Pages: [1]
Finn van-
Posts: 23
Finn van Gelderen
on: May 17, 2017, 11:51

As a former member of the executive I'd like to be one of the first people to wish the incoming executive luck, but would like to point out that it takes a decision at an AGM to change the name of communications officer to PRO with comms in brackets.  I realise I may be nit picking, but the when Ed Niland changed the name of his postition to "Director of Orienteering Education" we all voted for that name change to be put into effect.  I would also like the IOA executive to publish what the role definitions and responsibilities of each executive member are to the membership so that it is clear what people actually are responsible for and that there is transparency for the membership, as it seems to me that it isn't exactly clear whose responsible for what.  I do realise that everyone makes a role what it is, however I as a member of the Irish Orienteering Association feel there needs to be some clarity.

Posts: 97
on: May 17, 2017, 12:29
Copy from IOA front page
The new executive committee has been confirmed for 2017/18.
Many thanks for all the work from the officers who stepped down at this years AGM.
A big welcome to the new officers who have accepted the challenge and joined the team.
Chairperson – Paul O’Sullivan-Hourihan
Vice-Chairperson – John McCullough
Honorary and Fixtures secretary – Fergal Buckley
Honorary Treasurer – Sarah Nì Ruairc
Mapping Registrar & Environmental Officer – Stuart Scott
Controller of Technical Standards – Ruairi Short
Director of High Performance – Darren Burke
Junior Representative Orienteering – Jeni Pim
Public Relations Officer (Comms) – Debbie Whelan
Director of Orienteering Education – Eoin Browne
Development Officer – Andrew Cox
In addition
Non -Executive
Webmaster – Martin Flynn
IOA Child Protection SME – Barbara Foley-Fisher.
Medical & Anti-Doping Officer – Dr Bernard Creedon
Admin Assistant – Àine Joyce
I hope you all join me in wishing them the best of luck for the coming year as they guide and develop our sport.
Adding to Finn's comments.
Can the IOA secretary add a bio (& an up to date pic) for each executive member, as there are a few names on the list that I don't recognise, and a few names on the list that I recognise but don't know their orienteering background.
Posts: 97
on: May 17, 2017, 16:49

Actually why not adopt the IOF eventor site as a central repositpory for info on orienteers in Ireland. Most orienteers that have participated in an international event are up there already. The IOA could link to it and piggyback off it rather than come up with their own national id numbering system.

Check it at MyIOFpage

Finn van-
Posts: 23
Finn van Gelderen
on: May 17, 2017, 20:08

Fair point Ian, but to re-iterate and add to the discussion I would make the following points.

From my understanding having recently attended a presentation in Sport Ireland about AGMs, the law, constitutions and responsibilities of executive officers whether they are voluntary or paid there are a lot of basic things the IOA need to do to be compliant within governance and the law.  As far as I can tell the IOA constitution hasn't changed much in many years apart from a few name changes of officers and rules changes.  There are no board/executive members that are not in orienteering that can bring a professional eye to how executive committees function and much needed alternative points of view or professional expertise.  A simple example would be the minefield of arbitration. The original point I made about what the roles and responsibilities of an executive officer is quite simple.  At the least an incoming executive officer should be given a one page job description of what they're expected to do which protects them and the association.  A constitution should be reviewed every three years, this is to ensure that a board is healthy, communicates and everyone is one the same page.  Everyone on the IOA exec are voluntary except for the administrative assistant.

Though I agreed with the decision to limit the AGM to 1 hour and the membership to read the officers reports before the AGM I think for the IOA to function effectively beyond  "as they guide and develop our sport." as the communication from the IOA two days ago said, I now on reflection think it was a mistake as not enough time was given for the membership to grasp the gravity of the situation we as a sport are in.   I'm sure people reading this think that I'm on a soapbox at this point, but having spent 9 years trying to increase the profile of the sport beyond men with beards in pyjama's and making a sport look professional now is the time for unity of purpose across all areas of the sport.

It is patently obvious to me that there needs to be a new level of discussion within the whole association.  There's great areas to orienteer, loads of maps, loads of issues and a willingness to engage with Sport Ireland.  No one association or sport can be dependent on one persons energy or commitment, look at the olympics - there's huge change and it's all good.  Look at sailing, canoeing, IMRA, mountaineering Ireland - there's a reason why they get more money from Sport Ireland, it's not just about results, who you know in government, what committees you sit on and all the obvious political maneuverings that are part and parcel of advocacy.  It's about professionalism, taking it seriously and having a commitment to see change through to the end no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

I find it astonishing that despite my best efforts you generally see the same faces every week, the same planners, the same controllers etc..

