Minutes of the AGM of the English Orienteering Council
held via Zoom
on Wednesday 14th June 2023


EOC Officials
Barry Elkington Chair
Harriet Lawson Treasurer
Scott Collier Secretary
Andy Hemsted Chair, Veteran Selectors
Will Heap Junior Team Manager
Katherine Bett Junior Team Manager
John Rye Interland Team Manager
Voting Association Representatives
Christine Vince SWOA
Fiona Clough SCOA
Adrian Bailey WMOA
Paul Young EMOA
Barbara Beckett EAOA
John Butler YHOA
Stephen Round NWOA
Actions: Responsible:
Check that the clubs staging HIs understand what their responsibilities are and offer assistance if required. Association representatives

Seek volunteers from within Regional Associations for the roles of Interland Team Manager and Senior Team Manager. Association representatives

Produce job descriptions for the roles of Senior and Interland Team Managers. Interland TM and Senior TM

Carry out a stocktake of EOC kit at the end of 2023. Treasurer and Kit Officer

Inform Associations of their financial contributions once confirmation of 2023 Association membership numbers has been received from British Orienteering. Treasurer

Ask British Orienteering to add the EOC as an insured party on their liability insurance in time for the autumn 2023 competitions. Secretary

Ask British Orienteering to publish their recognition of the EOC on the British Orienteering website. Secretary

Seek engagement from British Orienteering in the Treasurer’s work to clarify the status of the EOC, as well as of other unincorporated orienteering bodies. Secretary

Produce a report on the status of the EOC for consideration before the 2024 AGM. Treasurer

The meeting commenced at 8:03pm.

Apologies had been received from:
Charlie Adams (Senior Team Manager)
Melanie Elkington (Welfare Officer & Kit Officer)
Caroline Louth (Chair, Junior Selectors)

Adoption of the 2022 AGM minutes
No comments were made, and none had been received in advance of the meeting. Adoption of the minutes of the 2022 AGM was proposed by the Treasurer, seconded by John Butler (YHOA) and carried nem.con.

Actions arising
The actions arising from the 2022 AGM had been completed.

Chair’s report
The Chair began by welcoming attendees to the EOC’s fourth virtual Annual General Meeting and by noting that it was again pleasing to see such good Regional representation.

The Chair marked the passing of Simon Greenwood (SEOA) at the end of 2022. Simon had been a great supporter of the EOC for many years and his contributions would be sorely missed.

The Chair noted that he had a full set of events to report on for the first time since taking over as Chair, as all three Home Internationals had taken place in 2022 as well as a visit to Belgium for Interland in March 2023. These had seen victories for England’s Senior and Veteran teams at the Home Internationals, but a close defeat by Scotland for the Juniors. At Interland, home advantage appeared to have given the locals the upper hand as England were beaten to the overall trophy by the Belgian federation, Orienteering Vlaanderen (OV). However, the Juniors had been successful in retaining the Junior trophy. The Chair congratulated all the team members who were selected and ran for England, and thanked the various Team Managers and Selectors for their contribution to the teams’ successes. The Chair also thanked the South Central OA who had staged the Senior Home Internationals in November.

Dates and host clubs were in the British Orienteering Fixture List for the 2023 Home Internationals, with England hosting the Veteran and Junior HIs on successive weekends in September/October, staged by the South West and West Midlands Regions respectively. The Chairman noted that it was pleasing that the Home International rota devised by John Rye (Interland TM) had placed these events in Regions which had the terrain to host them. In 2024, England were again due to host the Junior HIs, this time in East Anglia, whilst the Seniors were due to travel to Scotland and the Veterans to Northern Ireland.

The Chair asked that the Association representatives for any Region hosting an HI to check that the clubs staging these events understand what their responsibilities are and offer assistance if required. For example, the Chair noted John Rye’s involvement with the 2023 VHI, and added that Ian Gamlen (the 2023 JHI co-ordinator) and the Chair had had a video call with several of the Junior Team Managers to understand what they were looking for from the JHI weekend, so that the logistics could be planned accordingly.

