from Andrews article was this one here:

Show Profile  Hamish Posted: 23 December 2008, 3:42 AM  
Nothing like a bit of exageration. I'm not saying don't support HP. In HB our NZ representing juniors in the last 3 or 4 years have been expected to set courses and we also have a student committee member (2 last year). They are giving back to the sport and I don't think any of them mind. They get monetary support from the club and also an understanding of how much it takes to run orienteering. I can think of a couple of others from other clubs I've seen setting (Gene/Matt at Tonic and Kyle at WOA OY). Good on them. They deserve the support they get.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 23 December 2008, 7:09 AM  
Yes but are you saying those that dont contribute dont deserve the support they get?

Show Profile  nick Posted: 23 December 2008, 8:51 AM  
The Athletics Australia articles are very interesting (if a bit depressing); read them if you have time.

Read and compare how NZ orienteering stacks up against Aussie athletics in terms of product, competition structures, funding, membership etc... I think we've got a lot going for us in comparison.

I can hardly believe they've lasted as long as they have, given the utter mess they're in. But its an example of how crap things could get if we don't pay attention to these issues.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 23 December 2008, 9:13 AM  
Rob - I find it interesting that you keep referring to the high retention rate, when almost all the people who remain in the sport had to fund their own way. You're basically saying - we got no support and ended up staying in the sport. It does nothing for the lets use all our grants up on HP applications for teams to travel overseas debate.

Show Profile  Hamish Posted: 23 December 2008, 2:21 PM  
Just trying to make people appreciate what is done for them.

Show Profile  Dave Barr Posted: 24 December 2008, 2:01 AM  
Don't the elite athletes contribute to the sport by being elite athletes? Without the elite and high performance athletes the "sport" becomes a "hobby".

Personally I hold the view that elites give back to the sport by training 15-20 hours a week. Why are they expected to do more? I suspect that it is more likely that administrators and volunteers don't appreciate the role of the elite athletes and the contribution that they make to the sport.

Show Profile  Todd Oates Posted: 24 December 2008, 7:18 AM  
I've been reading Maptalk ocassionally for 5 years now and finally signed up!
I find this a really interesting discussion... maybe it needs to be a few threads?
I don't have a hard and fast view on all of this:
I was in the Hawkes Bay club and I think it's a good idea to allocate jobs to all members. You get a broader O understanding as Hamish says;
Dave makes a good point about Elites though... our top elites are running for an hour+ EVERY day, add on stretches etc. I'm trying to get to WOC level and I don't have the physical energy for much apart from training and work!;
Val makes a great point. Money is a finite resource in many Orienteering families. Trips to Europe are almost essential to producing world class orienteers. (Whether that's because of the actual racing or the motivation gained from the experience is debatable) I went to JWOC in 2003 and came back broke, in both senses. Keeping cash-strapped 20 year-olds "active" in O' is a hard task. The step up to Elite is big and no-one enjoys getting smashed. Some take it as motivation, others drop out.

My last point is that I'm really glad we have a NZ Schools O' team. Ray Pratt deserves a medal! It's given our juniors a great opportunity and I believe we've got better athletes as a result. Test matches like the Aussie Schools (and Pinestars vs. Bushrangers for 21+ act as a great stepping stone and shorter term goal than World Champs Finals.

Show Profile  nick Posted: 24 December 2008, 9:10 AM  
I think Dave's nailed the HP point.

I might add that you're not an elite for long (relatively speaking). There is plenty of time before and after for making other contributions to the sport. And in any case, I think there is a healthy number of elites who already contribute more than their elite-ness.

Isn't the role of elites to be as accurate and as fast as they can be? By doing so they provide credibility to the rest of the sport; they carve out the territory in which everyone else competes; they provide inspiration and an example of what is possible, and how to achieve it. Elites are the cutting edge of our brand. Without them what do we have?

Perhaps one "obligation" on elites is to be visible - to compete in as many super-series (for eg) events as they reasonably can. By doing this they can enliven the whole calendar of events and put a buzz through the O community. I'm inclined to see this as a massive contribution that should not be taken for granted. Perhaps they as are much a part of our infrastructure as maps, SI, and websites?

Which is not say that I don't think the website concept Simon has suggested isn't a necessity and a priority.

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