Tulloch Homes Young Orienteer of the Year – Shortlist

We have had a great response to our request for nominations for Tulloch Homes Young Orienteer of the Year for 2021, someone that has shown outstanding commitment to the sport, and are delighted to announce a shortlist of 3 whose contributions stood out from the many for us.

Daisy McNamara

AYROC would like to nominate Daisy McNamara who has been running introductory sessions on Arran. Daisy has enthused and motivated a group of island children through an after- school club which she set up on her own initiative whilst undertaking a Coaching Foundation course in 2020. The geography of island life and Covid travel restrictions means that while she has had some parental support she has had very limited support from mainland based adult club members. She has mapped some small areas herself and planned and delivered regular sessions for her group members. On her initiative AYROC secured funding for SI and other equipment for Arran from the Orienteering Foundation. All this has been while battling through her Highers year at school and training and competing for ScotJOS. At AYROC we would all be very pleased to see her receive some sort of recognition.

Thea Thomas

Thea, along with her mum, is the joint editor of Capital-O, the ESOC newsletter issued every two months. She has been fulfilling this role for a couple of years now and Capital-O has won CompassSport newsletter awards each year. The quality of the newletters is exceptional and they are always packed with great features. Thea also has co-planned events and innovated with a “Toddle course” – a really short white, but with controls so that very young kids can enjoy orienteering as well. This was Thea’s idea and she has done it at two events now. Thea also organised an online social for ESOC during the pandemic, putting lots of effort into fantastic questions. She is only 12 years old but she has contributed a lot to the club and is a total star!

Michael Bishenden

Michael’s contribution to orienteering has been significant and simply outstanding. Coming from a non-orienteering family, he has shown the utmost determination and commitment towards Moravian Orienteers and in promoting orienteering within the wider community. At all times, he has conducted himself in a friendly, positive and professional manner and without fuss or compliant. Within the Club, he is always one of the first juniors to volunteer to help at events and he has shown a consistent and passionate appetite and desire to do more. He willingly completed the Event Safety Workshop – being described as an ambassador of Moravian by the instructor in the process – and has set out and planned training courses during ‘lockdown’ for the benefit of Club members. He has also planned two local events, one at night and one for a recent Saturday league event and been eager to learn and develop his planning skills in the process. In addition, he has been an active participant with Forres Active Schools in 2021 and 2022, where he has regularly helped school age children to learn the orienteering basics through friendly advice, support and setting out simple games. Moreover, during this year’s Easter holidays, he selflessly gave his own time to plan and set out courses at Grant Park in Forres for an Active Schools ‘come and try it’ session for families and sought volunteers within Moravian to help at the event by sending emails and coordinating the responses.

Also nominated were Angus Laird, Oscar Shepherd, Ben Brown, Samantha MacDonald and Jamie Goddard.  What impressed us most was the variety of the volunteering activities that are being undertaken by our youngsters.  Much of it over lockdown has had an IT flavour to it with everything from website development to online socials.  These young people have all made significant contributions to the life of their clubs through initiatives they have set up as well as simply being there to help and, very importantly too, many of them have undertaken work which has helped to introduce and sustain orienteering in the community outside the clubs thus helping to bring the sport to a wider audience. 

The winner will be announced at this weekend’s Scottish Championships where the prizes will be presented for this and last years Young Orienteer of the Year. Well done to everyone that was nominated and all those other youngsters out there in our clubs who are contributing to our great sport.