Action: Association representatives

Discussions with the other Home Nations to change the VHI rules to include additional M/W65s and M/W70s were still ongoing. There was no desire to increase the team size from the existing twenty-four, so a reduction in the numbers in the other age classes would be required. Given the respective membership numbers, removing the single M/W35s (and expecting them to compete as M/W21s in the SHIs, as the best M/W35 are often good enough to do so) and one each of the M/W40s would seem to be the best solution. This would be discussed with the other national team managers at this year’s VHI.

The Chair thanked the Selectors and Team Managers and noted that, as far as he was aware, all were planning to continue in their roles except for John Rye as Interland Team Manager and Charlie Adams as Senior Team Manager, both of whom had expressed a desire to stand down. The first event for a new Interland Team Manager would be in March 2024 in the Ardennes region of Belgium, which would be an excellent area to visit, and plenty of advice and support would be available from John. Charlie Adams was willing to continue as Team Manager for the 2023 SHI, so a new Senior Team Manager would not need to take up the role until autumn 2024. The Chair asked that all Association representatives take this back to their Regional Associations to see whether they could find a volunteer for either role.

Action: Association representatives

John Rye undertook to work with Charlie Adams to produce job descriptions for the Senior and Interland Team Manager roles.

Action: Interland TM & Senior TM

The Chair concluded by thanking Scott Collier and Harriet Lawson for their support over the last year, and by looking forward to a successful 2023/24.

Home Internationals

  • Ward Junior HI (Creag Dubh Individual; Loch Vaa Relay – Speyside, Scotland):
  England Ireland Scotland Wales
Individual 70 35 83 27
Relays 54 16 50 22
Total 124 51 133 49
  • Senior HI (New Park, New Forest Individual; Hogmoor Relay – SCOA, England) – results:
  England Ireland Scotland Wales
Individual 25 8 25 14
Relays 28 6 23 11
Total 53 14 48 25
  • Veteran HI (Gwanas Individual; Llechweddgain Relay – Dolgellau, Wales) – results:
  England Ireland Scotland Wales
Individual 130.5 83.5 125 81
Relays 122 44 94 52
Total 252.5 127.5 219 133

When it is England’s turn to host an HI the responsibility rests on the designated region and the roster is on the EOC website. In 2024 the EAOA are scheduled to host the JHI.


  • Interland 2023 was hosted by the Belgian federation – Orienteering Vlaanderen (OV) – in the Kattenbos forest near Lommel, 64km East of Antwerp. England lost the Interland cup by a narrow margin but successfully retained the Junior trophy.
Grand Total 201 75 119 119 186
Position 1 5 3 3 2
Junior Trophy 70 16 51 54 79
Position 2 5 4 3 1

Interland 2024 is to be hosted in the Ardennes in the south of Belgium on 24th March by the Fédération Régionale des Sports d’Orientation (FRSO).

Adoption of the 2022 financial accounts
The Treasurer referred to the report and statement of accounts that had been previously circulated.

Income in 2022 had been roughly as expected; expenditure had been slightly higher than anticipated because of the cost of hiring commercial vehicles, although the increase had not been so significant that the EOC was unable to cover it from existing reserves. The Treasurer noted that the increase in commercial vehicle hire fees was a wider issue that was also affecting regional junior squads.

The Treasurer thanked Paul Young (EMOA) for again carrying out the independent review of the accounts. Paul had recommended that the Treasurer and Kit Officer carry out a stocktake of kit at the end of 2023.

Action: Treasurer & Kit Officer

The Treasurer referred back to the Action from the 2022 AGM to review the level of reserves. Reserves at the end of the previous year had been unusually high. This was the result of two factors: the cancellation of Interland and a long delay since EOC last purchased a stock of kit. Following a more normal year, cash reserves had fallen to £7,300. This was higher than the previous target of £5,000, but the Treasurer suggested that this increase was not unreasonable given wider inflation.

The adoption of the 2022 accounts was proposed by the Treasurer, seconded by Fiona Clough (SCOA) and carried nem.con.

