Orienteering Annual Award Winners
This year’s winner started out with the Kids Running Free programme a number of years ago. He has grown to be a valuable junior coach with the kids programme. In grade 8, he started an Orienteering Club at his school. He mapped his school yard and purchased equipment for the school. He has taken the Officials Course and as a 14 year old organized his first club Summer Solstice event. Thomas Lindale was awarded the Colin Kirk Memorial Award.
In a successful and growing club that is run by volunteers, there are so many volunteers deserving of recognition. It is hard to single out one person. And yet, our winner is someone who, a few short years ago, stepped up, stepped in with both feet and immersed himself in our sport and our club.
This year’s recipient first helped out a Pinhey’s Point one spring not so long ago, and maybe didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he arrived early and asked if there was anything he could do to help. He has since become an expert with Sportident, and a face that everyone sees every weekend at the computer in the results tent. He has more recently taken on some promotional roles for the club, including keeping us active on Facebook. The Pat de St. Croix Memorial Award for Volunteering was presented to Rob Haddow who jumped in with both feet.
A number of years ago, a new club member approached the Board asking if the club was interested in having a running coach to work with our athletes. At the time, we were looking for ways to support our competitive athletes. The Board agreed to have this person do some running training with the athletes. Since then, the programme has grown and become an institution within our club. As the athletes learned about running training our coach learned about orienteering. Workouts got more and more complex, maps were created, brains were tested as much as the body. Everyone was welcomed in, youngsters, high performance athletes, old folks trying to pretend they can still run. Today, thanks to Francis Kawam, Orienteering Ottawa has the best training programme of all clubs in the country. The Pierre Brassard Memorial Award went to Francis Kawam for the tone he sets and the spirit he exemplifies with his coaching and support of all of us.
This year’s recipient is an elite athlete, a willing worker, a person with a positive attitude. He was on the Orienteering Ottawa team for the Jukola relay in Finland which finished as the top North American team. He competed at JWOC placing as top Canadian in each race. He was also a member of the Canadian Team at World University Championships in Hungary and had an outstanding performance at the North American Championships where he took gold in the M20 Middle, beating a top field of all North American juniors. When we speak of perseverance, this young man has shown that quality in spades achieving these results after battling a tough stress fracture in the spring and the cloud of his father's illness.
He brings with him to every event a positive and fun attitude. In addition to his racing, he has helped coach in the kids program, helped the Program Manager with school programs and volunteered writing for social media for the club and the HPP. He is very approachable and is developing into a great role model for younger juniors, running Track for Carleton and will graduate to the Senior Canadian HPP Team next year. His has such a Brian kind of attitude. The winner of the inaugural Brian Graham Memorial Award for Orienteer of the Year is Robbie Graham.
This young (yet clever beyond his years) athlete and club-mate of ours has shown great athletic achievement this past year. Here is a selection from his list of well-earned podiums and achievements:
- He placed 1st at the Eastern Canadian Long event where he ran up a category
- He was 3rd in the Sprint and 1st in the Middle at the COC’s, again up an age category
- He ran the COC relay anchor leg and placed 4th with his younger brother and club-mate Eric Kemp.
- He ran 2 of the 4 laps at the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon relay with his Dad and brother
- He ran the Midnight Moose 25km trail race.
- He achieved an 18:49 5km personal best
On top of his athletic achievements this year, he dedicated much time to our club.
He helped plan and deliver Outreach program sessions at his school in Fitzroy and he was Meet director for our June 20th summer solstice event.
I’d also like to give Special mention to the parents and younger brother of this athlete. What other family would race the Canada Army Run 15km Vimy Challenge, hop in the car and race alongside us at a local Sunday event.
We are happy to announce that the Colin Kirk Aspiring Junior of the Year is Evan Raz.
Orienteering Ottawa is entirely based on and run by volunteers. There are so many people in the club who contribute so much, and, maybe unfairly, we aren't able to recognize all of you with an award, but I hope you recognize that everyone is thankful for all that you do -- the club is what it is because of you.
Now on to the winner...
I probably could start by just saying the name and I would then see heads in the crowd start to nod in agreement, but let me start instead by listing all that this person has contributed this year:
- She has often been a club ambassador, controller and has helped out at registration for a number of our B-meets, as well as volunteering at COCs 150
- She has been a very active member of the Training Committee, not only in attending meetings but also in volunteering her time as a coach every single night of the kids training programs (both spring AND fall)
- And the biggie -- She has handled the huge responsibility of finding, coordinating and scheduling meet directors, controllers, registrars, ambassadors and the NCC in over 25 events per year as our Local Meets Director -- without her efforts we wouldn't get the thing we love most -- our B-meets!
- She has also been a super member of the club’s Board of Directors, and I’m sad to see her step down this year after so many years of service
I am very happy to present the Pat de St Croix, Volunteer of the Year award to Anita Brattland!
Spirit? … who is the first one you see at most events and definitely the last one encouraging you when you come trailing in covered in burrs and mud?
Who is by his side, an ambassador for our club, representing us at the national and international level with a love and vision of the sport that resulted in OOC hosting the Canadians?
Family Day, B meets, elite events …. They are a driving force to all. …. And can even supply you with the latest in technology and equipment.
The house is orienteering central from the basement where remote controls, display units, computer programming take place to the front door which is always open to mentor meet directors and orienteers.
