Young Orienteer of the Year Shortlist

We were thrilled to receive such amazing testaments to 2 juniors who have shown huge dedication to the sport. The winner will be announced at the Jamie Stevenson Trophy event this weekend

Ruari Cottier is an enthusiastic and dedicated orienteer who fully understands the importance of volunteering to a thriving club. He has been Junior representative for three years and takes an active role in committee meetings. He is always willing to help out at club events from advertising, planning and organising to putting out and collecting in controls, sorting equipment and mentoring younger members. Ruari was an integral part of the club coaching team delivering bespoke sessions over three weeks to seventy local beavers, cubs and scouts. He was very happy to share skills that he had learnt in SCOTJOS. He also mentored and shadowed individuals and was notably mature when instigating discussion and evaluation with the athletes. He is a natural coach and has recently completed his Young Coach Assistant course in Stirling. His inspiration has led to a regular attendance by some of the scouts at the ECKO local events and he is hoping to start an orienteering ‘after school’ club at Oban High School in the autumn. Ruari took advantage of the SOA Young Planners and over the last year has planned and organised three successful local events. The start of 2023 saw Ruari developing his skills as a mapper, teaching himself how to use OCAD. He spent many hours running over the hills of Oban culminating in the completion of his first map – Pulpit Hill, Oban. He then planned and organised a Christmas social to test his map and courses which various club members thoroughly enjoyed. Ruari is reliable, conscientious and has many great ideas which he is happy to develop independently then organise and promote. His motivation and enthusiasm have been inspiring to the club and ECKO take great pleasure in recommending Ruari for the Young Orienteer Award

Peter Owen is one of the key young volunteers within FVO, doing a great deal in a number of roles to enhance our delivery of quality events and activities. He plays a major role in our Junior Stars development programme for kids aged 8-12, as the 1st Assistant Coach to the Orange standard group. It’s important to provide role models that youngsters can identify with, and, having come through the Stars programme personally, Peter leads with his enthusiasm, personality and knowledge in providing a good experience to our young athletes. Having undertaken Event Safety training in 2023, he was keen to be able to put on an event of his own, and he planned and organised a fairly large local event in February, which had five courses and brought in more than 100 participants. As well as planning and setting the courses, he liaised with map printers, ensured that the coaching team was briefed on the quality and standard of the courses and supervised a group of adult volunteers who assisted in the delivery of the event. Despite the pressures of senior school exams, he established an orienteering club at his school, recruiting a teacher to be the adult mentor while he coached the group, planning an extensive programme of classroom work and practical exercises, and shadowed a number of classmates at local activity sessions. As a direct result of his efforts, Dunblane HS will be well represented at the forthcoming Scottish Schools Festival in Coatbridge. FVO has already recognised his work by naming Peter as Team Captain for the Jamie Stevenson Trophy in June, but we feel that his efforts deserve credit in a wider audience and wish to nominate him as SOA Young Volunteer of the Year for 2023.