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MAROC Newsletter 24th December 2019
Thanks to all our volunteers over the past 2 weeks: 
Sarah Dunn and Jon Musgrave - Christmas Extravagnza; Drew Tivendale - DNC, Carlogie.


Maroc Calendar            

-Sun 5th Jan: Glen O Dee, Banchory, Regional race
-Sun 19th Jan: Cambus O May, Club training

Deeside Night Cup
- Wed 8th Jan: Crathes
- Wed 15th Jan: Corsedarder
- Wed 22nd Jan: Forvie
- Wed 29th Jan: Potarch

 See DNC blogpage for more info

Please see SOA Events Page for full calendar of O fixtures.
Glen o' Dee
Work off those mince pies and Christmas pudding and start 2020 as you mean to go on! Our first regional event of the year at Glen o’ Dee is always popular and often attracts a good number of newcomers interested in trying orienteering for the first time.  All are welcome!  There is a full range of courses from White to Brown and this is the first event that counts towards the Jon Duncan Junior Deeside Cup for 2020.  We hope to have home baking and hot drinks available for sale in the pavilion – so please remember a mug to avoid wasting a disposable one.
Full information is now available on the website
Introductory O Winter Sessions
Maroc will be organising a block of introductory coached orienteering sessions aimed at family participation during Jan-Mar 2020. The sessions will be suitable for families with at least one child age 8 or older. 

The sessions will run on Sunday mornings from 10:30-12:30 with the first one on Jan 19th at Cambus o' May and subsequent sessions on Feb 2nd at Balnagowan (Aboyne), Feb 9th at Scolty (Banchory) and 1st Mar at Dinnet. More information is available here.

Existing club members will also be able to join in with the training sessions; look out for information in the club newsletter and please don't forget to sign up ahead of the day!  

Member Profile # 20
Name: Philip Basford
Age Group: M80
When did I start O and when was my first event?
My first event was when I started orienteering and it took place in Regents Park, London in 1969, and I was hooked. At that time I was serving in the RAMC and lead nurse running the oncology and GU ward in the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, next to the Tate Gallery. It was an army event on a black and white map and how different from today.  I quickly became the nominated officer for developing orienteering in the Corps and was soon helping co-ordinate its development in the army along with other corps officers. Army orienteering through BAOC developed rapidly to the strength it is today.
My first map was in Germany in 1970. I collected a black and white map from the local town hall and spent 2 evenings painting out all the tree symbols and then adding the O symbols on the map with a biro! When photocopied all the paintings out showed a shadow so not very successful but everyone enjoyed the run through very runnable woodland. I attended all the army events around that time in Germany as well as travelling to Denmark, Belguim and France for events.
I enjoyed membership of BAOC until the early 80’s when I retired from the army after the Falklands. Since then I have been a member of DFOK in SE London and N Kent. The majority of the maps are from my originals and a number still updated by myself. My last main map, now drawn in OCAD with Lidar support, was of an area that had been an old military training area and the Lidar clearly showed all the detail which was fortunate given the remains of a long military training trench!
What are my O strengths and O Weaknesses?
Very difficult questions. I have competed very little in the last 6 years for family reasons but having spent nearly 30 years in the armed forces I was always very fit and took training seriously. The result was that I often lost touch with the map for running too fast and I knew that I had to develop my map reading and memory skills. Having spent 6 years as an outward bound instructor with army apprentices, my first introduction to walking and climbing in Scotland in 1962! Given that experience I found myself using the compass too much. However I was lucky to have worked with some great army orienteers and mappers so whilst out training with Hugh Drummond (some may know the name) he asked me for my compass and then threw it way out into the woods – now he said, “read the map”. My orienteering came on in leaps and bounds afterwards. So, at the moment, my strength is reading the map and route choice but my definite weakness is I am not O fit for the local terrain!

What is my favourite O area in Deeside and in Scotland?

It has to be Glen Tanner where I ran in 1983 in the S6D, see my course and route, no gadgets to mark your course in those days! Not sure why it remained in my O memory as a great place to run but now I live nearby it has become our favourite place to walk and photograph.

What are my O ambitions?

Having been out for a couple of short courses since arrival I doubt if I am likely to get forest-fit for Scotland anymore. However, I have always been involved in O, so would like to be involved with Maroc and get to know the members better and make a contribution. I am a keen photographer so would like to get out there at events to get photos of Maroc members. Having spent much of my O life mapping I am preparing a map of Drummy and Ley Woods near where I live in Tarland which might be useful for training/small event.

What is my funniest or strangest O experience?

Whilst a member of DFOK for 40 years my age group was noted for a bit of leg pulling! I had set up an annual GLC Champs with the Council providing some sponsorship over the years. We came to the last GLC Champs in 1985 and I was organiser/planner. Some 3 weeks before the event my phone rang at 12.30am !! A voice with a Japanese accent asked about the event saying he would like to come. I immediately thought this was one of my O mates so went along with it and then went back to sleep. I shared this with my O mates who thought it highly hilarious leading me to still believe it was one of them.

