Recent News and Information

Hannah's Story - Life in the Scottish Junior Squad

This year Hannah Kingham became the 5th Moravian junior in recent years to be selected for the Scottish Junior Orienteering Squad - or ScotJOS for short.

Hannah has just produced a marvellous piece of writing about her early experiences in the Squad. As more and more young people are getting attracted to orienteering, the standard is gradually creeping up and up. It's much harder than it used to be to get in the national teams, in England and Scotland at least. So it's wonderful to see how the effort put in by Hannah is now reaping its rewards, and we hope that some of the younger folks in the club will be inspired by Hannah's example - just as she's been inspired by others in the club.  Here's Hannah's story.

 

As soon as I started orienteering, I began to notice all the Scotland tops that many people were wearing. It then became my ambition to get into ScotJOS. I looked up to Kathryn Barr (I still do) as she was already in the squad and I set myself the goal to be like her. Last year my ambition became a reality as I became one of the people running in a Scotland top.

The ScotJOS weekends are great training opportunities but they are also a great chance to meet fellow likeminded people with similar ambitions. It’s great fun when at a big event you get the chance to catch up with fellow squad members that you may not have seen for a few months. ScotJOS has certainly opened many doors for me, for example my recent trips to London and mid Wales at the JIRCs and JHIs (Junior Inter-Region Championships and Junior Home Internationals - ed).

The JIRCS was my first ever selection race and my first race at a British level. We flew down to London at 6:30am (we had to be at the airport at 5:30!) and we were competing at 11am. One bit of advice I would give to anyone is; take your time to the first control. I learnt this the hard way and what made it worse it was at my first major competition. I spent 16 minutes looking for a control roughly 15m from a path - I was dead last at this point! I persevered and I managed to finish in 19th with the rest of the course being error free. I had a much better run at the relays the following day as I was cautious to number 1 and I managed to be 4th fastest on leg 2 and my team finished 6th (Scotland got 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th). Scotland managed to come back with every single trophy so that was a fantastic result for the team. The evening of the JIRCs (after the individual) was great fun as I got to meet even more orienteers from all over the UK. Someone brought a pack of cards and the next thing I knew we were playing ‘Irish Snap’ (a ScotJOS favourite) in a big group.

2 weeks later I was in Snowdonia for my 2nd time representing Scotland. The JHIs was a much tougher competition as it was the best 4 from each country not region (like the JIRCs). On the first day I was the very first starter - it was a very misty hillside with very minimal paths so it was quite scary being the only 2 people out there (an Irish W18 started at the same time). Other than her I only saw 2 people throughout my course and they were fellow W18 and M16 Scottish team mates. I got to the first control ok given the fact that sometimes I could only see 30m ahead of me. However on the shortest leg of the course I lost concentration and ran off without taking a bearing, the control should only have taken around 40 seconds but I took 4 minutes as I went back to the previous control. I was really pleased with my final result of 6th, however I was even more pleased for 2 of my fellow team mates who finished 1st and 2nd. That night our cabin was suddenly filled with 10 Irish people all wanting a go on the Wii as we were the only cabin that had one. Later that night there was a tympath which was a welsh ceilidh. It was great fun as everyone gave 100% and nobody cared who they danced with. Louis Macmillan (a fellow Scot) took his bagpipes and we taught everyone the ‘Gay Gordons’.

The relays the next day were great as there was no mist and you could see around 7 controls from assembly, so it was a great spectator race. The planners were a bit cruel as there was a massive hill right at the start and from the last control to the finish it was also uphill so it was great when it was a close race. I came back with a clean run and brought my team up one place. I was 5th fastest on my leg and my team finished 5th. Overall the weekend was a blast.

This year I have had so much fun with ScotJOS. My favourite training weekend was the ‘Last Blast’. This is when the 18 year olds who are leaving the Squad organise a training weekend. On the first day they flipped the maps for certain people on Arthur’s seat; we ran left and they ran right. If the second day was to be summed up in two words it would be “eggs" and "relays”. The whole day we did relays getting covered in eggs and flour. On the last relay there was a challenge at each control and to make it even harder we had to do it “3 armed”. After this weekend I have not eaten a single Weetabix because one of the challenges was to eat a dry Weetabix with a dry mouth because it was near the end of the course. It was horrible because we had to follow it with jalapenos.

ScotJOS has given me so many opportunities to compete, make friends, visit different areas and just have fun. Anyone with an ambition to get more out of orienteering should just go for it and try to be selected and I am sure you will.

ScotJOS also promotes a huge variety of life skills such as independence. At the JHIs we were in self-catering cabins, we had to do all our meals and snacks apart from dinner. All the ScotJOS coaching builds on the foundations laid by Moravian coaches. Moravian is very lucky to have a fantastic selection of qualified coaches, I would like to thank ALL the Moravian coaches for helping me reach this level. I would like to give a special thanks to Mike Rodgers, without whom I would not be where I am today as he is the person who inspired me to start orienteering. 

