World class athlete takes time out for Moray school visit

Hector Haines provided some tips at Lossie High School on Monday.
Hector Haines provided some tips at Lossie High School on Monday.

ONE OF SCOTLAND’S leading athletes called in at a Moray school on Monday to provide a personal insight into his sport for a group of 21 senior students.

Pupils at Lossiemouth High School listened intently as Hector Haines, one of Team GB’s medal hopes in the World Orienteering Championship this summer, gave an insight into just what it takes to reach the pinnacle of any sport.

The students are all currently studying advanced physical education for a Scottish Higher qualification under the guidance of PE teacher Jemma Cowie. Hector took time out from his training schedule when he heard that the Moray school had recently completed a six-week block on orienteering.

Pupils sat through a slide-show presentation from Hector and Scottish Orienteering’s Regional Development Officer for Moray, Mike Rodgers. They then took part in a series of running drills based on orienteering – testing the time they took to complete these against that set by Hector himself.

“Events in schools such as this are massively important,” Hector told insideMoray, adding: “These young people could be the future of orienteering and trying to inspire them could lead, you never know, to the next world champion coming from this school.

“Even if that is not in orienteering but in another sport it is still important to try and inspire them.

“You are also still getting through to them about performance and improvement and how they can become the best they possibly can be at whatever it is they want to do. Hopefully they can take on information about how I approached sport and how they can perhaps use it in their lives and become successful themselves.”

Hector is aiming to emulate the success of his own father who competed at the world orienteering championships in the 1970’s. The 25-year-old achieved a career-best 12th place in the last world championships in Italy – and is aiming to do much better in the championships taking place in Moray and the Highlands in August.

He said: “I certainly hope to show further improvement in the world championships this year – that is what I’ve been working towards for the five years since Scotland put in the bid to host this world championships.”