'Major coup' as Scottish Six Days Orienteering event to take place in Moray
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MORAY has secured a "major coup" with the Scottish Six Days Orienteering event set to return to the area.
The biennial event – which is the largest in the UK orienteering calendar – is scheduled to take place from July 30 to August 4, 2023, at Lossie Forest, Darnaway, Roseisle and Culbin.
The event took place in Moray in the same areas – minus Darnaway – back in 2013, while the area played host to part of the event, which was officially hosted by the Highlands, in 2015.
More than 2500 competitors from right across Europe expected to take part in the event, which, last year on a reduced scale, brought more than £1 million to the local economy in Lochaber, where it was held.
Elizabeth Furness, the events co-ordinator, said: “This event returning to Moray within the space of 10 years is a major coup for the area.
"It reflects its popularity as a venue, with its vast forested sand dunes and mixed woodland estates.
"The event typically attracts over 2500 competitors, as well as their families and friends – so will be a major boost to the local economy.
"Taking aside the obvious – such as accommodation and catering – most competitors regard this as one of their annual holidays – and extend their stays to visit local attractions and enjoy the scenery.”
The competition is designed to provide the highest quality orienteering over the week, in a relaxed atmosphere. It aims to appeal to all ages and skill levels, from elite athletes to newcomers.
Age classes range from under 10s to 80 years and above. Entries for next year's competition will open on December 1, 2022.
Elizabeth added: “The Scottish Six Days is widely regarded as one of the best multi-day orienteering events in the world.
"A strong international representation is always present, with a traditionally large Scandinavian contingent, and, more recently, the event has gained popularity with competitors from Eastern Europe.
"The Central Organising Team is made up of orienteers from local clubs and they are already working hard to ensure the event’s success.
"Tenders will be invited shortly to cover many different sectors of the economy – including on-site catering, portable toilet facilities and First Aid cover.
"In particular, even at this very early stage, we would urge accommodation providers to open their bookings for next year. Orienteers are very organised – and we know that bookings have already been made.”
Organisers are currently applying to have two of the days awarded world ranking event status in a bid to attract the world's most elite orienteers.