Recent News and Information

The Moray Schools Orienteering Festival - an exciting end to a successful schools season

The 2017 schools orienteering festival season came to a very exciting conclusion at Gordonstoun last Thursday (5th October).

During September there had been smaller local festivals for the Speyside, Elgin, Forres and Lossiemouth area schools, attended by a total of about 400 pupils but this was the big one!

The idea behind the Gordonstoun event, which first took place in 2008, is to consolidate the experience pupils have had at their local event.  The idea is for the primary schools to pick their best team of 4 boys and 4 girls and have a race off to find out who is the best orienteering school in Moray. At the same time we offer an extra course, slightly shorter and easier than the main competition course, so that schools can bring extra pupils along to experience our wonderful sport. A few years ago we established a secondary schools competition which is now split between seniors (S4-6) and juniors (S1-3) with girls competing against the boys equally.  (3 of the top 5 in the Secondary Schools race this year were girls).

Thanks to a long tradition of club members turning out in droves to help, we can put marshals all around the competition area so help is on hand to pupils who need it. A kind of mobile navigation school. The aim at the end of the day is for kids to go back to school having had a great experience of orienteering, and hopefully wanting to come along with mum or dad to try a club event.  We think we might have achieved that

This year was Lil Kenyon’s first as schools liaison officer. Lil has been working in partnership with the Moray Council Active Schools Team to prepare for the events, as well as putting on several after-school taster sessions. Lil has also been working hard to recruit a pool of volunteers who have supported her so willingly. Nobody could argue that she did a fantastic job!

The overall winning primary school this year was West End Primary of Elgin who took the title from 2016 winners Bishopmill. These two schools have been fighting it out at the top of the Moray & Nairn Schools League all year so it was, perhaps, not a great surprise that Bishopmill were runners up! But it wasn’t just about these two schools.  Anderson’s (Forres) won the girls’ trophy, decided by adding up the finish positions of the fastest 3 girls. Kinloss were runners up in the boys’ trophy and St Gerardine’s (Lossie) were 3rd. It was incredible in the boys’ competition to see all 4 of West End’s runners in the top 6. They had  1-2-3 in Finlay McLuckie, Finlay McEachan and James Cockburn – only one of these was a Moravian member which suggests the standard out there outside of our club is pretty good. Other schools featured in the individual podium placings. It was great to see two smaller schools featuring as Struan Fraser (Burghead) and Moravian member Michael Bishenden (Alves) claimed 4th and 5th.  Four different schools featured in the top 5 girls’ positions. Our own Scarlett Britain won the race convincingly for Anderson’s while another Moravian, Alana Coutts (Logie) came 3rd. The others weren’t Moravian members so like the boys it seems there’s plenty undiscovered talent out there. Beth Whyte (Bishopmill) came 2nd with Kate Millar (Anderson’s) 4th and Olivia Sullivan (Hythehill, Lossie) 5th.

In the secondary schools races it was good to have Gordonstoun competing officially for the first time. They seem to have a tremendous talent in Katie Riddick, a very athletic-looking youngster who almost caused a major surprize. She ran super-speedy David Spencer (Forres Academy) extremely close for the junior gold medal. British W16 Sprint Champ Mairi Weir (Speyside High), who won the senior race, was beaten by the Gordonstoun girl by 3 seconds which illustrates just what a good run this was for a total unknown! Isobel Howard continued her good form by claiming bronze in the junior race while Oli Reynolds (Gordonstoun) and a clearly delighted David Scott (Forres Academy) took 2nd and 3rd in the seniors.

In all there were 237 runners representing 23 schools who made it to the start line. This was an excellent demonstration of the amount of interest there is in orienteering within Moray’s schools. The only disappointment, perhaps, was the lack of any schools from the Milne’s and Buckie High School schools groups although this was outweighed by an unprecedented level of interest from mid and West Moray and Speyside. A lot of effort had been put in to providing orienteering for every school in the Buckie/Fochabers areas during 2015 and 2016, so it’s a shame that the apparent appetite that existed in schools in these areas in previous years has since dwindled.

But the positives far outweighed the negatives, and we look forward to continuing our wonderful relationship with Active Schools and Gordonstoun long in to the future.

