Many congratulations to Charles who has been selected as the British Army Sports Man of the Year for 2019. Charles has made major contributions to our sport over many years and his work on behalf of Army sports is truly inspiring, if not exhausting. Charles (CBG to many of us) has been a great supporter of Sarum, his second club, frequently turning out to run for us in addition to contributing his planning, organising and controlling skills. Charles’ citation is shown below; an inspiration to us all.
Lt Col Charles Bromley Gardner -Sports Man of the Year 2019
Lt Col Charles Bromley Gardner is due to complete over 41 years of Regular and Reserve service in February 2020. He is currently: Chief Nordic Ex SPARTAN HIKE Ski Championships with responsibilities for policy &assurance and a biathlon coach; an Army Rugby Referee & Reserve Secretary; an Athletics Track official and the Army’s only Athletics starter.
Charles is though first and foremost an orienteer and was the Army Orienteering Team Manager from 1993 – 2002, winning the Inter Service Team Championships throughout and leading a representative team to compete in the annual Swedish Military Championships. Only an overseas posting forced him to hand over these responsibilities, whilst continuing to remain a member of the Army Team until 2016/17.
He has represented the Army orienteering for an unmatched 25 times, even when aged 56, being Inter Service (1995), Army Individual (1994, 1998, 2000 & 2002) and Army Night (6 times 1991-2008) Champion. He has represented England in Veteran Home Internationals and Great Britain in Trail Orienteering, in which he was placed 10th in the 2017 World Championships, was pivotal to winning 3rd place in the 2018 European Relay Championships and won Bronze at the 2019 World Relay Championships at Monsanto, Portugal.
Charles has also been instrumental in Nordic Skiing, notably since 1999 as Chief Nordic, and is still in post, having missed only one season (2007) due to an operational tour. Ex SPARTAN HIKE has been at the forefront of Army competition developments, being the first Championships to use electronic chip timing technology back in 2002.
Since joining the Army Reserve his support to Army sport has increased considerably and is one of the Army’s most prolific rugby referees; the Army Reserve Rugby Secretary, organising an annual Reserve Festival and supporting other Reserve Rugby events and is the Membership Secretary for the Army Rugby Union Referee Society. He is the UK Athletics Regional Official and now picked up the Starter’s Pistols to fill another gap in Army Athletics.
In civilian sport he is a British Orienteering Controller, has planned two British Elite Orienteering Championships (2009 & 2015), co-organised day one of the World Orienteering Championships in Scotland (2015), and organised and planned the first Trail Orienteering European Cup event in Great Britain (2019). In 2017 & 2018 he was the British Trail Orienteering Team Manager. He is a Trail Orienteering International Event Adviser and Secretary of the British Army Orienteering Club.
The Army Orienteering Association is immensely proud of Charles’ huge contribution to Army orienteering, his selfless dedication to excellence and insurmountable willingness to assist novices in any sport. Charles is modest in his achievements, but widely recognised as a highly competitive athlete, a world class organiser and an ambassador for Army sport.
He is the Army’s Sportsman of the Year 2019.