Here are the projects that board members have been working on over the past several months:
- Getting the organization set up to conform to provincial law. The OCF intends to act as the Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) for competitive climbing in Onatrio, in cooperation with a National Sport Organization (NSO) that does that same across the country. There are rules and regulations that govern how the NSO and PSOs must operate, and when these organizations fulfill all those requirements there is potential for government funding to assist athletes and support events. So much of what the organization has been doing lately is getting our house in order for that. This includes the recent minor amendments to our Constitution, as well as drafting several policies (including Harassment, Discipline, Anti-Doping policies) required by regulations. This is dry, technical stuff that may seem to have little to do with organizing comps, but it’s essential to set up the organization to succeed long term.
- Coordinating with the CEC. The CEC is the organization that currently exercises the authority over competition climbing in Canada that the IFSC gave to the Alpine Club of Canada. The CEC is not currently set up to qualify as a National Sport Organization, but the OCF has been working with the CEC to try to move it in that direction. One area of effort was an attempt to get agreement on a joint membership policy that would allow Ontario competitive climbers to buy one membership from the OCF, and automatically become CEC members at the same time. This effort has not yet succeeded, in part because of a requirement from the CEC that the OCF have liability insurance in place to cover all its members.
- Training. To run an effective competition schedule, we need to have qualified people in place to run competitions. This includes judges, routesetters and many volunteers in other roles.
- The OCF has held several judging clinics (usually in conjunction with competitions) to train more judges. Growing the pool of qualified judges means less scrambling each time a gym hosts a comp, and also allows us to grow beyond the point where the only qualified judges are parents of the competitors.
- The OCF has also organized a Routesetting For Youth clinic (to be held at True North Climbing October 25th, led by setters from Boulderz and True North). The goal of this event is to share knowledge & experience about setting for young/small climbers, to make sure that everyone has a great experience at each comp. Setters from 7 Ontario gyms are expected to attend.
- We also intend to organize training session(s) on Lead Belaying for Youth in Competition. The goal is to ensure appropriate skills among those who volunteer as belayers at Difficulty comps, in order to increase everyone’s confidence in the safety of the competitors. Lead belaying at a comp brings additional challenges and stress, and we want to make sure all volunteers are prepared for that.
- Planning the competition season. This is more complex than it may seem, including deciding on the number and format of competitions (and there are many different perspectives on the best way to do this), and coordinating with climbing gyms to host each event, without conflicting with other scheduled events, such as CEC-organized regional and National competitions.
- Supporting gyms that host competitions. This includes registration support, training (as described above), helping to round up volunteers (judges and others), providing ribbons to award to the top finishers in each of the 10 Youth categories, and helping to gather donated prizes from vendors and other partners.
- Fundraising and Sponsorship gathering. The OCF needs money (not a huge amount) to operate, including insurance coverage, bank fees, and the cost of ribbons and prizes for the competition series we organize. Some of those funds come from memberships sold, and we also ask industry partners and other companies to help us out by donating prizes or contributing funds to sustain our operations.