|Introducing the new SCOTIA programme
S C O T I A
The SCOTtish Island
Award - the name Scotia goes back to the 11th century
(a bit before radio hams!) and was given by our ancestors (the Irish!) to the
south-western part of what is now Scotland, where they settled. We are all more familiar
of course with Nova Scotia and perhaps the Scotia Sea and Scotia Ridge in Antarctica.
However, this is a relatively new amateur radio award for Scottish island hunters and activators.
Within the context of the award, we have used the term "hunter" to include Short
Wave Listeners or SWLs as well as those seeking to make 2-way amateur radio contacts or
Back in 2002, André, GM3VLB, (many old-timers will know him better as 5Z4KL) somewhat
reluctantly gave in to pressure from various sources and agreed to be the
"front-man". Not only had he, at the time, activated 158 separate islands, but as the
former Awards Manager of a national radio society, the holder of some of the earliest IOTA
awards dating back to the late 60s/early 70s, the first recipient of the top Islands of
Scotland Award, "Eilean Mhor" activator award, more recently, the winner
of the coveted Russian Robinson Cup as the top island activator in the world during the
Millennium year, André was surely well-qualified to oversee such an award programme.
Some may say there are already too many such awards. True, there ARE many island award
programmes. However, the cost of the certificates and/or trophies (and some programmes
have a never-ending number of these) is sometimes prohibitive, not only for younger
members of the hobby, but also in many countries where the per-capita income expressed in
$U.S. or IRCs is a fraction of what others may enjoy elsewhere. Many individual amateurs
are to be congratulated for bearing the cost of many directories, certificates, trophies
and other awards on behalf of our less fortunate fellow amateurs. To reduce cost further,
it was decided to have no "Directory" - all information is on this web-site, and can
be downloaded free of charge as required.
We will not lay claim to this being a "challenging" award programme - one
would have to define exactly what "challenging" means - we will state though
that it is our aim to make the certificate more accessible to a greater number of Scottish
island hunters (especially out-with Europe). This will be achieved by creating a fairer
"handicap" points scoring system, as well as by creating a "bonus points
system". There are TWO distinct award certificates,
one for Hunters/SWLs, and one for Activators, each with upgrade stickers (as for DXCC).
All QSOs or Short Wave Listener reports or island activations after the 1st of
January 1996 may be submitted for award points. These may then be subject to
further scrutiny at the discretion of the Awards Committee. QSL cards are required
but should not be submitted at any point - see the relevant application forms for
details of the independent certification process.
Whilst recognising the need to keep any such programme 'alive', when many participants
may have almost "worked them all", we do not feel the way to achieve this is by
"adding more islands" which are then knocked off in rapid succession, in a very
short time by what we would call "minimalist" operations, i.e. short, mid-week
operations to give Honor Roll-type points to the favoured few at the top (many probably
retired, and using high-power stations). We feel it is better to encourage entry at the
bottom, i.e. youngsters or newcomers who can "see the target" and feel that they
too can achieve a top award in a reasonable time, and not be forever left behind by the
repeated addition of 'new islands'. There will be no annual "Honor Roll" type of
listing, nor 'cut-off' dates for updated submissions of points. If (and when) we are able
to provide details of a more challenging award (for those who have attained the SCOTIA
"Tartan 100 Certificate"), we will publish this on the web-site. In the meantime
we will continue to show lists of all successful applicants (see the links at the end of this
(One possibility that was considered was to combine the 'number of islands' with the
'number of points', for example 32 islands with a points total of 127 would give a 'score'
of 159. However, the idea that was finally adopted was to assign each island an 'achievability'
score (low for easy, high for those less likely to be worked) and to calculate
individual's scores on that basis).
We have enough rules and regulations in our daily lives without introducing any more
through our hobby. We recognise of course that a certain minimum number of conditions must
be satisfied to meet the requirements of the award. We hope all participants will strive
to uphold the credibility and integrity of the award. QSOs/SWL reports for any activity known to
have taken place without any required authorisation will NOT be recognised. It is easier
to cheat, to try to circumvent conditions etc, but those who do, are only cheating
themselves and sooner or later, if found out, will be publicly exposed.
Hunter Awards Issued
SCOTIA Activator and SWL Awards Issued