Derek Allison's Story
Derek's Fellowship led to opportunities to work with some of the most inspirational athletes in orienteering.
Derek was a Sports Development Officer with Scottish Orienteering when he was awarded a Fellowship to explore best practice in orienteering training. He travelled to Sweden and Norway, who were ahead of every other nation in terms of developing world-class orienteers at the time. Derek met with a number of elite coaches, as well as attending training camps and competitions, and speaking to athletes, coaches and support staff.
Derek’s experience in Scandinavia impacted on his coaching philosophy, and was a factor in his recruitment by British Orienteering in 1992. As Director of Coaching he had responsibility for the development of athletes and the entire performance pathway, from grassroots to World Championship level. Over the next 25 years he was able to work with many great inspirational British athletes at training camps and competitions throughout the world.
Derek created an environment in which Britain won medals at the World Championships and World Cup races, the highlight being the men’s relay gold medal at the 2008 World Championships in the Czech Republic. At the UK 2004 Coaching Awards he was inducted into the Coaching Hall of Fame by HRH The Princess Royal.
“Remaining friends with athletes I have worked with over the last 30 years is probably the true legacy of the opportunity that my Winston Churchill Fellowship gave me,” he says.