The Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award

Support the Award   ♦   Apply   ♦   Award Recipients

Iain “Dawg” Wilson was an accomplished orienteer who represented the USA in the World Cup in Norway and Denmark, in the Swiss Alps for the World Student Champs, and in the Scottish 6 Days. In 2000 he was the United States night orienteering champion.

He stood for determination, drive, and the willingness to put in hard work…to go the extra mile. Not once in a while, but every day. He understood that where you start doesn’t have to define where you finish. Whether it was mastering orienteering, running a certain time on the track, becoming fluent in a new language, or developing the perfect bread recipe, once Iain put his mind to something, he would always find a way to meet his goal. While Iain’s life was tragically cut short in 2008, his legacy lives on through his family and friends. By creating this award, we strive to support young athletes in Iain’s sport of choice. Through this endeavor we hope we can help them develop their own character and sense of purpose.

The Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award is presented annually to individuals who have displayed outstanding character in orienteering. The award is intended to assist with the cost of education, training, and travel to local, regional and international orienteering events. Awardees will be selected for their commitment to growth and improvement rather than recent performances or rankings. The awardees might not be the fastest or the best with a map. They will show competitive spirit, friendship, and qualities that leave others feeling good about the world. It is the indefinable support that some individuals provide that the committee hopes to encourage. Awardees will be role models and mentors for future generations of orienteers. They will remind us of who Iain was and for what he stood.

Please click here to read about Iain and the award in the November/December 2013 issue of Orienteering North America.

Read about the winners.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2018 IWA will be accepted beginning in October, with a deadline of January 15, 2018. They should be e-mailed to iainwilsonawards@comcast.net or mailed to:

Iain Wilson Award
c/o Marc Balcer
321 Trillium Lane
Wayne, PA 19087

When submitting by e-mail, please also send a signed copy of the e-mailed application to the address above.

Orienteers age 20 and under who are interested in the Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award (IWA) should download and complete one of the application forms below (2017 versions linked):

MS WORD FORM (preferred)    ♦   MS WORD


How to Support the Award


Iain with his wife Silvia Gratz
The Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award is part of the Iain Wilson Award program. Initial funding for the award was generously provided by Iain’s friends and family, but in order to sustain it many years into the future, your financial support would be greatly appreciated. Contributions may be made in the form of a check payable to United States Orienteering Federation and mailed to:

Iain Wilson Award
c/o Marc Balcer
321 Trillium Lane
Wayne, PA 19087

Please contact Marc at marc.balcer@gmail.com for additional details. Contributions may be tax-deductible and are administered by Orienteering USA.


Award Recipients


Also part of the Wilson Award Program:

Wilson Community Growth Grant - for programming aimed at expanding youth access to orienteering

last updated 23 March 2017

Ian Wilson Award