THE MORAY COMMUNITY was being highly praised by the international federation behind the World Orienteering Championships.
As the championships drew to a close the organisation and engagement of people at Forres and Darnaway was the subject of particular praise from Brian Porteous, the President of the International Orienteering Federation.
Last week thousands turned out in the centre of Forres and in the Darnaway Forest with many having had little prior knowledge of Orienteering – but having left with a far greater knowledge of the sport and a determination in many cases to take part.
Business owners particularly welcomed the arrival of athletes from around the world as well as thousands of club runners and enthusiasts taking part in the corresponding Scottish 6 Days event, run largely over the same courses as the elite athletes had performed.
Shops in Forres and Nairn were decked out – helping to provide the perfect backdrop to a championships that for the first time ever were broadcast live on UK television, taking the sport to a far wider audience and showcasing Moray and the Highlands as a first-class tourism and sporting destination.
It was, however, the people of Moray who drew particular praise from Mr Porteous, who has now written to the Convener of Moray Council, Allan Wright, expressing his delight at the manner in which the athletes were welcomed.
Mr Porteous said: “The level of community engagement was the very best I have ever seen at a World Orienteering Championship, so I would like to thank everyone for that – it was a great championships.
“I have written to Councillor Wright to say thanks to the Council and to all the people of Moray.”