President’s Medal and Young Orienteer of the Year presented.

The Sprint Scotland event in Alloa last weekend saw the presentation of the President’s Medal and the Young Orienteer of the Year awards by SOA President, Richard Oxlade.

Richard leading a well earned round of applause for Charlotte and Isla

Young Orienteers of the Year – Isla O’Donoghue and Charlotte Horne  AUOC

Having had significant coaching experience in her home club of SOLWAY, Isla arrived at Aberdeen University ready to get involved with orienteering coaching and was appointed AUOC club coach in her first week.  She started off running weekly sessions aimed at developing orienteering skills. Early in 2023 she signed up for the SOA Level 1 coaching course and shortly before her end of year exams passed the assessment phase for this course while still a teenager, thereby becoming a qualified coach for AUOC over the coming years.

Charlotte, as the newly appointed AUOC Secretary, seized the opportunity for providing coaching that came with Isla’s arrival and has provided important support to Isla around delivery of the coaching. This in turn has kindled her own interest in coaching and she has recently completed both the Coaching Foundation and the SOA Level 1 Coaching course, thereby providing AUOC with 2 qualified coaches.

They are an awesome double act and through their hard work and dedication have created opportunities for young people at Aberdeen University to learn, progress and participate in orienteering.

President’s Medal – Jon Cross FVO

Jon in action

As FVO team captain for the last 24 years and Club President for 2 of those, Jon has steered the growth of the club from a ‘small’ club to a ‘large’ club with over 250 members. This is due to his enthusiasm, hard work and extensive knowledge of the sport. His considerable achievements include:

  • Masterminding an FVO win in the Compass Sport Cup, while they were still strictly speaking a ‘small’ club.
  • FVO emerging from lockdown in a stronger shape than they went in due to Jon’s leadership as Club President.
  • Organising (almost single-handedly) a stripped-down version of the Scottish Relay Championship in 2021 to enable continuity of the event after Covid led to cancellation of the official event.
  • Contributing to the staging of many quality events such as the Sprint Scotland series, Race the Castles, Coasts and Islands in his role as one of the Directors of Masterplan Adventure.

As one of the planners for WOC 2024 in Edinburgh, Jon continues to contribute to orienteering in Scotland at the highest levels but also maintains his work in the club, recently qualifying as a level C controller. For his achievements and dedication to the sport, Jon has been awarded this years President’s medal.