2017 Club Awards

Thanks to the Graham family and Brian's old employer CH2M for sponsoring these 4 awards in Brian's memory, and also to Lorna Guttormson, Linda Connell, Francis Kawam, Jennie Anderson and Marketa Graham for performing the near-impossible task of selecting winners from so many qualified candidates. I participated in the discussions on the periphery, and witnessed the challenge in narrowing down the candidates to a single person (in most cases)... it was clearly so difficult because of how rich our club is, which is really the best kind of difficulty to have.                          Stephen Powell

Colin Kirk Award - Aspiring Junior of the Year presented by Jennie Anderson

Evan Raz (at COC2017 Sprint)

I’m happy to present the Colin Kirk Award which recognizes Colin’s connection to Junior Development in our club. Colin Kirk was one of Canada's orienteering pioneers. As Executive Director for over 20 years, most of them in a volunteer role, he was instrumental in the growth of the sport across the country in the 70's and 80's. Of the many aspects of orienteering that benefited from Colin’s involvement, one that stands out was his support and encouragement of junior athletes. This award honours a young Orienteering Ottawa athlete who :

  •  is 18 or under
  •  will have made considerable improvements in his or her performance and achievements
  •  has been a positive role model for other juniors
  •  has contributed to the improvement of other junior athletes.

This young (yet clever beyond his years) athlete and club-mate of ours has shown great athletic achievement this past year. Here is a selection from his list of well-earned podiums and achievements:

  • He placed 1st at the Eastern Canadian Long event where he ran up a category
  • He was 3rd in the Sprint and 1st in the Middle at the COC’s, again up an age category
  • He ran the COC relay anchor leg and placed 4th with his younger brother and club-mate Eric Kemp.
  • He ran 2 of the 4 laps at the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon relay with his Dad and brother
  • He ran the Midnight Moose 25km trail race.
  • He achieved an 18:49 5km personal best

On top of his athletic achievements this year, he dedicated much time to our club.
He helped plan and deliver Outreach program sessions at his school in Fitzroy and he was Meet director for our June 20th summer solstice event.

I’d also like to give Special mention to the parents and younger brother of this athlete. What other family would race the Canada Army Run 15km Vimy Challenge, hop in the car and race alongside us at a local Sunday event.

We are happy to announce that the Colin Kirk Aspiring Junior of the Year is Evan Raz.

Pat de St. Croix Award - Volunteer of the Year presented by Stephen Powell

Pat de St. Croix was an outstanding contributor to the development of the sport of orienteering in Canada. She was a fixture in the orienteering community from the very earliest days of Orienteering in Canada - the early 70s. She worked tirelessly for our sport at the club (Niagara and Ottawa) and at the national level as COF President in the 1980's. She was a volunteer who stood out among volunteers. The Pat de St. Croix Memorial Award recognizes Pat’s volunteerism by honouring an Orienteering Ottawa member who has, over the past year:

  •  Contributed a significant amount of time to volunteer in local orienteering events in any capacity.
  •  Made a significant impact to the Ottawa Orienteering Club or raised the profile of orienteering in the community, in other organizations or schools.
  •  Shown a commitment to personal development, teamwork and supporting the development of others.
  •  Demonstrated leadership in the club

Orienteering Ottawa is entirely based on and run by volunteers. There are so many people in the club who contribute so much, and, maybe unfairly, we aren't able to recognize all of you with an award, but I hope you recognize that everyone is thankful for all that you do -- the club is what it is because of you.

