Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club



President Walter Clark provides this update

ESOC COVID-19 UPDATE - As at 11am, Wednesday 18th March 

As you may have seen yesterday, British Orienteering have advised that all orienteering activities in the UK have to be suspended with immediate effect.

This affects, until further notice, all of our usual activities, including all events, Monday ladies’ running, Wednesday coaching sessions and social events.  It may take a bit of time for events calendars to catch up, but no orienteering activity is going to be happening in the short term.  It’s disappointing but we have to do what’s right in line with the government guidance. 

Let’s now focus on the positives and think what we can do at the moment, and what lies ahead.  Following up on my message yesterday, here are a few initial things which I’m proposing we do to (i) help look after each other, (ii) stay connected to each other, and (iii) consider different types/formats of activities.

There is a bit of detail here, but I think it’s all important, so please do run through it.  There are a few prompts to get in touch with me – please do so!  I really do want to hear from you.  Email me on  at any time.

1. Helping each other

We don’t know what’s ahead, but there is going to be disruption, and as members of ESOC let’s help each other.  The club, after all, is made up of individuals, and we are a community who need to and will definitely want to look out for each other.

The government is advising that those who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.  This group includes those who are aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions), under 70 with certain underlying health conditions, and those who are pregnant.  The diverse ages of members (one of the great things about ESOC) means that some of us are people in these categories, and we want to help look after these members in any way we can.

If for any reason, you would like some practical help, in terms of getting food, medication, or actually whatever it might be that helps you, please let me know.  This will be treated confidentially, except to get you the help which you would like from those who can help you.

If you are a member who can possibly provide some practical help to other members along the above lines, please let me know.  I’m personally happy to do whatever I can for any member, at any time, and I am guessing there will be more volunteers step forward to be on standby for this type of help as well. 

2.  Staying connected

We will keep in contact with you as a club, primarily through ESOC Matters.  This is partly to let you know what the future holds for events and activities, and hopefully these will come back on before too long.  Partly, also, it is because it is important for all us to stay connected when we are not getting as much face-to-face contact in the weeks which follow.

In line with our standard policy, any member of the club can request a copy of the full club membership list, if they have a reason (and this is flexible).  Usually, members need them where they are organising events or socials, but there are no hard and fast rules around this.  The current overall circumstances we are in give us a reason to connect with each other, so if you would like a copy of the membership list, please let me know.  If anyone reading this wasn’t aware that this is how the membership list availability works, and so doesn’t want their details included on lists which are circulated, please let me know.  If you want a copy of the list, it will be posted out to you, in line with our GDPR compliance.

Also, if you are not yet following ESOC on Facebook or Twitter, please do start following us (and liking us – I think that is a different thing!), and it will keep you in the loop.  Even if you are not on Facebook, you could consider going on it now, even if only for this purpose!  My own mum, Janet Clark, has recently joined Facebook and loves it!  Both Facebook and Twitter are @esocweb.

You should also all have received the electronic versions of Capital-O and the O-Zone.  Printed copies are either in the post or may be with you already.

Finally, on this front, I’ve mentioned before in Capital-O and elsewhere that we have an “ESOC Photos” WhatsApp group.  This is mainly for sharing photos which a number of us find useful for different things, eg. Capital-O, O-Zone, the website, Facebook, promotional materials.  However, I would like to expand the use of this group and make it not just for photos.  It’s very different from ESOC matters, but will sit alongside Facebook as a way of communicating just between ESOC members, for whatever we might want to say to each other.  If you want to join this WhatsApp group, please let me know.

3.  Activities

The guidance restricts activities in groups and of course encourages social distancing, although there is also guidance encouraging people not to stop exercising. 

The Scottish Orienteering guidance is still to be confirmed (and we’ve been in touch with them on it ahead of sending you this), although it seems likely, at this time, that using permanent courses won’t be part of the restrictions on orienteering activities.  If you want to get out and about for a run, this is hopefully going to be option for you.  To be clear, that would not be an ESOC activity, and you should not arrange to do it in groups.  You also need to think about the non-essential travel guidance, possibly that is primarily geared towards use of public transport. 

We are currently updating a few of the permanent course packs, on the back of the recent mapping, and we will update you further soon on what’s available and whether this is definitely going to be ok.  If it’s appropriate, we are proposing to make downloadable printable versions of the up to date permanent orienteering course maps available free to ESOC members.  However, in the meantime, here is a link to the basic details of what we have set up in the Edinburgh area, so that you can have a think about it: ESOC Permanent Courses.  The maps can also be downloaded for free from the British Orienteering website, although the versions there are not up to date.

Orienteering is all about getting into the outdoors, but for the next while let’s share also other ways of engaging with the orienteering world.  In particular:

- There are some examples of great links and videos in the most recent Capital-O, as collated by David Robertson

- Check out the route choice challenges and other info at World of O.

- Check out the Quizlet app which has orienteering-related quizzes!

What next?

Let’s keep in touch and focus on what we can do, rather than what we can’t do.

Please contact me on  on anything which is covered above, or with other ideas as to what we could be doing as a club.  (Note that the information above is also being sent out via the Club email system)

Thanks very much



Walter Clark


Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club