Why the Rickard Shield?
The Rickard Shield is an annual competition created as a
memorial to Mark Rickard.
Mark was a life long scout from Backwell that died from a brain
tumour at the age of 40 in May 2003. Mark started his scouting with
the 1st Backwell and loved hill walking and climbing. He became a
popular member of the Yeolands Venture Scout Unit in Wraxall.
Mark studied Geology at Reading University and went on to become a
geologist working on oil rigs around the world. Mark missed his
involvement in scouting and was soon back in the area, living in
Nailsea and training for a new vocation as a chartered surveyor
with the Valuation Office Agency. Mark's studies and latterly
deteriorating health prevented him from taking a regular role in
scouting but for many years Mark was involved as a Ten Tors trainer
for Gordano District. You could say Mark was addicted to the
outdoor life and, at one stage, held qualifications as a
hill-walking, climbing, abseiling and caving instructor!
Mark loved working with the 'Ten Tors' age group (Explorer age)
and it seems a fitting tribute to him to have a competition in his
name for those people in Avon. He also loved the Mendip Hills so
this was the natural venue for our very first competition back in
Mark was a scout through and through - trustworthy, loyal,
friendly, considerate and with a great sense of humour. More than
anything else Mark was a great friend to his fellow scouts and to
his work colleagues, many of whom work on the Rickard Shield
Competition to keep his memory alive and to inspire a new
generation of scouts.