There was a surprise in store for a Moray schoolboy recently when he turned up at assembly at the Applegrove Primary School.
Nine-year-old pupil David Spencer met a familiar face in unfamiliar surrounds when the chairman of his local Orienteering club, Moravian Orienteers, turned up at an achievements assembly in the school.
Donald Grassie was there to present David with the Northern Lights trophy, won by the young Orienteer at Forvie Sands near Aberdeen last month.
The trophy is awarded annually to the best Under-11 Scottish boy in the annual competition, with David the latest of a long and illustrious line of previous winners.
The biggest name of all was the 1995 and 1996 winner, Murray Strain, who is one of Team GB’s hopefuls for the World Sprint Orienteering Championships that will be staged in Forres next August.
David has been competing all year with Forres Harriers and Moravian Orienteering Club, recently finishing fourth in the North District Cross Country League race in Keith.
All season long he’s been battling to try and improve on his consistent fourth places in the Scottish Orienteering League races, but has always been beaten by the same trio of talented juniors. But it all came good for David when he had the race of his life at Forvie, comprehensively beating all of them when it mattered most to ensure it was his name that went on to the roll of honour.
He now joins some of Scotland’s top names in the sport for whom this was one of their first trophies too.
David is now hoping to add another trophy to his collection on Saturday, December 13 at Roseisle in the deciding race for the Moravian Saturday League. The young athlete currently sits joint top of the junior boys’ section with Elgin’s Lewis McWilliam.
Both youngsters will no doubt be giving it everything in a bid to finish the year as the adventure-running top dog.