The subject that has dominated the workings of the Scottish 6-Day Event Company over the last year is – change.

In September 2007, George Esson resigned from the Board of Directors. He has also been Chairman for a number of years and the 6-Day Event Company are indebted to George for his guidance over this time.

Spey 2007 was the last event that Donald Petrie was involved in as the Assistant Co-ordinator as he tended his resignation. For the past 15 years, Donald has guided and advised each Co-ordinator and Central Organising Committee. He was also the 6-Day Company Secretary; he negotiated for the Company at many meetings with partner bodies to ensure the success of the event.

The next 6 Day event is Tay 2009. Gareth Bryan-Jones is the Co-ordinator and is backed up by a large Central Organising Committee consisting of members of TAY and FVO. Since Donald Petrie left in November, Gareth has taken on many of the tasks normally fulfilled by the Assistant Co-ordinator (the SOA Professional Officer). We are all indebted to Gareth and Jan for the work they are doing to ensure the success of the event.

I took over the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors in September 2007. The first task was to appoint more Directors to the Board; the Board were looking for people with particular skills. Andrew Dalgleish (ESOC) and Lindsey Knox (RR) were approached, accepted the invitation and have been welcomed to the Board. Mike Atherton was also approached and is a member of the Board ex-officio. Gareth Bryan-Jones attends Board meetings as the co-ordinator of Tay 2009.

The Board has spent time working on a revision of the ‘Ethos’ document. This is now finalised and will guide the working of the Board and the Central Organising Committees. Each Director has also produced a remit for their area of personal expertise and is working closely with their opposite number(s) on the Tay 2009 committee. Robin Orr has worked on producing remits for key personnel on the Central Organising Committee of an event. These documents will soon be published on the 6 Day Company website.

In May, Scott Fraser was appointed to the post of Professional Officer of the SOA. He also assumed the mantle of the Assistant Co-ordinator for Tay 2009 and is quickly learning as much as possible with guidance from Gareth Bryan-Jones. In the past, the SOA PO was also the 6 Day Company Secretary; with a change in the legislation, there is no longer a requirement for a secretary. The Board of Directors decided that Scott had enough to do with the job he had taken on and the minutes of each meeting would be taken by one of the Directors. Scott, as the SOA PO, is welcomed to the Board.

As previously mentioned, Tay 2009 is progressing well with a stunning event centre at Perth Race Course. Most of the days have the key personnel of controllers, planners and organisers in place. There are still a few positions to be filled both for the individual days and on the Central Organising Committee.

2011 is beginning to take shape with the event centre being in the Oban area. There are three clubs involved in Central Organisation – AYROC, CLYDE and ECKO. Ross Lilley (EckO) has accepted the invitation to be the Co-ordinator; Scott Fraser will be the Assistant Co-ordinator and Robin Orr will represent the interests of the Board of Directors. Many potential areas for the competition have been identified and more research is being carried out with regard to these as well as a location for an event centre.

I anticipate challenging times ahead. There are many issues over which we have little influence or control – rising interest rates, increasing environmental awareness and ‘carbon footprint’, competition from multi-day events abroad, decisions made by partner organisations, government legislation to name but a few. I am confident that the Directors are able to anticipate and meet these challenges. Despite the changes faced over the past year, the Board is a cohesive group working towards a common goal – helping to stage a world class multi-day orienteering event in Scotland and aiding the development of the sport in Scotland.