2018 Orienteering Ottawa  Annual Awards

Four club awards were established to recognize Orienteering Ottawa members each year. The awards were named in memory of Brian Graham, Pat de St. Croix, Colin Kirk and Pierre Brassard, past members of the orienteering community, to celebrate their unique contributions to our sport. The formation of the awards was inspired in 2016 by a donation by CH2M (now Jacobs), a company where Brian Graham worked.

Colin Kirk Memorial Award - Aspiring Junior of the Year

The Colin Kirk Award recognizes Colin’s connection to Junior Development in our club. Colin Kirk was one of Canada's orienteering pioneers. As Executive Director for over 20 years, most of them in a volunteer role, he was instrumental in the growth of the sport across the country in the 70's and 80's. Of the many aspects of orienteering that benefited from Colin’s involvement, one that stands out was his support and encouragement of junior athletes. The Colin Kirk Memorial Award honors a young Orienteering Ottawa athlete who: 

  • is 18 years old or younger during the past year
  • will have made considerable improvements in his or her performance and achievements
  • has been a positive role model for other juniors
  • has contributed to the improvement of other junior athletes.

Past recipients: 2016 Thomas Lindale; 2017 Evan Raz

2018 Recipient: presented by Jennie Anderson

Evan Gibbard helping a youngster at the junior programThis year’s Colin Kirk Aspiring Junior Award is being presented to a club mate of ours who is a true leader. 

Since 2012 this young man and his family have been an integral part of our club. He was one of our first springtime Junior Program participants when there were only 16 kids involved. Fast forward a few years and he is now a lead coach for our program of over 60 kids! He has proven his dedication and hard work through several seasons. Our program participants admire him. Often, he will have a group of youngsters hovering around him like a loud colony of bees, asking him questions and challenging him to a game. Off he runs, and the swarm follows suit. After races at Sunday local events he makes time to sit with young orienteers to review their routes and chat about their races. He’s a huge asset to the team of coaches for our programming, always providing a fun, positive environment to learn in. 

This club mate is as quick to prove his skills as he is his sportsmanship. At NAOC and COCs in Whitehorse he displayed consistent results. He placed third in each of the three individual races at NAOCs in the 17-18 category. 

His positive attitude, friendly demeanor and athletic talents make him a role model not only for our juniors but for members of our community at large.

This year’s Colin Kirk Aspiring Junior of the year award goes to Evan Gibbard.

Pat de St. Croix Memorial Award - Volunteer of the Year

Pat de St. Croix was an outstanding contributor to the development of the sport of orienteering in Canada. She was a fixture in the orienteering community from the very earliest days of Orienteering in Canada - the early 70s. She worked tirelessly for our sport at the club (Niagara and Ottawa) and at the national level as COF President in the 1980's. She was a volunteer who stood out among volunteers. The Pat de St. Croix Memorial Award recognizes Pat’s volunteerism by honoring an Orienteering Ottawa member who has, over the past year:

  • Contributed a significant amount of time to volunteer in local orienteering events in any capacity.
  • Made a significant impact to the Ottawa Orienteering Club or raised the profile of orienteering in the community, in other organizations or schools.
  • Shown a commitment to personal development, teamwork and supporting the development of others.
  • Demonstrated leadership in the club

Past recipients: 2016 Rob Haddow; 2017 Anita Brattland

2018 Recipient: presented by Rob Haddow

Lorna Guttormson, Rob Haddow, Richard GuttormsonFor 2018 the Pat de St. Croix ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’ is being presented jointly to two long term Club members who have each devoted a huge amount of their time and skills to support our Club’s activities. Together they have organized and stored much of the Club’s equipment, making themselves available at all hours to allow for the pick-up and return of flags, stands, water jugs, tents and much more. Their separate contributions include: Richard plans and facilitates Officials Courses, keeping up to date on the latest technical aspects of the orienteering standards, welcoming the students into their own home and continuing to mentor them afterwards; mapping; controlling, directing many events throughout the season. Lorna is creative and tech savvy, constantly updating and improving the Club website, online registration, publicity tasks, managing “lost and found”, making prizes for O-Fest and a leading a timely update to the Summer Solstice handicap rules.  Last year was particularly challenging for one half of this family team due to an injury. But that did not dampen her willingness to help-out with major event organization as well as weekly at the registration and working at the SI desk. A true role model for keeping active and being involved even when dealing with injuries.

This couple always have time to help others, take on the role of club ambassadors or just to hear our stories of success or failure and give advice when needed.  Their dedication and hard work have been of great benefit to our Club. Together they are true models of the volunteer spirit espoused by Pat de St Croix.

 The 2018 Volunteer of the Year award is presented jointly to Lorna and Richard Guttormson.

