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Forres schools orienteering festival success

By SPP Reporter

GRANT Park was overrun by young runners with maps during an Active Schools event.

All of the runners at Grant Park
All of the runners at Grant Park

More than 100 children from all eight local primary schools took part in the Forres ASG Orienteering Festival.

Active Schools coordinator, Paul Rogan, designed new courses to make the event more spectator-friendly with more controls dotted around the park and a few at the edge of the woods.

The A course consisted of 15 controls over 1.8k and was planned to test navigation skills and endurance, with lots of hills to climb.

However, winning girl Faith Kenyon of Anderson’s stormed around in 8.56, 2.45 ahead of second placed Amir Ord of Kinloss in 11.39. Lowenna Bath of Anderson’s finished a very close third in 11.51. 

Faith’s time was only bettered by one boy, Bruce Evans of Applegrove who also produced a fantastic clear round, finishing in 8.24. Kinloss pupils Michael Bishenden finished second in 9.30 and Toby Clark third on 9.53.

The B course was run over 1.5km with 13 challenging controls to find in the correct order. The route between controls also took the children into all corners of the park.

There was less than one minute between the first three finishers in the girls competition, with Tia Seru from Kinloss on 11.04 taking the win, followed by Shannan McNally of Kinloss on 11.46 and Helena Neall of Dyke on 12.01.

The boys had an even closer finish with only 14 seconds covering the first three.

Jack Josee, Kinloss,was victorious with 9.51, only 12 seconds ahead of classmate Ben Webster on 10.03, and followed very closely by fellow Kinloss pupil Ben Philip on 10.05.

This year, to prepare the children for the event, Lil Kenyon, with the support of Active Schools, organised and lead a group of volunteer parents and Forres Academy students who put on four weeks of free orienteering coaching at Grant Park.

“It was a real bonus to have someone as enthusiastic as Lil make the sessions possible,” said aul. “Along with supportive parents and students. 

“It’s not always possible for children to get coaching in school time so it really benefited those who were hoping to be in school teams.”

The festival team winners were Kinloss with a total of 20 points, ahead of Applegrove on 64 points and Dyke’s 85 points.

Schools now move on to the Moray Schools Orienteering Competition taking place at Gordonstoun on Thursday.

As well as Kinloss who will be eager to lift the Moray title, there will be a strong team of 14 Forres Academy students hoping to take the secondary schools title.

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