Over 100 navigate the dark and bring light to memory of brave Matthew

Moravian junior Ben Coutts checks at Forres Golf Club. (Chris Spencer, ActivNorth)

Golfers rarely have trouble navigating the course but a unique event this week proved a major challenge when they joined Orienteers on the links – and were left in the dark.

In a unique event organised by Forres Golf Club’s resident professional Sandy Aird and Scottish Orienteering’s development officer in Moray, Mike Rodgers, the two sports came together with sights set firmly on raising funds for a leading children’s cancer charity.

The challenge was to navigate the Forres course at night – and the elements came into play to confuse even further with clouds further masking any possible aid they might have garnered by the light of the moon.

Moravian Orienteering Club provided a small army of helpers on the night this week that the Golf Club hosted one of the few night orienteering events ever to have taken place in Moray. The undulating golf course is a perfect venue for orienteering in daylight – but became a completely different challenge in the dark of the night.

Guided only by compass and torch, competitors had to find their way around 22 check points on the Moray course – and even aided by reflectors provided by Stewart’s Cycles in Forres the paths taken by some competitors were described as “interesting”!

The event was held in memory of former Elgin Academy pupil Matthew Campbell, who lost a long battle against cancer a year ago. A sports fanatic, Matthew refused to ever allow his illness stop him from following his ambitions and he was a massive inspiration to all who came into contact with him.

Cancer charity CLIC Sargent had provided invaluable support to Matthew and his family with a strong bond still remaining.

Peter Logie, CLIC Sargent’s Area Fundraising Manager in the north of Scotland, attended the event on Tuesday evening. He said: “I think this is a wonderful way to remember Matthew, whom I was privileged to know.

“He was a very talented young man and a pleasure to talk with. CLIC Sargent is very appreciative of benefiting from a sport which was close to his heart.

“His family have been great supporters of the Charity and I’m sure this event will be a lot of fun and very popular.”

The 100 competitors raised well over £500 with the final total yet to be established, the course having been navigated by people aged from four years old to 70 – including some members of the Scottish Elite Orienteering development squad who travelled to Moray for the event.

Donations are still being accepted and anyone who would like to add a donation to the charity can go on line at http://www.clicsargent.org.uk/content/donate where they can add a note that their donation is in memory of Matthew.

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