Apache support ScotJOS
Apache have made a generous donation of £15,000 to the Scottish Junior Orienteering Squad (ScotJOS).
“If you don’t ask, you don’t get” the old adage goes. It’s true: look what happens when you ask the right questions of receptive ears and generous pockets…
For many years, the Scottish Junior Orienteering Squad (ScotJOS) received £14K annually from a sportscotland performance grant but the government body has decided to concentrate on sports included in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. So, when ScotJOS learned that their annual funding was to be ramped down and finally cut off in 2012, something had to be done to source an alternative benefactor. Their training, competition trips and other activities, such as organising the Jamie Stevenson Trophy, can't survive on cake sales alone!
Iain and Carolyn McLeod have been heavily involved with ScotJOS for several years, graduating from proud parents/supporters to minibus driver/trip organisers to joint treasurers for the past 3 ½ years. It was with his money-head on that Iain started to think of who else could be approached for sponsorship or donations to plug the gap.
Enter Apache on shining white charger….. or rather 9 pairs of muddy trainers belonging to the victorious Apache Orienteering Team at the Aberdeen Activitymix Corporate Decathlon last year, organised by Grampian Orienteers. This annual inter-company competition is a firm favourite with many energy and service companies – as Daley Thompson said, “Sport fosters many things that are good; teamwork and leadership.” - and Apache are big players in the Small Companies League. Even to the extent of head-hunting one Iain McLeod, an experienced orienteer to help train and captain their team to victory.
Iain sent Apache a letter outlining the ScotJOS funding problem and suggesting that, as they had so obviously enjoyed their orienteering experience at Activitymix and now knew what the sport was all about, they might consider sponsoring ScotJOS in return for the Apache logo being worn on the ScotJOS kit?
Imagine his delight when the response came back that, providing ScotJOS/Scottish Orienteering Association gained charitable status, Apache would be willing to make a donation of a whopping £15K! A suitably large cheque was handed over by Mark Richardson from the Apache Charities Committee to Bill Stevenson and some of the ScotJOS team at a recent GRAMP Summer Series event. Mark stayed on to try his hand at the Long Technical course finishing a very creditable 13m 34s behind course winner and squad member, Sasha Chepelin, despite it only being the second time Mark had picked up an orienteering map. He modestly said some of his success was probably due to residual fitness from competing in an Iron Man Triathlon last year.
Apache arrived on the UK oil and gas scene in Aberdeen in 2003 when they acquired the Forties Field from BP, the largest field ever discovered in the UK North Sea. They quickly developed a reputation as a (relatively in oil company terms) small band of dynamic people with a fresh and innovative approach and went on to acquire operations and interests in many other North Sea fields.
If you look at their website (www.apachecorp.com), you’ll see their tag line says “Exploring what’s possible” and they are very proud of their somewhat unusual business history and methods. For example, tossing a coin between the three founding partners to see who would be the first president in 1954 but also agreeing to rotate the presidency annually; or their flexibility when the oil side of the business was threatened by American production limits, imposed post-Suez Crisis, by diversifying into things like fruit farms and aerosol cans; not to mention the “company’s contrarian nature” being highlighted in several places.
Obviously, the 2011 Activitymix orienteering win and Mark’s running connections might have helped sway Apache’s generous decision, but maybe they recognised a deeper connection? The qualities required to make a top flight orienteer are, after all, very similar to those prized by Apache: competitiveness, dedication, adaptability, quick thinking, resourcefulness and pride in being that little bit different.
Whatever the reasons behind the final decision, ScotJOS are extremely grateful for such a generous donation and are looking forward to doing both Apache and themselves proud in 2012.
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