This week saw Swansea Bay members pay their last respects to one of the founding fathers of Orienteering in Wales. At the funeral of Peter Seward, a large group of old and current members joined with Peters family and friends to celebrate his life. One that was full and active and fun. He was instrumental in so much that we take for granted in the sport now and was a keen follower of the clubs fortunes even into his 90's.

Orienteering started in Swansea in the early 1970's and Peter was involved from its early days. In the early 70s he was one of founding members of SBOC and shortly thereafter produced the map for the Club’s very first event. Over the next 35 years he produced more than 90 maps of the highest quality for SBOC and WOA , being awarded the Chichester Cup for Excellence in Mapping in 1974 and 1991. And don’t forget that in those early days – before computers, OCAD, Lidar and the like had been invented – mapping was very much a manual exercise from surveying the area on the ground right through to drawing the maps, with a separate map for each colour. His outstanding contribution to the development of the Club was recognised by Honorary Life Membership. His contributions were not just confined to his club, as he was on the Welsh Orienteering Association Committee for some 35 years and at one time or another occupied most of posts which was recognised by the award of Honorary Life Membership.

Since 1977, the Scottish Orienteering Association has organised a bi-annual multi-day orienteering festival in the summer in various parts of Scotland. In the late 80s Peter came up with the idea that WOA should do the same and after lots of negotiations it was agreed that every 4 years there should be alternating festivals one in Wales and other in the Lake District. In 1988 a private limited company, CROESO Festival of Orienteering Limited, was established, with Peter as one of the founding directors, and organised the first CROESO 6 Day festival at various locations in South Wales – and has done so ever since (apart from 2020 which had to be cancelled because of the covid pandemic

By the late 80s, there were two annual competitions between teams from the four home nations – one for juniors and the other for seniors. Peter thought that there should also be one for veterans and he lobbied the then powers that be for its introduction, the outcome of which was the first ever VHI competition which was organised by SBOC in 1990 at Pembrey, no doubt on maps that he had produced, and is now a firm date in the calendar.

In 1992 he was nominated for an award by the Torch Trophy Trust which was established in 1962, to provide provided recognition and support to volunteers in sport across the UK. The Trust’s Founder, Commander Bill Collins, believed the Olympic ideal, symbolised by the Olympic torch, could inspire men and women working quietly in their own small corners of the world of sport. He was presented with his Trophy in London, by the Duke of Kent reflecting his major contribution as a volunteer to the sport.

As well as being a superb administrator, organiser, coach, planner and mapper with a lovely sense of humour, Peter was a very competent orienteer and achieved many successes at the highest level. His unerring accuracy in a competition never ceased to amaze.

Peter Sewards Life.
Peter Sewards Maps..

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