Wednesday, May 09, 2007

They'll only remember you for your mistakes........

I've just spent the last 9 months organising the British Elite Orienteering Championships at Middle Distance in Mulgrave Woods near Whitby, on Sunday 15 April 2007.

I would say that 99.5% of the organisation was fine. Unfortunately, the event will be remembered for the 0.5% which wasn't - the awarding of the junior Elite prizes to the wrong people.

To compound matters, I wasn't actually at the race site for most of the event - I was running the Gisborough Moors Race (or it's F&M year replacement) for the 30th consecutive year. And dear Chris P told everyone in Assembly, so no chance of sneaking out and back without anyone noticing that I wasn't there!

And there were those BOF Committee individuals who lambasted me as soon as I reappeared - presumably they considered this a severe dereliction of duty and that I should be made to suffer - the organiser should have done this, the organiser should have done that, the organiser should have consulted here, the organiser should have consulted there. Why do people talk in the third person, when the one they are talking about is there? Why not just come out with it - YOU should have done this, that and consulted there.

I don't know if the Nopesport posters were aware of my whereabouts, but they certainly made sure they got their message across in no uncertain terms - chaps, you 'mucked up'.

Well, after a couple of days of advisory e:mails from the great and good in BOF, and a personal apology e:mail to the affected parties, I penned a formal apology and correction of the prizewinners, and had it posted on the event website, the BOF website and Nopesport.

That killed the Nopesport 'thread' stone dead!!

I can now understand how, in the aftermath of a major event, some major officials say 'enough is enough' and leave the sport. Although our event was a relatively minor major event, I did do something on it virtually every day for over 9 months. And in the last few weeks, I was often down to 4 of 5 hours sleep a night, after working until 1 in the morning.

The person I feel most sorry for is the planner and mapper Paul Taylor - other than a couple of nice comments on the CLOK website, all his hard work over an even longer timescale than my own went virtually unrecognised and unappreciated - overshadowed by one quite small error, a misinterpretation of a BOF rule.

So there you have it - one rather depressed Major Event Organiser.

Time to move on, I feel.


Jenny Johnson said...

Hi Chris, sorry it turned into such a nightmare. Having spoken to the juniors involved though they are quite happy with it all so don't worry. Thanks to all involved for a really great event (even if it didn't go so well for me!!). I hope you don't let it put you off, Jenny

Anonymous said...

For the record Chris, I thought it was a great event and so did the people I travelled with.


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris

Fully sympathise with how you feel after the British Elite Middle Distance Race. I used to a BOF Grade 1 Controller and resigned for much the same reasons as you state - basically competitors complaining (very) loudly over nothing.

Donald Petrie

Anthony Squire said...

Just to echo the other comments, I thought it was an excellent event and fitting for a British Championships.

Don't know too much about the detail of the 'mistake', but thought your posts on nopesport/BOF website were excellent - clear, accountable and resolved the situation immediately.

Please don't let the vocal minority put you off as the (silent) majority fully appreciate the work you and all the other volunteers do.

Thanks again

Anthony Squire

cjw said...

Many thanks for all of your words of support! A pleasant change from Nopegrief!