Now on to the winner...
I probably could start by just saying the name and I would then see heads in the crowd start to nod in agreement, but let me start instead by listing all that this person has contributed this year:

  • She has often been a club ambassador, controller and has helped out at registration for a number of our B-meets, as well as volunteering at COCs 150
  • She has been a very active member of the Training Committee, not only in attending meetings but also in volunteering her time as a coach every single night of the kids training programs (both spring AND fall)
  • And the biggie -- She has handled the huge responsibility of finding, coordinating and scheduling meet directors, controllers, registrars, ambassadors and the NCC in over 25 events per year as our Local Meets Director -- without her efforts we wouldn't get the thing we love most -- our B-meets!
  • She has also been a super member of the club’s Board of Directors, and I’m sad to see her step down this year after so many years of service

I am very happy to present the Pat de St Croix, Volunteer of the Year award to Anita Brattland!

Pierre Brassard Award - Orienteering Spirit presented by Linda Connell

Pierre, a former club president, was always smiling, always full of life, always out to beat the orienteering course. He particularly loved the longer events, but he enjoyed every orienteering format. Pierre was welcoming, he was friendly, he was encouraging, he challenged himself, and he had fun. The Pierre Brassard Memorial Award recognizes Pierre’s spirit and is awarded to an Orienteering Ottawa member who has :

  • Shown the true sprit of orienteering
  • Sets him or herself high personal challenges
  • Shown a welcoming spirit to newcomers in the sport
  • Encouraged members to increase their participation, either competitively or by helping with the organizing of events.

Spirit? … who is the first one you see at most events and definitely the last one encouraging you when you come trailing in covered in burrs and mud?

Who is by his side, an ambassador for our club, representing us at the national and international level with a love and vision of the sport that resulted in OOC hosting the Canadians?

Family Day, B meets, elite events …. They are a driving force to all. …. And can even supply you with the latest in technology and equipment.

The house is orienteering central from the basement where remote controls, display units, computer programming take place to the front door which is always open to mentor meet directors and orienteers.

Need I say more? …. You can’t separate them. It is my honour to present the Pierre Brassard Spirit Award jointly to Anne and Eric Teutsch.

Brian Graham Award  - Orienteer of the Year  presented by Marketa Graham

Brian Graham was an elite orienteer for many years representing Canada at international competitions in Europe and North America. He was involved in Orienteering Ottawa as an athlete, meet official, mapper, coach, and a mentor. Brian held several Canadian and North American Orienteering Championships medals and he competed in M21 categories well beyond his age, running the elite categories for as long as he was able. In the 90’s he competed in many World Orienteering Championships, with his best finish being 36th in 1993 Champs in West Point, USA.

He also was an exceptional course setter officiating many club events and setting courses for numerous B-meet, A-meets, and championships, as well as being involved in coaching clinics. Those who worked with Brian on course setting may have known that he particularly loved incorporating at least one long leg that would offer many route choices.

Brian was known as true sportsman, a role model and an inspiration.

The recipient of this award will have:

  • Been an orienteering role model and inspired others.
  • Exceptional orienteering performance and/or skills either over the course of the year or in a specific event.
  • Exhibited special qualities that set them apart from others, i.e. dedication and perseverance
  • Shown true sportsmanship
  • Helped mentor others to success
  • Inspired other athletes to reach their goals

Emily Kemp: 2017 Brian Graham Award –Orienteer of the Year Recipient

Following her ground breaking results last year, Emily proved to the world that she remains a force to be reckoned with. Working her way up through the ranks, Emily finished the World Championships Middle in 5th place! She crushed the Canadian Championships with a clean sweep of all races. Finishing 2nd place overall in the Finnish Premier League she continues to set North American records now ranking 7th in the World! Joining forces with Damian Konotopetz and her older brother Eric, "possibly the highlight" of her year, Emily anchored the men's Relay team to finish 19th, the Canadian record in the World's 3-Man Relay.

Since leaving her home town, Emily has quickly become known as the International Orienteering Communities official "Darling". Along side her high profile results Emily has become an ambassador of sportsmanship and perseverance, inspiring others around the World with her story and dedication. In Ottawa we know her kind yet fierce competitive spirit well and have chosen to recognize Emily with this year’s Brian Graham Award - Orienteer of the Year.

Congratulations, Emily!