Appointment of a reviewer for the 2023 financial accounts
Paul Young, the EMOA Treasurer, who had reviewed the 2022 accounts, kindly agreed to perform the same role for the 2023 accounts ahead of the 2024 AGM. His reappointment was proposed by the Treasurer, seconded by Fiona Clough (SCOA) and carried nem.con.

Approval of the 2023 Association and athlete financial contributions
The Treasurer noted that EOC was awaiting updated Association membership numbers from British Orienteering, and that the budget for 2023 had therefore been based on the 2022 numbers. No significant changes in membership numbers were expected.

The Treasurer recommended that the Association financial contribution for 2023 be set at 85p per head, and that the athlete contributions be as follows:

JHI SHI VHI Interland
£120 £90 £100 £120

This would result in an increase in the athlete contribution at JHI of £10 per athlete. This would be to cover both the expenses for an adequate number of travelling adults to meet safeguarding requirements and the cost of commercial vehicle hire.

Travel and mileage allowances had been increased at the 2022 AGM in response to the fuel crisis and it was proposed to maintain those levels for the coming year. Stephen Round (NWOA) queried whether the caps on plane and train fares were sufficient, particularly given travel for individuals travelling from the north of England for Interland. The Treasurer indicated that the current caps should be reasonable if athletes booked their travel far enough in advance, and noted that few claims in the previous year had gone over the limit.

The approval of the 2023 Association and athlete financial contributions was proposed by the Treasurer, seconded by Fiona Clough (SCOA) and carried nem.con.

Paul Young (EMOA) asked about the plan for communicating the Association contributions to the Regional Associations. The Treasurer indicated that she was still waiting on confirmation of Association membership numbers from British Orienteering and expected to be able to confirm the Association contributions in June or July.

Action: Treasurer

John Rye (Interland TM) recorded his thanks to the Treasurer for her support in making the financial arrangements for Interland 2023.

Kit Officer’s report
The Chair read out a report on behalf of the Kit Officer.

As of the date of the AGM, the EOC held a good level of kit in stock and it was unlikely that any additional stock would need to be purchased in 2023/4.

Since the previous AGM the EOC had sold seventeen O-tops, nine hoodies, one t-shirt and five technical t-shirts, mostly to the Juniors.

The Chair thanked the Kit Officer for her efforts.

Consideration of amendments to the Constitution

For the existing section 1.1:
‘1.1 The purpose of the Council shall be to control the international orienteering affairs of the English regions of British Orienteering when, and only when, these affairs are exclusively English.’
‘1.1 The organisation shall be called the English Orienteering Council (EOC).
1.2 The purpose of the Council shall be to manage the international affairs of the England orienteering teams on behalf of the English Regional Associations.
1.3 British Orienteering is acknowledged to be the controlling body in all international orienteering affairs which relate to the whole of the United Kingdom.’

Rationale: This is needed to clarify that the EOC is not responsible for overseas junior tours organised by the English Regional Associations (e.g. Yorkshire & Humberside OA Junior Squad going to Sweden).

In section 6, add a new paragraph:
‘6.2 Only members of British Orienteering shall be considered for selection for England teams.’
Rationale: This needs to be stated in order for the EOC and our activities to be covered by British Orienteering’s insurance policies.

In section 8, for the existing paragraph:
‘8.3 Both the English Orienteering Council and its members agree to abide by the final outcome of any disciplinary and appeal proceedings.’
‘8.3 Both the English Orienteering Council and its members agree to abide by the final outcome of any British Orienteering disciplinary proceedings.’
Rationale: To remove the ambiguous reference to “appeal proceedings”. Any appeal against the outcome of British Orienteering disciplinary proceedings will form a part of those disciplinary proceedings. Appeals relating to selections made for England teams, however, are the sole responsibility of EOC.

The Chair explained the background to these proposed changes, which were a necessary prerequisite to the adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding with British Orienteering.

This had become necessary for two reasons. The first related to issues encountered with “know your customer” checks carried out by the EOC’s bankers. While the bank had eventually accepted a letter from British Orienteering (as a registered company) vouching for the EOC’s legitimacy, it was hoped that formalising this relationship would make such issues easier to deal with in future.

