Calm heads required to help Moray organise World Championships

Volunteers at work in Moray two years ago - this time it is the World Championships
Volunteers at work in Moray two years ago – this time it is the World Championships

LOCAL PEOPLE ARE being urged to step forward and help out at what is promising to be one of the biggest sporting weeks Moray and the Highlands has ever experienced.

A large army of volunteers has already been lined up for the televised sprint events in the World Orienteering Championships in Forres and Nairn – however, there remains a few last-minute places available for local residents.

Local community groups and clubs such as the Forres Harriers will be assisting at control stations around Nairn and Forres when the towns will be awash with colour – thanks to local businesses in both getting firmly behind plans to decorate their own premises.

Thousands of spectators are also expected alongside the 5300 entrants for the ‘spectator races’ running alongside the World Championship events – and with half of those coming from outside the UK a cosmopolitan atmosphere is guaranteed.

“We have identified a few more opportunities to help marshal the sprint races and are delighted to be able to get a few more locals involved,” WOC2015 volunteer co-ordinator Linda Cairns said.

She added: “The job we are asking people to do is as vital as it’s straightforward. In urban racing, the athletes are racing round the streets at top speed and carry electronic tags called Sportident Air.

“They flash their tags at electronic control stations at various points around the race route to record the fact that they have been to everyone. There will be TV cameras all over the place, adding to the excitement.

“These races are incredibly intense with a likely winning time of around 13 minutes. Timing has to be down to tenths of seconds – the margin for error at the sharp end is almost non-existent so it’s crucial that nothing impedes runners are they fly past the stations.

“The job of the control marshals is to ensure that nobody tampers with the control and make certain that clear access for runners is maintained throughout.”
Volunteers who can offer to assist between any of the following times are particularly sought:

  • Forres – Friday, 31 July 2pm and 8pm (Sprint Qualifying Heats)
  • Nairn – Saturday 1 August 2pm and 7.30pm (Sprint Relay) and Sunday 2 August 1pm and 7.30pm (Sprint Final)

There will be a short training session at Forres House Community Centre on Tuesday, July 28 between 6pm and 9pm. This will be a drop in session with two slots starting at 6pm and 7.30pm.

New volunteers are encouraged to report to this session if at all possible, and ideally register on-line in advance at to allow uniforms and accreditation to be prepared. It will offer the chance to meet other volunteers and some of the event management team.

Alternatively, report to the Event HQ in Eden Court in Inverness, on Thursday 30th between 10am and 9pm or, as a last resort, in Forres, Pilmuir School, Friday between 12noon and 2pm although it is likely that all roles will be filled by then.