Helping at an Event

There are a number of people involved in making an orienteering event happen. The events are all run by volunteers. Some roles require special skills but there are opportunities for anyone (over about 12) to help. The main roles are described below:

Controller - Checks the courses the planner has planned are fair for all competitors and are safe. The controller is the person who is in charge on the day. They help the planner put out the controls.
This job is only for those with at least 4 or 5 years of experience in Orienteering, and who knows the rules and can navigate competently themselves. It requires quite a bit of time ahead of the actual event; possibly a few trips to the event location with the Planner or alone, and you must be able to be there for the whole of the day of the event itself. All your petrol costs to and from the event in preparation and for the event itself are able to be reimbursed at 35c per km.

Planner - Plans the courses and puts out all the controls with help from the controller.
This is the fun creative job! You'll be using special Orienteering course planning software called "Condes", so if you don't know anything about it, ask for help upfront. Ideally you would have had 1 or 2 years of experience in Orienteering, and have read the ONZ rules. It requires quite a bit of time ahead of the actual event; possibly a few trips to the event location with the Controller or alone, and you must be able to be there for the whole of the day of the event itself. All your petrol costs to and from the event in preparation and for the event itself are able to be reimbursed at 35c per km.

Chief CoordinatorOrganises the other volunteers who contribute to making the event fun and successful.
The easiest job of the day. Just make sure everyone else is where they are supposed to be doing what they are supposed to be and the equipment is in the right place at the right time. Takes a little bit of time in the week or so before the event, and on the day itself, but you should still be able to get a run. Once you have helped in most of the roles below you are eminently qualified to take it on. You will be there all day from start to bitter end.

Setup  - Setting out the start and finish and other tasks for the event centre at the beginning of the day.
Great way to help for early-risers. No special skills or knowledge necessary and usually only takes around 60-90minutes.

Host - Welcomes people to the event, especially new comers, and ensures they know how to register for the event. Provides some tips to people who are new to orienteering, or directs them to a more experienced member.
Good job for enthusiastic mildly extroverted types who remember what it is like to be brand new to the sport and/or those who like teaching. Depending on how many people offer to do the job at the event, you may be there all morning and get the last start of the day, or you may be able to share the job between two of you.

Registration – Takes peoples registration forms and money. 
Good job for welcoming efficient systems people and/or those who might want to know everyone else's name. No special skills other than neat writing and the ability to give correct change. Depending on how many people offer to do the job at the event, you may be there all morning and get the last start of the day, or you may be able to share the job between two of you. Based under cover and you get to sit down.

Starter – Makes sure everyone gets out on their course with appropriate gaps between people on the same course and provides any last minute safety information.
Good job for introverts who don't mind saying the same thing over and over again. No special skills or knowledge required. Depending on how many people offer to do the job at the event, you may be there all morning and get the last start of the day, or you may be able to share the job between two of you.

Sportident – Enters people onto the computer and ensures people can download their sportident.
The job for those with the ability to stay calm and logical if technology plays up. You will need training in the use of this software and the equipment in the caravan before the event, but there will usual be one of the club's experts around to call on for help if you need it. This job is always shared by two people so you can both get a run. Based undercover and you get to sit down.

Packup – Packing up the start, finish and event centre at the end of the day.
Great way to help for late-comers. No special skills or knowledge necessary and usually only takes around 60-90minutes if there have been plenty of volunteers to collect controls (see below). Note that you will be among the last to leave the event, so don't volunteer for this job on a day when you have to get to great Aunt Lucy's 92nd birthday party (unless you want to use it as an excuse to miss it of course).

Collecting controls – Bring in all the controls at the end of the event.
This is a real 'many hands' makes light work thing and is a great job for people who want some more exercise and pretty confident in their navigation! The Controller of the day starts getting this sorted out once the vast majority of people are back in off their course or at course closing time, whichever comes first, so ask them if they want help before you go home. You will always get a most appreciative response. As above, you will be among the last to leave the event, so don't volunteer for this job on a day when you have to get to great Aunt Lucy's 92nd birthday party.

Caravan Tower – Towing the caravan to or from the event.
Choose your early or late option, or instantly sprout wings by offering to do both. These people usually help with either set-up or pack-up too since they are there. All your petrol costs to and/or from the event are able to be reimbursed at 70c per km.

 

All helpers should be able to get a run in the event. It is usually organised so that 1 person does an early shift, then has a run, while another person has an early run then takes over. Helpers can either get a free run on the day or can put it towards VIP points and take the free run on another day.

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