Easter Orienteering Project
A group of Moray youngsters will be showing that they’re magic with a map this Easter.
As Moray and Highland prepares for an invasion of 7,000 people for this summer’s week-long navigation-fest, the Milne’s ASG Active Schools Co-Ordinator Donna Brown has teamed up with Orienteering’s Regional Development Officer to help build the anticipation – with the help of the younger generation.
Moravian Orienteering Club has an enviable reputation nationally for developing navigation skills of the area’s young folk. The success of the club’s junior projects prompted Donna and Mike to offer an opportunity for primary-school pupils from outside the club to develop their organisational talents by staging a nav-fest all of their own. According to the Daily Telegraph, a study commissioned by nPower revealed that 81% of children aged between 5 and 13 can’t read a map. But Moray pupils have been bucking the trend thanks to a wide-ranging programme where orienteering is taught in most of the area’s schools.
For the last month, the team has been working on putting together a 2-day event that will be staged at Roseisle Forest. The opening session, on Easter Sunday, will form part of the Forestry Commission’s Easter Extravaganza family open day. The youngsters will be setting out three courses of varying length and difficulty with the idea that anyone can come along and try their hand at running with a map. To make sure that nobody misses out they will be repeating the event the next day, which will also mean that people can come back and try to beat their time from before.
“We’re calling this our orienteering experience” said 11-year-old Nadine Corbett who attends Milne’s Primary School. “It’s been a good orienteering experience for us, as well as the people who will take part. That’s because we’ve had to do everything from designing the courses to learning how to work the computers and designing posters to advertise our event. We even had to go through a risk assessment to make sure that everything we’ve done is safe and we’ve thought through what we’ll do in an emergency such as if someone gets injured on the course.”
Nadine’s class mate, Hannah Kingham, is a member of Moravian Orienteering club and is a veteran at course planning. She designed the courses for one of the club’s competitions last year, and her skills have become so advanced that project supervisor Mike Rodgers admitted that he’d had almost no input. “I just sat back and watched” said Rodgers at last week’s photo call.
Joining the team last week was the inspirational fund raiser Lucy Lintott from Garmouth. Lucy was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2013 and instead of feeling sorry for herself embarked on a quest to raise £100,000 to fight the disease. “Lucy used to go to our school” said Mosstodloch Primary pupil Rebecca Fleming who is in charge of event computing services. “We all thought that it would be nice to help Lucy to reach her target. We know she will because she has already raised more than £50,000!”
Entry to the event, which starts at 1pm on Easter Sunday and 12pm on Monday is by donation to the charity which is aptly called “Lucy’s Fight”. The team are asking for a minimum of £2 from children and £3 from adults. “But People are welcome to donate more!” said publicity spokesgirl Carrie Brown (Lhanbryde Primary).
“This has been an excellent opportunity for the children to learn all sorts of skills that will stand them in good stead when they move up to secondary school and beyond” said Mike Rodgers. “Orienteering is a sport like no other for linking to other areas of the curriculum. As well playing their part in building up the excitement ahead of this summer’s amazing orienteering week, these pupils have discovered how to work as a team. They will get chance to practice their people-facing and communication skills on the days of the event, and the fact that we’re doing the exact same event twice over will mean they can consolidate their learning.”
The courses on offer at Roseisle are White (1.8 m for complete beginners), Yellow (2.3 Km for novices) and Orange (3.1 Km for those who want a trickier challenge). Moravian are hosting the event details on their web site www.moravianorienteering.org.
The photo is courtsey of Jack Johnston (Banffshire Advertiser). The names for the photo of the organising group are: (back) Hannah Kingham (Milne's Primary), Lucy Lintott and her dad Rob, Carrie Brown (Lhanbryde P), Rebecca Fleming (Mosstodloch P), (front) Mike Rodgers (Orienteering RDO), Nadine Corbett (Milne's P), Christy Lawrence (Lhanbryde P), Lewis Hay (Milne's P). Unable to make it for the photo was Josh Standfast (Lhanbryde).