Link to individual results, team results and split times

 

Message from Lil:

Just a brief word to add to what Mike put up last week.

A good finale to the local Active Schools orienteering festivals was had at Gordonstoun on Thursday.

The morning started out lovely for Roo, Caroline and myself putting the controls out early. The weather held too, until the rain arrived at presentation.  The ground was in pretty good condition, considering the amount of rain we've had recently, producing some fast runs.

I enjoyed planning the courses and tried to make them a little different from last year.  Fergus with his indignant head on after he ran said "you made the course backwards!".   It's a fine line between not making it too difficult for children new to orienteering, or ones who haven't had much instruction from their schools, but yet still challenging for the more competent ones.

I was impressed by the standard of performance from competitors, especially from some of the smaller schools. There were plenty of happy children at download and so good to witness them talking about their runs and poring over their maps together.

Hope this enthusiasm rubs off on some parents who might be persuaded to bring their children along to a Saturday/Schools League event in the near future.

As always it's really impressive that so many people from our club are willing to give up their time to come along and help, good to see newer member's faces too.  Active Schools really do appreciate how well supported the events are by team Moravian. The results were up on our website before I even got home too!
 

Sanquhar Event - A thankyou note from Kaisa and a link to the results & updated league tables

Our organizer Kaisa has asked us to put this out after today's successful event:

Another beautiful Moravian day in the Sanquhar Woods is behind us. Hope you had good runs and made lovely memories with friends and family. Thank you all for coming! Special appreciation for anyone helping out on the day.

Kaisa

and this has been sent in by Paul, Ben and Alana the planners. Well said!
 

We hope everyone had a good run at Sanquhar. We really enjoyed making the courses.  As Sanqhuar is not a very technical area, we focussed more on route choices for the light green and green courses. It has been interesting to look at routegadget so far.

Alana said "I liked making the yellow course and I hope everyone liked running it too."

Ben said " I really liked making the course on the computer - but putting out the controls took a long time!".
We loved seeing how everyone in the club comes together to help on the day. Thank you to Kaisa and Ian for organising, Donald for being our controller, Ian and Rosie for all the hard work in the tent, David for map printing and all the control collectors - Alan, Jane, Scott, Steve, Shauna, Eddie and Caroline and to everyone else who helped on the day.

Moravian Orienteers is a great club to be part of!

 

It was a very impressive run from junior runner David Spencer to win the top course while Anderson's Primary and Forres Academy came out tops in the Schools League team competitions. West End regained the lead at the top of the table and now seem set to become the 2017 champions. You can see full results here

Fiona has updated the Saturday League tables and you can see those here:
Senior Leagues
Junior Leagues

 

Mike has updated the Schools League tables and these are here:

Secondary Schools League
Primary Schools League

 

Faith's exciting adventures towards her 100 badge and on to who knows where.

During the Scottish 6 Days, Faith Kenyon was presented with her Scottish Orienteering badge for having completed 100 competitive races. The badge was handed over by none less than  international superstar Jess Tullie. Faith's achievement is all the more remarkable given that she only did her first event in April 2015! Since the start of this year, she's been keeping a wall map of all the places that orienteering's taken her. Here is what Faith has to tell us about it.

100 Badge

At the start of 2017 I was looking at a map of Scotland and I said that I wanted to go orienteering all over Scotland and to get my 100 badge this year.

 

I had done 63 events so far.  I did my first ever event near Elgin when I was 9 and got my 100 badge at the Scottish 6 days when I was 12.

 

The furthest south I have been orienteering was the SOL at Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway.  The furthest north was Lossiemouth.  I did my first light green course with my mum in the sand dunes at Balmedie, the most easterly, but mum slowed me down!

 

I was really pleased when there was a SOL near Oban, Glen Nant, this meant I could go really far west.

I like looking at the stickers on the map because it reminds me of where we’ve been.  My favourite place ever is the Trossachs, I also enjoyed Drumlanrig Castle because it was a beautiful day and there were lambs.

I hope to continue going all over Scotland and complete at least 200 events.

