Tag: Director

SOA Development Director – Mary Williams – talks about her role

In May 2023 Keith Dawson, the President of SOA, bemoaned the fact that the SOA might fall apart due to the lack of people volunteering for SOA Board roles. The SOA is the channel that funds the various tours, coaching, training courses and international competitions that has given me and my family many hours of enjoyment and it was a wakeup call that I it was time for me, as a retired person, to give something back to the sport. 

I have been orienteering since my student days at Bangor University, when I beat Carol MacNeil in the British University Championships.  I have since competed at a lower level for ESOC; run for my country a couple of times and have feedback about the top athletes through my daughter Claire Ward who represented the British Orienteering Team for a number of years. I haven’t been that active in the club’s organising and planning scene as I am not a very precise or neat person. I spent the last 20 years of my professional career as a Vocational Curriculum Development Manager at home and abroad.  This involved working with both the teachers, the ministries of education/training and the Industrial lead bodies to develop training systems and curriculum that matched the needs of all the interested parties.  I see the role of Development Director as a similar role, but working with orienteers, clubs, SOA and Sport Scotland as the main players – all of whom want to see the sport of orienteering grow and flourish as a fun sport for all.  At the SOA Board meeting on the 4thSeptember 2023, I was coopted onto the SOA board as Development Director. This post had been vacant for over 6 months!

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View from the Chair

Keith Dawson, SOA Chair

When I started orienteering 47 years ago I had no idea of the riches the sport would gift to me. I honestly cannot imagine my life without this wonderful sport of ours. I will be forever grateful to the two sixth form teachers who introduced me to the sport and then further encouraged me. The experiences of places visited, races and events completed, events planned and organised, forests mapped and athletes coached. A motivation to keep fit, the great people I have met, the sense of club community and of course the great fun, have all enriched my life beyond measure.

Having been a member of clubs in four different countries, and orienteered in over thirty, I know that wherever I travel in the world I can find a community of like minded people with whom I can share and enjoy the fun. How do you feel Orienteering has enriched your life? To introduce a newcomer to our sport and encourage them is a wonderful timeless gift to bestow.

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New Performance Director for SOA

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Fanni Gyurko (FVO) as performance director for the Scottish Orienteering Association. The board has unanimously agreed to co-opt Fanni until this year’s AGM when she will stand for election by the membership.

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