Posts: 244
on: May 19, 2017, 01:21

Just to refer back to the first point in original post,
Here is article 7.3 in IOA constitution
The Executive Officers of the Association shall consist of:
(1) Chairperson,
(2) Vice-Chairperson,
(3) Honorary and Fixtures Secretary,
(4) Honorary Treasurer,
(5) Mapping Registrar and Environmental Officer,
(6) Controller of Technical Standards,
(7) Director of High Performance Orienteering,
(8) Junior Representative Orienteering and National Children's Officer,
(9) Public Relations Officer,
(10) Director of Orienteering Education,
(11) Development Officer.

It is Public Relations Officer afterall.

Moving on to other points, agree that role definitions for the executive committee would be useful. Also agree that one hour is too short for AGM. I now feel I must try find the officers reports and read them because I was proabably too busy to see the communication about them beforehand

Finn van-
Posts: 23
Finn van Gelderen
on: May 19, 2017, 08:56

Thanks Angus for being the second person to dip your toe into this discussion, because after all what I'm looking for is discussion on what's the facing the sport, not to criticise the execuitve commmitee.  When I took up the role of what you quite rightly point out PRO it is, this however was not advertised to me as that and because I was also vice chair I had dual responsibilities of both public relations/advcoacy and keeping the chair person up to date on the issues that effect the association and in effect being their "counsel"

This is what the current job spec for a communications officer is as advertised on Linkedin in recent days: 

Job description

The role:

The Public Relations and Communications Officer will work to promote farming and the agri-food industry to the general public across Ireland, through the development and delivery of relevant programmes and initiatives. 

He/she will be responsible for developing and implementing a public relations, and communications plan for Agri Aware. 

Applicants should have a proven track record in public relations and communications, with excellent writing, networking and interpersonal skills. 

Duties of the Public Relations and Communications Officer will include, but are not limited to: 

  • Developing public relations and communications plans and strategies to further Agri Aware’s mission statement and build on Agri Aware’s brand awareness 
  • Preparing press releases and securing media coverage for events, projects and initiatives 
  • Preparing Agri Aware publications such as Annual Reports, learning resources etc. 
  • Managing the Agri Aware and Family Farm websites and devising relevant and impactful strategies to drive online traffic to the site 
  • Improving the usability, design and content of the websites 
  • Developing and managing digital marketing strategies and campaigns (including on all social media channels) 
  • Developing and overseeing Agri Aware’s social media strategy and working to further build a strong presence on social media platforms 


The Public Relations and Communications Officer will also be responsible for delivering an array of daily administrative tasks within Agri Aware, including but not limited to: 

  • General administrative duties 
  • Preparation of office communications e.g. mail merge 
  • Managing telephone and email queries from the public and directing them to the appropriate staff member 
  • Compiling reports, memos, presentations, letters and other correspondence 
  • Support the management team with various ad-hoc tasks, including the organisation of Agri Aware events, preparation for meetings etc. 
  • Proofreading documents 

Agri Aware staff work in a busy, fast-paced and challenging environment. The suitable candidate for this position will be adept at multi-tasking, a team-player, but also a strong self-starter that demonstrates initiative at all times. He/she will show innovation, but also take direction. 


Shortlisting criteria:


  • Third level qualification in public relations, communications or a related field 
  • Professional experience in public relations and communications (minimum two years’ professional experience) 
  • Professional experience in creating, delivering and managing digital marketing campaigns 
  • Professional experience in website management 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  • A motivated, proactive and ambitious person, with excellent interpersonal and networking skills 
  • Strong organisational skills with a detail-oriented approach 
  • Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications and Power Point 
  • Proven ability to work as part of a team and on your own initiative 
  • Proven ability to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure 
  • Own transport and full drivers licence 



  • Strong working knowledge of agri-food industry 
  • Strong existing relationship with the media 
  • Experience in graphic design 


You may not be aware, but I have done PRO twice before.  1st time was for the Irish Windsurfing Association when it was in it's infancy before it was subsumed by the Irish Sailing Association.  

As a PRO for the Irish Windsurfing Association my job spec was very simple:

- Communicate with the press
- Communicate with the membership (which was done via a newsletter published every two months)
- Keep the sponsor supported and happy (In our case Heineken)

I am also the PRO for my brother, a professional athlete,  For that the job description is even simpler

- Get him in the newspapers/TV/Media
- Keep the sponsor happy

The whole purpose of my original post and any others in the last 2 days is not to criticise the executive, but engender healthy debate - because I feel that's what's needed right now.



Pages: [1]

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header
Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.
Mingle Forum by cartpauj
Version: 1.0.34 ; Page loaded in: 0.099 seconds.