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Winner - Sports Person of the Year

The winner of the 2020 Sports Person of the Year is… Fiona Bunn!

Fiona is a UCAPP athlete for Orienteering – a talented runner who has earned three Blues for Orienteering, Cross Country and Steeplechase, also achieving the best ever results for GB at the Junior World Orienteering Championships in 2019 with a gold and silver medal.

Congratulations to Fiona on winning the award amongst a shortlist of outstanding Sportswomen. More about those fantastic achievements in an original nomination below;

In the past year, Fiona has reset the standard for British Orienteering on the international stage.

The UK has always been a second-tier nation in global orienteering, and throughout Fiona’s junior career, it has simply been the case that ‘Team GB don’t get medals at Junior World Championships’. In July last year, she came home from Denmark with two. In her final chances to race internationally at junior level, she produced a stunning solo effort for silver in the Middle Distance discipline, followed by a decisive performance for the gold-winning relay team.

The calibre of these performances is hard to exaggerate – the women she beat all have genuine structural advantages, not least in the form of access to the sort of high-quality orienteering terrain that the East of England simply does not have. In a recent podcast, Fiona spoke candidly about her preparations prior to the Middle Distance race at JWOC. From months out, in addition to running enormous weekly mileages, strength and conditioning training, and poring over her own performance data from past races, she had been compiling Google street view data to build up her own hypothetical maps of the race areas. As one of the fastest runners in the sport, her strengths lay more in the Long and Sprint disciplines, but in both races late mistakes thwarted podium results that might have been. With just one day of respite in the intense pressure of an international competition, it was an incredible feat to turn around from those performances and win two medals to seal off her junior career.

Away from international competition, Fiona has also shone for the university. In a memorable Varsity showing she put almost 5 minutes into the rest of the field over a 50-minute race, and followed this up just weeks later with an impressive BUCS Gold against some of Britain’s finest competition. Also running for the university, she was first home on the first leg of the inaugural British Mixed Sprint Relay, in which CUOC placed fourth overall, and the second university team. A dominant domestic season followed, with first- and second-placed finishes at the UK’s largest orienteering race, the Jan Kjellstrom Festival, and yet another win at the British Long Distance Championships in May.

It’s easy to run out of superlatives to describe Fiona’s results in the past year, but I think to truly do it justice one has to understand what else she has done in the meantime. A top performer in her Natural Sciences Tripos and co-captain of both the Orienteering Club and Hare & Hounds, she’s hardly been short of work in the past year. And despite a recent injury setback denying what would surely have been top performances in the cross-country season, she has kept both the sense of humour and the determination that underlie her successes as an athlete and a captain. I can’t imagine anyone more fitting to be our Sportsperson of the Year.”

James A.


You can read more about Fiona on her Athlete Profile.



Don’t forget that voting is still open for the Sporting Moment of the Year Award. Watch the videos here and share your favourite on social media & tag us in your posts!


To view the shortlisted nominations, please click here