Faith Kenyon

Daniel becomes a Young Ambassador

We're proud and delighted to say that Daniel Campbell has been made a Young Ambassador at Elgin Academy. The Sportscotland Young Ambasador programme is where, each year, two pupils from each secondary school in Scotland are chosen as Young Ambassadors to promote sport, and motivate and inspire other young people to get involved in sport in their schools, clubs and local communities.

Daniel has been a model junior in our club, setting an example to others who have seen how hard he's worked to achieve national representation, and excelling in events where he's run for our club. It's been clear to see how he's displayed fortitide, good humour and resilience to deal with injury that has held him back of late and we wish him all the very best in his year in post. We know he'll do Elgin Academy proud. What a marvellous opportunity!

Read more about the Young Ambassador Programme

Highland WOLF Weekend - Entries available til 21st September

One of the most exciting orienteering weekends to take place in the North happens on 23-24 Sept around Grantown/Aviemore. You need to get your entry in for the Hghland WOLF by 21st September!  The cheap rate deadline expired on 10th September so entries are now quite expensive, but the quality of the event should make it worth it. Note there aren't unlimited places for all classes so we don't recommend relying on trying to get entry on the day.

Sat 23rd am - Middle Distance Event - Grantown (Auchernack & Bailliefurth) - 42 MOR entries
Sat 23rd pm - Urban Event - Aviemore - 31 MOR entries
Sun 24th - Scottish O League - Inshriach (Feshiebridge) - 41 MOR entries

Latest British Orienteering Awards

After the massive Moravian turnout at Nairn on 27th August, a whole crowd of members have achieved awards in the British Orienteering Incentive Scheme (click on the link to read more about it).

 
Well done to the following, and especially to Kaisa and Fiona who have reached the highest level of 5 Stars Racing Gold. That means your orienteering apprenticeship is complete. You've made the grade!

Racing Challenge

 
5 Star Gold: Fiona Newcombe, Kaisa Oikkonnen
 
5 Star Silver: Stuart Thompson, Stephen Wiseman
 
4 Star Gold: Shauna Perry
 
4 Star Bronze: Eva Wiseman, John Pullen
 
3 Star Gold: Kate McLuckie
 
3 Star Silver: Kirsty Anderson
 
3 Star Bronze: Karen Fraser
 
2 Star Silver: Callum Thompson, Ewan Thompson
 
2 Star Bronze: Iona Thompson
 
1 Star Bronze: Gemma Curran
 
Navigation Challenge
 
5 Stars: Stuart Thompson
 
4 Stars: Eva Wiseman, John Pullen
 
3 Stars: Scarlett Britain

North District Cross Country League 2017-2018

It's not long until this season's local cross-country league gets under way. Over 20 Moravians are already registered for the league. None of the dates clash with any currently-registered North-Area orienteering fixtures.

 
The NDCCL is a very popular and sociable winter series which, like our orienteering events, caters brilliantly for all ages and abilities. There are categories for girls and boys under 11, under 13, under 15 and under 17 as well as adult classes.  The races offer superb physical training for anyone keen to improve their fitness and strength for orienteering races. They take place on Saturday afternoons with the first race (U11s) at 1.15pm and the last race (seniors) at 2.30pm.

Although guests can take part (at double the entry fee of £2 seniors £1 juniors!), it is best to become a registered runner through your local running club where you will also benefit from their training programme. This year's races (with one further fixture still to be announced) are as follows:

7th Oct - Keith
18th Nov - Nairn
25th Nov - North of Inverness
27th Jan - Dingwall area
10th Feb - Forres

More details are on the NDCCL web site

It's Schools Festivals Season again

Moray's Active Schools team is once again organizing (with our help) a series of schools events that is set to culminate on 5th October with the Moray Schools Festival at Gordonstoun - the event's 10th anniversary.

Lil Kenyon has taken over as Moravian's Schools Liaison person and she's co-ordinating the club's support. There will be 4 mini festivals which are designed to help schools prepare for Gordonstoun, plus the big Gordonstoun event (the original 5 is now 4 as Milne's and Lossie ASGs are combined in the same event) . Some of these will be quite informal, while others, such as Forres and Elgin where there are some very strong orienteering schools, will be quite slick affairs with computer timing, just like our own club events.