North Area Junior Training at Dulnain Wood,7th October, by Eva Wiseman

Thanks to Eva for sending in her experiences of the training day organized by Jess Tullie recently for North Area juniors. As Eva says, this is such a good opportunity and we'd urge any juniors who've never been to one before to try and make the next one which will be in the first part of 2018.

Here's what Eva has to say:

I really enjoyed the training day that Jess Tullie organised.  There were about 5 helpers and eighteen kids there, 8 Moravians as well as others from our neighbouring clubs and it was lots of fun, and I learnt a lot from it as well.

We did work on contours, first with dirt from Jess’s back garden making model landscapes, as we copied diagrams of contours using dirt! Next we went into the woods, where we did an exercise where you follow tapes to controls whilst looking at a blank map. When we reached the control, we had to use a pin to very accurately mark where this control was on the blank map!  I got most of them right- except for the wrong boulder in a boulder field!

After lunch we did some relay practice, as the Junior Inter Area Relays are coming up soon! We got into groups of two or three people (two doing light green, one doing orange), and then we ran one by one round a course and practised handing over. Some people did it backwards as we had done the course at a previous event (Jess had had to change everything at the last minute because we were double booked with a shooting party in the original woods!).

We also had a fun orienteering game at the end where we had a partner, and we ran one after one another around a clock faced shaped layout of controls with a plant pot to put at the control for the other team member!

I would highly encourage other juniors who are orange level or above to come to the next one, because you definitely learn a lot, make friends and it’s great fun!  We are so lucky having Jess, a world class orienteer, and other really good coaches, coaching us. Next time we might get to play sardines again which is the best game ever.

Thanks to Jess and all the other coaches, I’m looking forward to the next one already!

Much to Shout About at SOL6

Twenty three Moravians made it across to Forvie Dunes for the penultimate round of the 2017 Scottish Orienteering League season.

The 7 SOL races are, with the exception of the Scottish Champs, the premier races in the Scottish orienteering calendar.  They tend to use the best quality areas and have top-quality course planning by experienced course planners. The series provides the opportunity for the best orienteers in the country to test themselves against their peers in their own age category, while at the same time offering an opportunity for novices to compete on the easier courses in a big exciting event.

The results from the SOLs are looked at by selectors when considering candidates for representative teams, and for juniors they are also a good barometer of who might be a candidate for the Scottish Junior Squad.

As is becoming customary these days, Moravian names could be found near to the top of the junior results. SOL6 followed a very definite trend!. Finlay, Kate and Fergus made it a Moravian 1-2-3 on the Yellow course while Isobel and Faith took 2nd and 3rd on Orange. They were the fastest 2 girls so these results will have done them no harm at all in the overall SOL standings where the best 4 races count towards the overall medals. Both girls will be in the top 3 in W12 when the tables are updated later this month. Kate and Finlay look likely to top the respective M/W10 standings while Fergus’s excellent run should keep him firmly in 4th. (Thanks to Lil Kenyon for the photos)

At this point I'd like to acknowledge and point out a selfless act by young Faith. Despite having a great run which she no doubt realized at the time, she stopped to help out young Connie Nicolson of INVOC who was a bit lost. Faith you should be really proud of yourself!

You had to have sympathy for Mairi who had a great run on Green in the W16 class, only to get DQ’d for missing no 13. A similar fate befell Jon who posted the fastest time of Short Brown only to find he’d missed no 2. Morag McLuckie must be having nightmares about her no 3 which lost her about 15 minutes, without which she might have finished 3rd on Short Blue. It can be a cruel and unforgiving sport sometimes!

An ever bigger vote of sympathy goes to Kaisa and Ida. They missed their start time due to being held up en route by a road closure. With no map in the car they had to phone Ida's dad (in Finland!) for directions but they got there in the end. "I knew he would be close to a computer and he knew we were going to Forvie and he is good with road maps" said Kaisa. "I could trust his ability in getting us there. But even with all that we took some time!"

Kaisa's perseverance continued when she finally got out on her course. She threatened to record her first ever DNF but no, she got round intact in a time that even our much-esteemed secretary Ali Wiseman would have been proud to call her own. But as the only W35 running she'll have climbed to overall 2nd as a reward. You can only beat what's put in front of you after all. Ida had a testing time on Light Green but just like her mum she displayed that admirable Moravian tenacity in bucket loads to achieve a clear round and still finish above 9 other runners. The most tenacious and courageous orienteers never give up - no matter how bad a run they're having.

But no sympathy was needed for Denise Main who had a superb run in W50 on the Short Blue course, finishing overall 5th and fastest W50. Unfortunately Denise has only been able to make 2 of the SOLs so won’t manage to get the 4 results needed for a leading final position. Still, she had the satisfaction of beating the current 2nd and 3rd placed women. There were other good runs from Dave Weir (10th on Blue in M55 - and 3rd M55) and Andrew Campbell (8th on Short Brown in M50). It was great to see Eddie Harwood continuing to bounce back from his injury, finishing 5th on Green.

