A member of the West Cumbria Orienteering Club (WCOC) has been recognised for his volunteering achievements in this year’s British Orienteering Awards which are held annually.
Roger Jackson received The SILVA award, which honours a person or people who have made a significant contribution to the development of orienteering over a number of years, with an emphasis on ‘field’ activities rather than committee work. Nominees cannot be active or retiring members of the British Orienteering Board, nor part-time or full-time employees of a member federation of the International Orienteering Foundation (IOF).
The SILVA award was created in 1983 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first compass produced by premium outdoor brand Silva (Sweden) AB, the annual honour being awarded within each IOF member federation.
The British Orienteering Awards stated that, in a close contest, Roger Jackson came out on top for his service spanning over 40 years, taking on roles across the club’s committee, map production, at events and also regionally with the NWOA (North West Orienteering Association). A spokeswoman for the club said: “When Roger decided to take a step back in 2019 his true impact was felt, with 14 different people stepping in to take on the work he previously did.”
British Orienteering highlighted some of Roger’s achievements over the years, which included pioneering the development of the weekly Thursday evening WCOC orienteering event series, 1987– 2019, which enabled up to 100 competitors to regularly take part. Until last year Roger was involved with this hugely time-consuming task each week by: printing maps for all the weekly events (he will be continuing with this role); looking after all the WCOC equipment, ensuring it was repaired and since 1998 that the SI computerised equipment was fully charged and re-programmed; downloading individual results after each event and uploading the race result for each event onto the WCOC website.
In 1993, Roger was instrumental in setting up the Cumbrian Galoppen series of 10/12 regional orienteering competitions between five Lake District clubs. Each competition had a planner designing 6/7 different levels of courses, and over the 27 years since its initiation some 70,000 competitors have taken part. He also used his technical expertise to set up the Lakes ‘o’ website which promoted the Galoppen series and other inter-Lake District events such as Cumbria Schools Competition.
Other areas in which Roger has made an impact include: extensive mapping; coaching all ages and abilities, leading to some individuals achieving international honours; supporting the Cumbrian School Orienteering Association for 35 years including securing funding for the West Cumbrian Schools League; and providing an excellent orienteering experience for all involved.
Roger said: “I hope I have been successful over the decades in being able to facilitate and help other club members to promote the sport and the club, keeping the ‘WCOC’ cogs turning.”
England Development Manager Peter Brooke said: “Across the country, there is a tremendous amount of hard work and effort done by clubs and volunteers to make orienteering happen and reading through Roger’s achievements, he certainly is a deserving winner of this award.”
“Volunteers are the life blood of sport and this is no different within orienteering. The dedication not only by Roger over 40 years but echoed by hundreds in clubs across the country will never be underestimated and on behalf of British Orienteering I’d like to thank everyone for their efforts.”
WCOC events remain suspended but information about the Club and the sport of orienteering can be found at the West Cumberland Orienteering Club (WCOC) website.