President’s medal awarded to Donald Petrie
One of the most rewarding roles for the Scottish Orienteering Association (SOA) President is the opportunity to recognise someone for their outstanding achievements in Scottish orienteering through the awarding of the President’s Medal at the AGM.
The medal was originally brought to Britain by a Scandinavian delegation visiting to promote, what was then, a very new sport to Britain. The medal was presented to a person, group or club that had made a major contribution to the introduction and development of the sport in Britain. Many years on, the medal was gifted to the SOA by Bert Bradshaw, who pointed out that the date on the medal matched the date the SOA was formed and asked if it could be put to good use. The SOA agreed that the medal should be used to honour the greatest achievement by an individual each year. It is presented at each AGM, by the SOA President, to the person they regard as most deserving of recognition for “outstanding achievements by a Scottish orienteer”.
At the SOA AGM on 14th June 2008, President Donald Grassie awarded the President’s medal to Donald Petrie of Clydeside Orienteers (CLYDE). In making the award, Donald highlighted that there were many strong contenders for the award in 2007/2008. Blair Young and Mike Atherton had co-ordinated two very special events – The World Schools Championships 2008 and Spey 2007. Equally there had been many fine performances by Scottish Juniors. However, Donald Petrie had been selected this year as the recipient of the President’s Medal for the 15 year contribution he has made to Scottish Orienteering as Professional Officer.
Donald Petrie is best known and respected by orienteers around the world as the Assistant Coordinator for 8 Scottish 6 Day Events. During that period Donald has guided the Event Coordinator and the Central Coordinating team. In the 6 year period leading up to each event, Donald has single-handedly negotiated land access and undertaken the early work in establishing the event committee. During the 2 years immediately prior to each event, he has then encouraged and guided the committee, assisting with any delicate negotiations with land owners and local services. Donald has been the consistency behind the 6 Days event, ensuring its continual status as one of the top International events.
Within Scottish sport, Donald is respected for his work in many areas, most notably in recent years in Child Protection and Land Access. Donald’s work with Children First, Sportscotland, British Orienteering and club committees ensured that SOA’s Child Protection Policy and Accord were recognized as best in class. Donald also ensured that the SOA was at the forefront of establishing formal National Land Access agreements with the Forestry Commission, Defence Estates, SNH, SRPBA in addition to assisting many clubs with local Access issues. Access to many venues around Scotland has only come as a result of Donald’s efforts, for example, his work at Culbin ensured the success of the 2007 6 Days event and the British Orienteering Championships.
It was Donald’s foresight and drive that led to the establishing of the National Orienteering Centre at Glenmore. This has provided the SOA with a base at Glenmore for our Development Officer and a central store to serve the 6 Days and Scottish Clubs.
So there are many reasons that Scottish Orienteering should recognise Donald’s work. He has been an excellent servant to Scottish Orienteering, being a real teamworker, who has unselfishly supported all officials, volunteers and Directors he has worked with over the years. For Presidents and 6 Day Chairmen his extensive network and knowledge of our sport has provided a platform for making informed decisions.
I am sure that club and event officials, past Executives and Boards, and particularly past Presidents will fully support the awarding of the President’s medal to Donald Petrie.