President’s medal 2014
Jess and James Tullie
Jessica and James Tullie (BASOC) are the 2014 recipients of the SOA President’s Medal. Jess received the Medal at the AGM on Saturday 24th May following an excellent day’s orienteering at the Scottish Orienteering Championships at Dalnamein.
Jess and James have been awarded the Medal in recognition of their enthusiastic and successful running of the Scottish Elite Development Squad (SEDS) since they took on the management role in 2012. It was a particularly difficult time at which to take on the role because all non-Olympic, Non-Commonwealth Games sports had just lost their financial support from government agencies, which, in the case of SEDS, was several thousands of pounds per year. Undaunted by this, not only did Jess and James set to work to organise regular and frequent coaching and training sessions for our elite athletes but also, with support from others, notably Lorna Eades and the very successful map jigsaws for JK 2012 and Moray 2013, created fund-raising activities. SEDS organised the Inter-Club Championships in 2013 and a very enjoyable ceilidh at the Highland Wolf weekend. The Purple Thistle Weekend is also now a SEDS activity that provides some bare-bones orienteering for us all but also raises a little bit of cash. Together with personal contributions from the athletes and some money from SOA, the SEDS coaching and training programme is flourishing.
In a way, Jess and James’ plan for SEDS was not revolutionary. It was to continue with the ethos of providing quality domestic training weekends which catered for Scotland's elite orienteers but were also open to all. They wanted to expand the SEDS programme with more weekends and also engage more with clubs and reach out more to young M/W21s to get them involved. Needless to say, the quality of the training sessions is very high. With WOC 2015 on the horizon all the athletes are benefiting from the regular and frequent sessions, learning from top-class coaches and from each other. Many of the athletes are aiming for international representation, particularly WOC 2015, and, of course, the Scots will be looking for their next win in the Senior Home Internationals.
Thank you, Jess and James, and please keep up the good work!