 Pierre Brassard Memorial Award - Orienteering Spirit

Pierre, a former club president, was always smiling, always full of life, always out to beat the orienteering course. He particularly loved the longer events, but he enjoyed every orienteering format. Pierre was welcoming, he was friendly, he was encouraging, he challenged himself, and he had fun. The Pierre Brassard Memorial Award recognizes Pierre’s spirit and is awarded to an Orienteering Ottawa member who has :

  • Shown the true spirit of orienteering
  • Sets him or herself high personal challenges
  • Shown a welcoming spirit to newcomers in the sport
  • Encouraged members to increase their participation, either competitively or by helping with the organizing of events.

Past recipients: 2016 Francis Kawam; 2017 Anne and Eric Teustch

 2018 Recipient: presented by Anita Brattland

Linda Connell, Anita BrattlandThis year’s recipient of the Pierre Brassard Memorial Award for Orienteering Spirit is a familiar face to almost every club member of Orienteering Ottawa, and she is one of the backbones of the club. She loves being outdoors, especially in the forest, and particularly with a map in hand.  She participates in local and regional/national events whenever she can, and with enthusiasm. She shares her abundant energy and positivity with friends, fellow club members, newcomers to the sport, and anyone who expresses an interest in orienteering. Her friendly, smiling welcome is often at the registration table, including during the many years that she led that team of volunteers and organized registration for many major events that the club has hosted.  She is a willing meet director and controller and a mentor to those who are learning to do the same. Her organization skills are legendary. Most notably, she and her co-conspirator Randy Kemp spend dozens and dozens of hours each year to host the Challenge the GATs ROGAINE. Her contribution is not just to the technical aspects of the event--it is everything from organizing a team of cooks to prepare the food to helping individual participants find a team. She is a star; her orienteering spirit shines on all of us.  She is a true ambassador for our sport!

For 2018, Orienteering Ottawa presents the Pierre Brassard Memorial Award for Orienteering Spirit to Linda Connell.

 Brian Graham Memorial Award - Orienteer of the Year 

Brian Graham was an elite orienteer for many years representing Canada at international competitions in Europe and North America. He was involved in Orienteering Ottawa as an athlete, meet official, mapper, coach, and a mentor. Brian held several Canadian and North American Orienteering Championships medals and he competed in M21 categories well beyond his age, running the elite categories for as long as he was able. In the 80's and 90’s he competed in many World Orienteering Championships, with his best finish being 36th in 1993 Champs in West Point, USA.

He also was an exceptional course setter officiating many club events and setting courses for numerous B-meet, A-meets, and championships, as well as being involved in coaching clinics. Those who worked with Brian on course setting may have known that he particularly loved incorporating at least one long leg that would offer many route choices.

Brian was known as true sportsman, a role model and an inspiration.

The recipient of this award will have:

  • Been an orienteering role model and inspired others.
  • Exceptional orienteering performance and/or skills either over the course of the year or in a specific event.
  • Exhibited special qualities that set them apart from others, i.e. dedication and perseverance
  • Shown true sportsmanship
  • Helped mentor others to success
  • Inspired other athletes to reach their goals

Past recipients: 2016 Robert Graham; 2017 Emily Kemp

 2018 Recipient: presented by Marketa Graham

Setfan Bergstrom, Marketa GrahamReferred to as the “Mr. O” by one of the nominators, he is an exceptional orienteer, a mapper, and an international meet official being the highest ranking technical director of the Club and in the country. He is a very kind and generous mentor sharing his orienteering passion and expertise with club coaches and members. He has the ability to remain calm during any situation. He has been a technical director at many national events, including officiating a world ranking event last year. This year he was a technical director for Ontario Championships/O-Fest. He has been continually finding new places for mapping and new ideas to make orienteering fun and innovative. Aside from being a meet director, planner and mapper he negotiates various public relations issues with the City and other groups to educate about our sport and to facilitate new orienteering opportunities. He continues to strive to challenge himself to improve physically and technically by participating in and leading a wide range of training sessions and he is often seen at many out-of-town races in constant search of wholesome orienteering on foot or skis. He is one of those orienteers that knows precisely how many minutes and seconds they lost on a particular leg. But this man rarely makes mistakes. His results this year were excellent. He placed 3rd in the middle distance at the World Masters Ski-O in Craftsbury, Vermont. At COCs in Yukon he placed 2nd and 3rd in long and middle distances, respectively and he was 2nd in NAOC and COCs sprint. He is also known not to crumble under pressure.

It is for his exceptional skills as a technical guru of our club, his passion for advancing orienteering standards and quality by his knowledge and his advanced orienteering skills that the 2018 Orienteer of the Year award goes to Stefan Bergstrom.