Need I say more? …. You can’t separate them. It is my honour to present the Pierre Brassard Spirit Award jointly to Anne and Eric Teutsch.
Following her ground breaking results last year, Emily proved to the world that she remains a force to be reckoned with. Working her way up through the ranks, Emily finished the World Championships Middle in 5th place! She crushed the Canadian Championships with a clean sweep of all races. Finishing 2nd place overall in the Finnish Premier League she continues to set North American records now ranking 7th in the World! Joining forces with Damian Konotopetz and her older brother Eric, "possibly the highlight" of her year, Emily anchored the men's Relay team to finish 19th, the Canadian record in the World's 3-Man Relay.
Since leaving her home town, Emily has quickly become known as the International Orienteering Communities official "Darling". Along side her high profile results Emily has become an ambassador of sportsmanship and perseverance, inspiring others around the World with her story and dedication. In Ottawa we know her kind yet fierce competitive spirit well and have chosen to recognize Emily with this year’s Brian Graham Award - Orienteer of the Year.
2018 Orienteering Club Awards
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.
For 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.
This 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.
Referred 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.
2019 Orienteering Club Awards
This year’s Colin Kirk Aspiring Junior Award is being presented to a club member who has an exceptionally positive attitude, enthusiasm and
passion for orienteering. But don’t be fooled by his kind and quiet demeanor. This orienteer can rip it smart through the forest and he has had some great orienteering performances. He won three gold medals at the Ontario Championships, in the middle and long he ran up an age category and in the sprint he ran up two age categories. He brought home a bronze from the COCs sprint.
It is his volunteering and involvement with the kids programs, his enthusiasm and, positive attitude that make him stand out. He is always keen to step in and help at the events, setting up or collecting flags…with a smile. He is a great ambassador of our sport and a role model to other young orienteers. We wish him an exciting orienteering journey in years to come on some great maps and big races.
This year’s Colin Kirk Aspiring Junior of the year award goes to Lucas Raz.
Our club is about orienteering and being in the woods, but much happens behind the scenes. This year’s recipient of the volunteer award has been working behind the scenes for many years…and has a club job that none of us would want to do 😊. The recipient’s contribution, that is to say, workload, has increased many-fold over the years especially with the introduction of growth of the training programs. The recipient has worked quietly and effectively unnoticed and unheralded by most of the club’s members. Those, though who serve on the Board or who have served know of the work done and its importance. With growth of the club and its financial activities this further increased the complexity of the job.
The recipient has not only managed the Club’s finances generally but has created and managed the budgets for the club’s many special events such as the Canadian and North-American championships. Always acting with great integrity, she skillfully guides the board of directors through employment rules, taxes and other financial matters. In addition to investing many hours being the club’s Treasurer and Board Member for at least 25 years, the recipient has frequently been a Start Chief for our OFests.
The recipient is a keen orienteer and when not balancing the spreadsheets you will find her orienteering…but not empty handed as you will surely find her with the club’s cheque book in her hand trying to find a club member or two.
For 2019, Orienteering Ottawa presents the Volunteer of the Year award to Karen Tippett.
The Pierre Brassard Orienteering Spirit award is going to someone who has been a real ambassador in our sport for the past 20 years. Always friendly and positive, he will talk about any aspect of orienteering to anyone who will listen. If there is an extra-long course available…he runs it! If you hear a grunt in the forest…it is him! He encourages us all to push our limits whether it be with the course we run or the event we organize. He is a role model for how orienteering can be a whole family affair…but also how it can be an EXTREME sport.
This former club president and current mapping committee member has introduced many newcomers to the sport whether it be through an intro orienteering course or an MEC workshop.
His dedication shows with the work he does every year co-organizing the successful Challenge the GAT’s Rogaine.
He gives it his all on every course he runs, accepting any challenges that come his way. An aching knee, bleeding body parts, a dense thicket –nothing will quell his spirit. His passion for orienteering is contagious.
For 2019, Orienteering Ottawa presents the Pierre Brassard Memorial Award for Orienteering Spirit to Randy Kemp.
The 2019 Brian Graham Memorial Award is awarded to a local orienteer who has consistently delivered outstanding performances in the men’s elite class at national and international competitions over the past decade, not to mention amazing performances in countless local meets. This orienteer has been an active member of orienteering Canada’s HPP program every year since at least 2009, and is well known for his passion, outstanding technical orienteering skills and his humility. He has represented Canada with distinction at 5 different WOCs, at least one JWOC and several WUOCs. In 2019 he brought home silver and bronze medals from the COCs in the men’s elite class, as well as 2 golds and a silver from the Ontario Champs. For the past decade this orienteer has been an excellent role model and mentor to junior HPP members and other aspiring athletes, helping them train effectively and achieve their full potential.
He makes important contributions to our club year after year - by creating new high quality maps, directing local meets, setting courses, entertaining us with eloquent tales from international competitions, and serving on the mapping committee.
While it may seem as if he has had a compass surgically implanted into his cerebral cortex, I can confirm, having spoken personally with the X-ray tech at the Civic, that this rumour is entirely untrue. In fact, this orienteer has, through his outstanding dedication, resourcefulness and perseverance, managed to overcome the distinct handicap of being colour blind in order to achieve levels of performance and success most of us can only dream of.
Please join me in congratulating Eric Kemp, recipient of the 2019 Brian Graham Memorial Award for Outstanding Orienteer.