The day before the event dawned and again a call at 07.30am from the Japanese man asking for directions to event etc. On the day I recalled this to my mates and organising team who wanted to know where my phantom Japanese orienteer was?? As the day went on I was beginning to believe I had been had after all. But, with 20mins of start times left, walking briskly across the common towards the start was a Japanese man carrying a sporty holdall, was I to be saved after all?

He quickly changed, started and appeared at the finish pretty sharply, and turned out to be a quite an O celebrity in his own country, ‘O’ Champ and mapper of distinction who certainly put our M45’s in our place. Story almost at an end! Having returned to Japan I received a letter of thanks in perfect English along with some examples of maps. As you can see the contours are intricate and mainly of lava beds! However, a note on the map pointed out that there had been some recent volcanic action and the map was now ‘phantom’? I know what he meant, because once I picked up a new print of Abbey Woods ready for that weekend, only to experience the historic ‘storm’ – that map became ‘phantom’ too.
Needless to say my O mates were a bit taken aback that Toshio Oneye was not a figment of my imagination or leg pull.
I would like to finish by saying ‘thank you’ to Maroc members having made us so welcome since we arrived earlier in the year.

Fantastic Fanatics - Raising Funds for the Club with No Effort!

Would you like to help raise funds for Maroc at no cost to yourself?  We have just joined Fantastic Fanatics, an Aberdeen-based funding platform that generates commission for your chosen sports club when you spend money with the platform’s local and national retail partners.  Fantastic Fanatics is the main sponsor of Aberdeen’s Sports Awards and a partner of Club Sport Aberdeen.

To raise funds, club members (and their friends and family) can sign up at the Fantastic Fanatics website, choose the club they would like to support (hopefully Maroc!) and securely register their credit/debit card details.  No money is taken from your card, but when a registered card is used to spend over £5 at one of the retail partners, a commission (typically 3-5%) will be paid by the retailer to your selected club automatically.  You don't have to do anything else.

Local retail partners include: Thistle Sports, Poldino's, Inn at the Park, Noose and Monkey, Shakes 'n' Cakes, Simple Bee, Grub Fresh Food, Black Bull Inn, Light of Bengal, Rajpoot, The Pigs Wings, Bon Accord Glass, John Willox Kitchen Design, Garioch Blinds & Furnishing, Jim Reid Vehicle Servicing and Sales, Peterhead Prison Museum.

National retail partners are also being added (initially for online sales only) and include:, Under Armour, The White Company, Outdoor Gear, SCS, ASOS, Regatta, Waterstones, Wayfair, Hamleys, Boots, Body Shop.

New retail partners are being added on a monthly basis, so the list is likely to grow. If you are likely to spend money at any of these retailers, you can find more details and register as a supporter at  (search for Mar Orienteering Club in the list of clubs).
Help SOA raise some more money too!

As the SOA is a registered charity, Gift Aid allows us to claim extra funds from HMRC on any donations made to us – including your SOA membership fees – AS LONG AS the person donating the funds completes a declaration that they are a UK tax payer.

Every single declaration completed helps us gain extra funds and, if every adult member did this, we could claim £10,000 which would otherwise just be lost in tax.

PLEASE complete the form at this link to register for Gift Aid
Controllers Course
For anyone interested in training to become an event Controller, please note that the grade C course previously scheduled for November will now be held on January 11th 2020 at Roseisle Village Hall, by Elgin, 10:00-16:00. Please contact Denise Martin if you are interested in attending
World of O Route to Christmas
Are you finding it hard to get out to train some days when it's dark, cold and wet? Never fear, whilst it might not have the same physical benefits, you can still do some useful orienteering training from the comfort of your armchair! Every day during December, World of O publishes a different map and course with a route choice problem for you to think about. Once you've analysed the options you can plot your route onto the map and see how it compares with what other people thought, and what the results from the competition showed as being the best route. This is excellent practice to help your map-reading skills, contour interpretation and route planning.

On behalf of the organising team I would like to invite MAROC to Edinburgh University Orienteering Clubs annual festival of Orienteering - the Big Weekend! This event will run from the 24th-26th of January and packs in 3 high quality races as well as the Saturday night ceilidh.  

Entries for the 2020 event are now open at the link below, don't miss out on early-bird prices, entries increase on the 1st of December. Enter here:

We hope to see you at Edinburgh University Orienteering Club's Big Weekend 2020!  

Daniel Spencer

Big Weekend 2020 Coordinator


September SCORE

Don't forget to read the latest issue of SCORE, SOA's quarterly magazine.

Paper copies can be requested via the SOA office (details in every issue).

As always, contributions from all readers are welcome.  If you'd like to discuss, email
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Aboyne, Aberdeenshire AB34 5FJ
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Mar Orienteering Club · Crofts House · Glenmuick · Ballater, Aberdeenshire AB35 5SP · United Kingdom

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