A WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP finals hosted in Moray has ignited massive interest in the sport of Orienteering – and raised hopes of future world-class competitors from the region.
Live television coverage of the world orienteering championships this summer brought a new understanding of an exciting sport that had already grown a solid following – in particular in Moray’s schools.
Now for the first time ever all Associated Schools Group’s in Moray are to have their own orienteering festival organised by Active Schools Moray, alongside technical support from Moravian Orienteering Club and the sports’ regional development officer, Mike Rodgers.
Moray was already well placed to take advantage of interest in the sport, with Mr Rodgers having led the ‘WOC2015 and Beyond’ project for the last two years which has seen a steady growth in orienteering at schools – helped by sponsorship of £17,000 allowing the purchase of hi-tech orienteering event equipment.
This year all school groups will be taking part in Festivals where they can test their newly gained skills against pupils from other schools. The ASG festivals are mass-participation events aimed at giving P6-7 pupils the chance to experience a competitive event similar to mainstream club competition.
Every school taking part in the ASG festivals are invited to select a team of four boys and four girls to represent them at the area’s flagship tournament at Gordonstoun on Thursday, October 8.
Mike Rodgers said: “This is the culmination of the schools competition programme. There will be races for both primary and secondary schools, and all pupils who wish to further develop their orienteering skills will have the chance to take part in monthly Schools League events staged as part of Moravian’s regular Saturday series.
“The next events in this series are Culbin Forest on Saturday, September 19 and at Brodie Castle on Saturday, October 3.”
From now until the culmination of season at Gordonstoun, ASG Festivals will be held at Elgin Academy, Milne’s High School, Lossiemouth High School, Mortlach Primary School and Grant Park in Forres.
Those taking part in the Grant Park event will be going over part of the same course and using the same controls that were used in the World Orienteering Championships’ sprint final.