The dates and venues are as follows:

28th August Aberlour - complete - 140 took part
20th September Elgin
26th September Forres

28th September Lossiemouth/Roseisle (combined event for Milne's and Lossie ASGs) - changed from 21st
5th October the big series final Gordonstoun

All these events are in the mornings. If you can spare some time to help, please let Lil know by completing her Doodle Poll

It would be great if parents of Moravian juniors associated with the participating schools could manage to attend, but any club member who can offer some help will be warmly welcomed by the Active Schools team.

Club Champs and Next Event

92 Moravians took part in what's been hailed as the best club champs ever. Masterminded by Alan Halliday the "Score" format proved a big hit, with everyone following the rules and nobody getting in to minus figures. You can see the full handicap results for each of the categories here
 

"We had great fun though we had no idea how different it would be today!" was a comment on Facebook from one of our newer members while others said "Thankyou for a brilliant time. We all really enjoyed ourselves. Loved the score format great fun."

So there should be no shortage of runners, from this club at least, when we host the Scottish Score Champs at Quarrelwood in November.

Huge thanks to Alan for the obvious time, effort and attention to detail that so clearly went in to today.

The next event is next Sunday (27th) at Nairn East Beach. Although it's being organized by INVOC it counts for our Saturday League so there will be plenty of Moravians there. We'll be hard pushed to beat last year's turnout of 100 from the club, but after today you never know. You can enter up to Frday 25th on SIEntries, or enter on the day, altough it does help the organizers enormously if you pre-enter. Enter here

Could you be the new Public Face of Moravian Orienteers?

We're looking for people to assist Suzanne with publicity for the club.

 

Mike Rodgers took on the self-appointed role of Moravian Publicity Person around 10 years ago when the club was under threat of extinction due to dwindling numbers. Mike is taking a break from the role so we're on the lookout for people who'd like to help keep the club in the public eye, and ensure continued recognition for the many achievements of our members. Suzanne Lynch-McKay has taken on the lead publicity role, especially with our Facebook page and event promotion, and it would be great to form a publicity team to share the workload. Could you help to make a difference?

In the beginning, most of our publicity was through the local press - weekly newspapers including the Nairnshre Telegraph, Northern Scot, Forres Gazette and Banffshire Herald have all featured orienteering stories for many years, while the Press & Journal have covered some of the bigger stories. Thanks to some terrific colourful imagery, much of it supplied by Chris Spencer, readers have seen orienteering portrayed as a vibrant, fun sport enjoyed by young and old. Few people in the area aren't aware that an orientering club exists in Moray. 

As time moved on, social media became much more important. Readership of the local papers reduced as many got their news fix on line. Mike, although he insists he's very much an amateur and still doesn't own a smart phone, was the driving force behind our presence on Facebook and Twitter which is now contributed to by a great many people in the club. But rather than making the job easier, it doubled the workload! Social media is only going to get more important as the years go by, so anyone with great skills in that department would be a perfect fit for the role.

One of the best things about the role, according to Mike, is that you soon become very familiar with most people in the club, and very tuned in to what's happening. So the role would suit anyone who is sociable and enjoys getting to know people - how great an orienteer you are is irrelevant. Some flair for creative writing also helps, but this tends to be something you pick up as you go along. An increasingly important part of the role is connecting with groups, clubs and people outside orienteering, which means keeping a good eye out on social media and in the local press for relevant opportunities.

In summary, the main aspects to the role of publicity officer are listed below. The good news is that all of it is no more than "nice to do" so it doesn't carry with it the pressure that some club roles do. We are such a big club now that we don't need to attract new members to survive, so all publicity we get is a bonus rather than a necessity.

If you're interested, speak to Suzanne - or you'll have no trouble getting hold of her via Facebook!

 

The lead publicity officer ensures that someone (ie not necessarily you).......

 - writes regular articles for the local press

 - lisises with event organizers regarding event publicity

 - submits timely info about events to local "what's on" listings"
 - keeps the web site updated with regular news stories. Always try to keep something interesting and current on the front page.
 - submits publicity items to the weekly TuesNews
 - keeps the public facebook page supplied with club news that might be of interest to the wider public, including monitoring wider social media to engage with other clubs/agencies (sharing stories, interacting with posts etc).

 - runs paid event promotions on Facebook.

 - and does anything publicity-wise that's not been thought of before.