Moray charity effort is determined not to get lost in the dark

Young people from Elgin Youth Café’s Delta Force team are urging adventure-seeking Moray folk to “Fight with the Night”.

The team are working with orienteering’s Regional Development Officer Mike Rodgers to stage a re-run of an extremely successful orienteering competition that was held recently in association with Lhanbryde Primary School.

The only difference is that this time it’s in the dark!

The “fight” is all about overcoming the navigation challenge set by the course designers, and trying to and get a “clear round” in the fastest time possible.

The event, which aims to raise money for a local charity, is open to adults, juniors and families – with the only essential bits of kit being a powerful light or head torch, a sense of humour, and perhaps a compass for those who know how to use one.

The organising team are setting out two courses over 2km and 4km, where participants have to start by navigating their way round several checkpoints in the local housing estate before leaving the street lights behind and plunging in to the Crooked Wood.

“This is a really exciting project for us” youth leader Donna Breen said, adding: “The aim is to give our youngsters a real sense of purpose by raising money for charity while learning event-organising and people-facing skills.

“All the orienteering planning’s been done by the local orienteering club, but we have to learn how to use their event-management computer network and software while ensuring that the event is run in a safe but challenging way.

“It’s coming at a perfect time, two weeks before our Inspiration Week when Moray’s junior orienteering superstars Andrew and Kathryn Barr will be amongst the presenters. They’ll be telling us about their journey through the British junior elite training system that has resulted in the brother and sister pair representing Britain in major competitions all over the world.

“It’s sure to help crank up the excitement about summer’s World Orienteering Championships that are being staged locally!”

Mike Rodgers added: “It’s a totally different ball game in the dark. You can only navigate by what you can see in the beam of your torch, meaning that obvious features off to either side that might help you find your way in the day time will be virtually invisible!

“In order to do well at night orienteering you must keep tabs on exactly where you are all the time.”

The event takes place on Friday, March 6 with registration opening at 6.30 pm.

Challengers can set out on their course as soon as it’s dark enough which is expected to be just before 7pm. Entry is by donation to a very worthy local charity that will be revealed on the night.

There is no fixed start time so you can arrive as late as 7.30, but everyone must start their course by 7.45 and make sure they report back to registration by 9pm.

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