Ultra-promising Jack Cryer has got the backing of a major local sponsor in his bid to win international honours.
Orienteering is not currently an Olympic sport but efforts are being made to get it included in the XXXII Olympiad, to be held in 2020 at either Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo.
Cryer, who is 14 and from Bottomley, Walsden, is rated one of the country’s leading prospects and would like to be there.
The Upper Calder Charity Assists organisation is backing his efforts to make it to the top. They recently gave him £250 towards his costs for the Lagganlia Event, a junior training camp based at the Lagganlia OEC near Aviemore in Scotland. He also got backing from the Rotary and Lions clubs.
The top 24 orienteers of Cryer’s age attended and Jack emerged as overall champion. Cryer said: “Lagganlia gave me lots of confidence and the skills learned will help with my orienteering ambitions.”
Cryer, who has a very busy training schedule to fit in with schoolwork, football and swimming, also took part in a six-day event north of the border. He and his parents camped out during the worst weather of the summer but it didn’t stop Jack from finishing seventh out of a field of 70 from across Europe.
Cryer then attended a training camp at the Lakeland Venue in Kendal and a few days later, in Thirsk, he won the sprint in the White Rose Race in 12 minutes, finishing second overall after three days.
His results have earned him an offer from Pendle Forest Orienteers to have one to one weekly coaching from a member of Team GB.
At Holcombe Moor last weekend he was given special permission to compete in an over 16s race - accompanied by an adult - and came fourth.
UCCA has offered to build a team of people to support Jack’s training needs. It has already arranged for Jack to visit an orthopaedic podiatrist to head off possible back, leg and foot injuries, and two sessions with a personal trainer to help with balance and deportment.
A digital scrapbook and Facebook Page is being built to support his sponsorship quests.
UCCA spokesman Mike Hall said: “UCCA has offered to use its contacts to highlight one of the very brightest talents that will showcase Todmorden.”