Moravian Orienteers Donate to Highland Hospice

22nd October 2013

A big thank you to the Moravian Orienteers who recently presented a cheque for £700 to the Hospice at an event which saw their biggest ever Saturday league turnout of 125 competitors. 

The Earl of Moray opened up his ancestral home and estate (Darnaway Estate and Castle) for the event which was on Saturday 12 October, and Scottish Orienteering’s Professional Officer Colin Matheson was on hand to present the cheque to the Hospice.

This sum was donated by competitors who had entered the Scottish 6-Day Event but couldn’t attend. Instead of claiming refunds they magnanimously agreed to donate the cash to the Hospice.  Fundraiser Marie-Anne Vrac was not only there to receive the cheque but to tackle the short course too, which she really enjoyed!

Lord Moray is Patron of the 2015 World Orienteering Championships where Forres and Darnaway will be two of the competition venues. The forested terrain surrounding Darnaway Castle is one of Scotland’s most complex and picturesque orienteering venues. It was part of the programme when the UK hosted international orienteering’s blue-riband event for the first time in 1976.

Incorporating the latest round of the Moray Schools League, it was fitting that the short course was planned by a primary school pupil who has been competing in the league since he was very young. Lewis Stevens who attends Dyke Primary had no fewer than 64 people running his 2 Km course which planned and accurately set out to a standard any adult would be proud of. Winner of the short course was Lossie High School pupil Fraser Haig who secured the club’s junior league title with 2 races still to go. The next two finishers were both girls - Forres Academy’s Shauna Perry in 2nd and Anna Campbell (Elgin Academy) in 3rd while the fastest primary school competitor was Isobel Howard who attends Anderson’s.

The long course (3.4 Km) and an extremely difficult extra-long course (4.5 Km) were planned by Liz Barr. It was another Forres Academy pupil who came out top on the Long Course when 14-year-old John Bonsall beat a combination of schools and adult runners with his brother Alistair in 4th spot. On the 4.5 Km course, Jon Hollingdale (Kintessack) proved untouchable, finishing a massive 7 minutes clear despite a far-from-perfect run in the relentlessly challenging terrain. Daniel Campbell who lives at Roseisle and is still at primary school successfully completed the course which was set at a standard that even national-squad juniors don’t get to face until they are 15.

Event organiser, Denise Main, despite being exhausted at the end of a very busy day, was pleased with how it went.

“What a joy to see so many people having a wonderful time in a very special location. The day was about having fun, being social and enjoying orienteering.  Needless to say all of that was accomplished and I am pleased with the day. The event team worked their magic under the inspirational setting of Darnaway Castle.  A big thank you to Lord and Lady Moray for making the event possible in the first place.”

The club would like to thank the Earl of Moray (John) and his wife Cathy who are pictured on the left hand side of the back row and were super hosts.  Thanks also to the club's "rent-a-crowd" of Moravian members and friends - big, little young and old - who helped!

All the results, and information about Moravian’s next event at Roseisle forest on Sunday 3rd November can be found on www.moravianorienteering.org

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