The 2022 Orienteering Ottawa Club Awards were presented at the Orienteering Ottawa Annual General Meeting (AGM) on January 22, 2023. The 2022 Awards Committee, represented by Pat Laurich, Cathy Bakker, Robbie Graham and Tom Lindale, announced the awards with the following speeches about the award winners.
Colin Kirk Memorial Award for Junior Orienteer of the Year
This individual's orienteering is consistently improving in leaps and bounds and he earned excellent results at national meets in 2022. At the Canadian Orienteering Championships in British Columbia, this summer he hauled in gold medals for the sprint, middle and long events in his age group. He also came first in his class in the sprint at the Western Canadians in Alberta on the July long weekend.
His work with youth programs inspired several other juniors to take the sport more seriously and improve their orienteering skills. He regularly attendsWednesday Night Workouts, where he pushes Robbie, Eric and Phil to try to beat his interval times, and motivates other youth with his dedication to training and self-improvement. Moreover, he consistently exhibits good focus, friendliness and a humble attitude.
A few years ago he introduced the rest of his athletic family to the sport, and they are now regulars at local events, and this year even travelled to B.C. to compete in the Canadian orienteering champs.
The Aspiring Junior of the Year - Colin Kirk Memorial Award goes to Hayden Smith.
Pat De St. Croix Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year
The Pat De St. Croix Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year is earned by an orienteer who builds the orienteering community, contributes to our club’s training and meet programming, is always setting new goals for themselves and encourages others to make the most of their orienteering experience; in whichever way is most meaningful for them.
This year’s award recipient has been extensively involved in the club for a number of years. He helped shape the strategic direction of our club as a member of the Board of Directors. He’s also led our club’s Wednesday Night Running training sessions since 2020. Each week, he designs adaptable workout routines that all participants at all levels can benefit from. He also organizes a second weekly opportunity for club members to train with Sunday Long Runs in late fall before the snow arrives. These sessions aren’t only a chance to train, they also make new connections between members of our club in a friendly and inclusive training environment.
Notably, this year’s recipient has also organized several, outside-of-the-box events that give club members unique training opportunities. Some of the events taking place this year include a Gatineau Park bike ROGAINE, multi-sport winter triathlon (which incorporates 5 different winter sports into your workout), and a summer foot/bike ROGAINE.
Sheldon, your welcoming presence and commitment to our club’s programming is a true gift. On behalf of the club, thank you for your continued efforts, it is our pleasure to award you the Pat De St. Croix Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year.
Pierre Brassard Memorial Award for Orienteering Spirit
This orienteer is enthusiastic, jovial, willing to take on any challenge, a real go-getter.
This past year:
- he put on a Ski-O event on a new map in Bristol QC. He secured permissions to put on the event, rescheduled the event date to a Sunday with a fresh blanket of powder snow, got the groomers on side
and arranged for a warm indoor place for registration, timing and post event refreshments in a welcoming country lodge.
- he put on a spring meet at Constance Bay;
- he put on a fall meet at Wesley Clover Parks;
- he was a volunteer at Ottawa O-Fest.
- A few years ago he started the popular summer sprint events - a series of midweek sprint-style races in city parks - and has been coordinating the summer sprint event calendar for at least three years now.
- He encourages others to host events during the summer and helps out where needed.
His passion for the sport shows in the work he devotes to putting on B-meets, off season Sunday trail runs, and the summer sprint series. He is certainly not afraid of a challenge. People may hear him in the woods bellowing expletives. This just means he is whooping it up and having a good time!
He always runs the long or extra long course; unlike most others his age. Out in the woods, he always looks like he is giving it his all and having fun along the way.
The Orienteering Spirit of the Year - Pierre Brassard Memorial Award goes to Paul Lefebvre.
Brian Graham Memorial Award for Orienteer of the Year
This year’s winner exemplifies all the qualities that Brian had. He excels in nearly every aspect of the sport, competitive racing, mapping, course setting, and mentoring.
This orienteer loves making maps almost as much as he does running on them. An expert in LiDAR acquisition and processing, he obsesses over every line and each millimeter of the map which results in a product of world class quality. Some of his greatest creations and contributions include La Colline, P5, Constance Bay, and March Highlands. Most recently he completely remapped Lac Beauchamp for last year’s O-Fest, for which he was also the course setter and event director, and received much praise for his work.
He was on the national team for many years and, after a few years hiatus, was named to the senior national team once again for 2023. He has several world championship finishes, and national and regional championship medals to his name. This summer he had a stellar performance at the Canadian Champs in BC where he won the gold in the sprint, middle, and long distances, a feat rarely accomplished by any athlete.
This orienteer has made many contributions to his teammates, the club, and the sport as a whole, and he shows no signs of slowing down. It is my pleasure to present this year’s orienteer of the year award to Eric Kemp.