The Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Co Ltd and Scottish Orienteering Association on behalf of the WOC 2022 Steering Group have appointed Graham Gristwood as Technical Director for this prestigious event. Graham takes on the role with immediate effect.
Graham has made the decision to withdraw from the British Senior Squad to ensure a level of separation from squad activities.
Graham said "I am excited to be taking up the role of Technical Director for WOC 2022. I have a good knowledge of Sprint Orienteering and international competitions having competed at many World Championships and World Cups, planned and organised many competitions including Sprint Scotland, the Junior European Cup and several World Ranking Events, and produced many sprint orienteering maps which have been used for prestigious competitions such as the JK, the British Sprint Championships and the Junior European Cup..
I will be stepping down from the Great Britain Orienteering Squad and the Scottish Orienteering Association Board of Directors, and ceasing any coaching activity with elite orienteers in order to carry out this role in the best way possible, and to avoid any potential or perceived conflicts of interest. I intend to remain available for selection for international competitions in forest orienteering.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to everybody who has either been a part of the Great Britain Team over the last 17 years, or has been part of the support staff or just a supporter! I have had a fabulous and varied time, with trips all over the world for training and competition, and I have met some of my best friends through a shared love for the sport. There are literally too many people to name - but thanks to all the fantastic team-mates, coaches, doctors, physios, managers, psychologists, cooks, drivers, masseurs etc who have been a part of my journey.
I would encourage everybody to support the British team in any way you can over the coming years, especially during this period when funding is a huge challenge."
As a senior international and former World Champion Graham’s experience and presence will be missed from the squad.
Ed Nicholas, Senior Squad Manager, said: "Graham has been an integral member of the Senior Squad throughout his entire senior career and his input and knowledge has been a real help to fellow athletes and staff alike. It is, however, important to recognise the integrity of WOC 2022 and whilst this is a loss to the squad there is a mutual understanding that this is the correct way forward. We wish Graham all the very best in this role in what will be another exciting home World Championships."
However, Graham has reaffirmed that he intends to compete internationally in 2019 and beyond and remains available for selection for international competition.