We are getting closer to settling the debate. Is OCR and ninja a sport?

Our organisation was founded in May 2019 as the national governing body for obstacle sports in the UK. Since then, a volunteer team has been working towards getting obstacle sports officially recognised by the UK Sports Councils. Today, we are pleased to report that we have achieved a major milestone in working towards this goal.

“Your pre-application, together with its supporting documentation, has been very carefully assessed. Following consideration by the UK Officer Recognition Panel (the “Panel”), which comprises officers from each Home Country Sports Council (Sport England, sportscotland, Sport Wales, and Sport Northern Ireland), I am pleased to let you know that your pre-application has been successful and that you can now proceed to the full application stage.”

This does not mean we are guaranteed to be approved at the full application stage, but it is an important acknowledgement of the hard work of the team and of our sport as a whole.

To pass the pre-application stage, we were required to document what OCR and ninja sport is and share our rulebook for the sport. We detailed our influence over obstacle sports in the UK and how we are working with the wider industry and community. Importantly, they reviewed our constitution and governance structure, including our listed accounts. Finally, thanks to our founding members, we reported on how we met the required membership threshold.

There are many thousands of volunteer hours that have gone into this first important recognition milestone and we want to take a moment to thank everyone for their hard work and support. The UK Sport Councils feedback highlights that British Obstacle Sports has important governance processes in place and that we have a great case to make for formal recognition in our full application.

While we are pleased with this notable achievement, we recognise there is a lot of work to be done, both to support our membership base and for the sport overall. We set a high standard, and we know we do not always achieve what we set out to do. We ask for patience from the community as we continue to develop a professional organisation with a 100% volunteer-based team. We are also acutely aware that the cost of living crisis is a challenge for obstacle sports, as it is for many others. This is why we believe in formal recognition as a sport so strongly. A well-run governing body with the right financial foundations in place can help us respond to wider macro-issues such as economic pressures and crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have 12 months to submit our full application, and work is well underway to ensure this is submitted promptly. We will be finalising a range of policies required as a national governing body and documenting the considerable work that has been done by our technical committees and within our technical official and coach development programmes. We are also excited to finalise our full organisational strategy and vision for the sport, which will extend what we have already documented in our constitution.

Our mission is to ensure that everyone in the UK can enjoy the endless possibilities of obstacle sports, and we thank everyone in the OCR and ninja sport communities who have supported us in our journey towards this so far.

How can you help?

1. Join British Obstacle Sports as a founding member

We need to continue to send a message to the UK Sports Councils that OCR and ninja should be recognised as official sports. Membership numbers are an important signal of support for the federation. You can become a founding member as either an adult, a child, or a supporter. You’ll get access to great discounts, and as a participant, you’ll be covered under our member insurance and be able to compete in certain races and leagues.

If you are already a member, encourage a friend to join, or sign up a family member as a supporter. Remember for every person you refer you get tickets to the Ultimate Season Pass draw at the end of the season.

Use BOS20 before April 30th 23:59 pm for 20% off new one-year memberships.

Join British Obstacle Sports

2. Follow us on our channels and join our newsletter

Having strong followers on social media will help us grow the sport when we speak with partners. Please take five minutes to follow us on the different social media channels listed below. We also have an OCR newsletter called Share The Mud, which you can subscribe to for updates on events and the sport.

3. Volunteer for us

British Obstacle Sports is a 100% volunteer-led organisation. We know not everyone can commit to volunteering, but if you can, it is a great opportunity to learn new skills and support the sport.

We have a number of roles across the organisation that can take anywhere from an hour a week to half a day a week to deliver. We are especially looking for volunteers in the following areas:

  • Project management
  • Finance
  • PR
  • Data protection
  • Email marketing
  • Social media

British Obstacle Sports also has stands and many events across the country. You can work on a stand and help spread the word by giving up a few hours of your time. The event stand is advertised in our members Facebook group.

4. Become a British Obstacle Sports True Cost Subscriber

Ever wondered how you can support British Obstacle Sports more but are unable to volunteer?

Our national governing body is 100% staffed by volunteers, helping to deliver a number of important services for our members and our sport. We want to keep our sport as accessible as possible, and we are committed to keeping our membership fees super low to support this goal. We can only do this with the amazing support of our volunteers. This said, we believe that to truly develop the sport, we need to move to an organisational model where we can afford a small, part-time staff so that we can reduce the over-reliance on volunteers. This will become increasingly important as we further develop our youth programme and work towards achieving our vision and mission.

We now offer a British Obstacle Sports True Cost Subscription, costing £5 a month. The subscription is conveniently paid for via PayPal and comes with a number of benefits. Most importantly, you’ll be helping British Obstacle Sports develop ninja and OCR in the UK.

Subscribe monthly

  • Membership automatically updates while subscribing
  • Instagram thank you and shout out
  • Helping OCR and ninja to become recognised sports in the UK

Subscribe yearly

  • Membership automatically updates while subscribing
  • Instagram thank you and shout out
  • Helping OCR and ninja to become recognised sports in the UK


5. Sponsor British Obstacle Sports

If you run a business, you can promote your services to our members from as little as £50. Get in touch with us for more information.

6. Get out and enjoy obstacle sports

There are events up and down the country to take part in from short speed courses to 24 hour races.

Find an event

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