So well done to everyone who competed, and we now look forward to the final round in 2 weeks’ time at Aberfeldy when our juniors will also be running for North Area in the Junior Inter-Area competition.

You can see the full results, splits and routegadget on GRAMP’s web site and there's a report on the SOA web site too - and we should finally commend GRAMP for putting on an exceptional event with published results up on the web by tea time!

Below you can see a section from the amazing blue course map

Big Moravian Junior Contingent Set for Junior Inter-Areas

Thanks to our junior captain Pippa Weir for this news item. Pippa has done some great work in the past few years in to moulding our juniors into a real team. It's terrific to see so many making the long journey south to help North area to what we hope will be a win in 2 weeks' time. As always, this will be a great social occasion too. Oh to be young again!

Junior Inter-Area Competition Weekend

Eighteen Moravian juniors will be heading south next weekend as part of Team North to take on Team East and Team West. The weekend begins with exciting relays near Livingston on Saturday 28th in which our youngsters will be mixed into teams of three with other juniors from Invoc, Maroc, Basoc and Gramp. Some of us will be spending a fun and sociable night making new friends at Stirling Youth Hostel which has been booked in its entirety by the three areas but then we will all reconvene at Drummond Hill near Aberfeldy on Sunday for the final stage of the battle, this time with individual runs in the Scottish Orienteering League race. We hope we can help Team North come out victorious this year – it was so close twelve months ago at Culbin!

Joining team North are:

Josh & Scarlett Britain, Carrie Brown, Ben & Alana Coutts, Connor & Ryan Curran, Isobel & Sophie Howard, Faith and Fergus Kenyon, Hannah Kingham, Kate & Finlay McLuckie, Ida Oikkonen, David Spencer, Mairi Weir and Eva Wiseman.

Good luck to you all from everyone in the club!

 

By the way, it’s not too late for our other juniors to join in this competition by taking part in the SOL on Sunday 29th. Just enter your age-group class (M/W10 yellow, M/W12 orange, M/W14 Light Green, etc) via the website Fabian4 by Sunday 22nd and your result will be included in North Area’s total.

(The link to entries is http://www.fabian4.co.uk/default.aspx?EventID=1844 - ed)

(and the format of the JIA weekend is https://www.scottish-orienteering.org/soa/page/scottish-junior-inter-area-competition-weekend-guidelines)

An appeal from Sheila, the SCORE Editor

We received this note from Sheila Reynolds who edits the SOA's SCORE magazine. Given the talents of our juniors for writing orienteering stories we wonder if this might appeal to some of you youngsters out there. Go on, you know you want to!

Hello All,

 
I hope that you've all received, and read, the September issue of SCORE.  As is always the case, please feel free to contact me with any SCORE-related comments, questions or concerns.
 
I'm contacting clubs to ensure that all are aware of the copy date for the December issue.  Printing & delivery of SCORE typically takes nearly two weeks, so it is imperative that a print-ready document be sent to Groverprint before the end of December.  The more time available for layout, editing and sourcing & receiving permissions for photos and maps, the better the end product will be, so your cooperation with regard to submitting pieces at or near copy date is much appreciated. (NB - the copy date is 4th November - ed)
 
I welcome submissions from clubs, their members, and even tangential entities or organisations -- it's important that SCORE reflect the interests and activities of its members.  That being the case, I encourage you all to share my requests for submissions with all of your members and encourage them to contribute to SCORE.
 
As I noted in the September issue, the addition of a Junior-specific section arose from a conversation with a junior (who told me -- without being aware that I was the editor -- that SCORE is pretty boring, something that I did not take personally!).  So, if you have juniors willing and able to contribute pieces to SCORE, please point them in my direction.  If you have a junior SCORE-reader in your home, ask them what they would like to see in SCORE that may make them more willing to read it.  Are they interested in profiles of juniors?  How the ScotJOS and other juniors train?  Opportunities for juniors to grow, train and advance?  Let me know.
 
I would also like to continue including pieces about orienteers, those who are new to O, and those who have been doing it for decades.  This can only be done if members are willing to share their stories, so please encourage your members in this as well.
 
And finally, one thing that I notice is there are clubs who are keen to know what is working, &/or not working, with regard to attracting and retaining new members.  This could be related to social  media, local park runs, Active Schools engagement, and much more.  My opinion is that there is value in various clubs submitting short pieces (200-300 words) about what is or is not working for them, perhaps sticking to one thing to keep the piece short.  A series of these could then be strung together as a single feature.  If your club is interested in taking part in that sort of a piece, please let me know.
 
Thanks to all for your support over the last year, it's been very much appreciated.
 
Regards,
Sheila Reynolds

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