We are pleased to announce the athletes who have been selected to receive the Athlete Awards for 2019. The group of 10 athletes have all performed at a high level over the past two seasons and are recognised as Great Britain’s biggest medal hopes over the next 2 years.
These Athlete Awards represent British Orienteering's commitment to invest in winning medals at the highest level. The awards recognise athletes who have shown the potential and commitment to be medal contenders in the next two years.
Selection for awards is based on criteria laid out below and the expert opinion of the Selection Panel. To be eligible for the awards athletes must be a member of the senior squad and committed to delivering their best performances at the World Orienteering Championships in 2019 and/or 2020.
As the format of World Championships has changed a small change has been made in the awarding structure. The awards are made across the two disciplines, athletes in Forest disciplines receive the award for 2019, whereas athletes in Sprint disciplines have been offered the award for 2019 and 2020 in recognition of the two-year cycle. Awards will continue to be offered on a two-year cycle in conjunction with the World Championship disciplined. The awards are made in two categories across the two disciplines:
Athletes who have achieved a top 6 individual position at World Orienteering Championship or World Cup in the past 2 years. The panel believes these athletes represent the best opportunity for an individual British medal success in the next 2 years.
Athletes who have achieved a top 4 relay position at World Orienteering Championship or World Cup in the past 2 years. The selection panel believes these athletes are likely to be serious contenders for relay medal success in the next 2 years.
Cat Taylor has been identified for their potential to medal in forest and spring races including mixed sprint relay, whilst Kris Jones has been selected for his potential as a sprint athlete in both the individual and mixed sprint relay.
"Thanks to British Orienteering for the support this year! It's going to be vital to spend time training and competing in Norway over the next few months ahead of the World Championships. I'm very happy to have the support to make this happen." Cat Taylor
Chris Smithard, Charlotte Ward, Alice Leake and Megan Carter-Davies have been identified as key components of potentially successful mixed sprint relay teams. Peter Hodkinson and Ralph Street add to this focus on the mixed sprint relay whilst also being recognised for their role in successful men's forest relay teams alongside Graham Gristwood and Hector Haines.
"For someone who is very meticulous in my training and preparation for major competitions, this award is really going to help with my expenses as I prepare for the major relay races of the year. I am really happy to receive it and am really grateful for the continuing support from British Orienteering." Hector Haines
The awards are made for the year 1st January to 31st December 2019 allowing athletes to use the awards to support their training, preparation and competition throughout the year. The awards are held by British Orienteering and paid against expenses against a performance plan identified by the athletes.
Head of Development, Craig Anthony, said: "I'm really pleased to announce the 2019 athlete awards. This demonstrates our support for those athletes with medal winning potential, enabling them to use the resources to help them prepare for World Championships."