The second issue related to the provision of liability insurance for the Officers of the EOC and other EOC volunteers, including Team Managers. There was a degree of uncertainty as to whether the standard liability insurance that British Orienteering obtained for its members would extend to EOC Officers and volunteers when acting in those roles. Formalising the relationship between the EOC and British Orienteering would allow the EOC to be added as an insured party on British Orienteering’s liability insurance. The Chair noted that this would parallel the approach taken by British Orienteering to ensure that liability insurance was in place for the activities of the Junior Regional Orienteering Squads (JROS).

The Chair noted that the Memorandum of Understanding had been adopted by the Board of Directors of British Orienteering at their meeting on 22nd May 2023.

The Chair confirmed that only Association representatives were able to vote on changes to the EOC Constitution.

The changes to the Constitution were proposed by Christine Vince (SWOA), seconded by Paul Young (EMOA) and carried nem.con.

Agreement of the Memorandum of Understanding with British Orienteering
The adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding with British Orienteering was proposed by Stephen Round (NWOA), seconded by Barbara Beckett (EAOA) and carried nem.con.

The Secretary confirmed that British Orienteering had indicated that their insurance policy was unlikely to be amended to add the EOC as an insured party until the 2023 renewal. Paul Young (EMOA) recommended that the EOC should ask British Orienteering to make the necessary change more quickly and in time for the autumn 2023 competitions. The meeting endorsed the payment from EOC funds of any administrative fee charged by British Orienteering’s insurers for making this amendment, up to a maximum of £100.

Action: Secretary

Stephen Round (NWOA) suggested that the EOC ask British Orienteering to publish their recognition of the EOC on the British Orienteering website.

Action: Secretary

Potential registration of the EOC as a charity with the Charity Commission
The Treasurer explained the background to this proposal, which arose from a general lack of clarity over how orienteering clubs and associations, as well as bodies such as the EOC and JROS, were structured and, consequently, over their tax liability.

The Treasurer indicated that she was not convinced that charitable status was necessarily the answer to this for EOC, but that she was seeking approval from the AGM to proceed with an investigation to establish which status would be most appropriate. The Treasurer confirmed that the EOC does not meet the criteria to register as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC).

Paul Young (EMOA) proposed, and the Treasurer agreed, that an EOC EGM should be called if any significant change of status was proposed.

The Treasurer proposed to form a working group, including Stephen Round (NWOA), to consider this question in more detail. The Secretary undertook to seek engagement from British Orienteering in this work.

Action: Secretary

John Rye (Interland TM) queried whether Gift Aid could be claimed on athlete contributions if the EOC were to register as a charity. The Treasurer indicated that this could be considered as part of the review.

Paul Young expressed concerns over the complexities that would arise from managing EOC as a registered charity, particularly in relation to the financial review and reporting.

The Treasurer undertook to produce a report on the status of the EOC for consideration before the 2024 AGM.

Action: Treasurer

Election of Officers
The Chair, Treasurer and Secretary indicated that they were content to continue in post until the 2024 AGM. The Secretary indicated that he would be willing to stand down at that point if a suitable replacement candidate could be identified.

Barry Elkington (WMOA) was proposed as Chair, Scott Collier (SWOA) as Secretary and Harriet Lawson (WMOA) as Treasurer. The appointments were proposed by John Butler (YHOA), seconded by Barbara Beckett (EAOA) and carried nem.con.

Appointment of Selectors, Team Managers, and other officials
The Chair noted that the EOC was seeking a new Interland Team Manager and would require a new Senior Team Manager for the 2024 SHI.

All other officials had agreed to continue in post, and their reappointment was proposed by Fiona Clough (SCOA), seconded by Christine Vince (SWOA) and carried nem.con.

Andy Hemsted (Chair, Veteran Selectors) thanked John Rye for his many years of service as Interland Team Manager.

Future meetings
The Chair noted that an EGM may be required if a change in the status of the EOC was under consideration.

The meeting agreed that the 2024 AGM should take place on a weekday evening in May at 8pm, not in half-term week and not on a Wednesday. Monday 20th May 2024 at 8pm was provisionally agreed.

The meeting closed at 9:01pm.