Norwich School pupil navigates his way to gold at British Schools Orienteering championships
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Strapping on a pair on running shoes on a cold November morning may not be everyone's idea of a good time - but for one Norwich teenager it's the perfect way to spend the weekend.
Armed with a compass, map and dipper, Norwich School pupil Steven Denby has recently navigated his way to win gold at the British Schools Orienteering Championships in Blackburn and be crowned national schools orienteering champion.
The achievement makes him the first pupil in the school's history to win the accolade.
Not a stranger to the sport, Mr Denby first took up orienteering in year seven, when he was introduced to it by teacher Glen Richardson as part of a team building exercise.
Having competed in the annual competition since 2012, over the years the 17-year-old has placed 12th, second, ninth, 10th, third and on a number of occasions been pipped to first place by a matter of minutes.
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One of the first competitors to set off in this year's race, the teenager said he had a nervous wait to see how he had done. He said: 'It was very tense especially because I had been in the same position last year.
'You know when the last starter went so if you know your time you're counting down the minutes and everybody crowds around the finish.
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'It's always very upbeat, sometimes just finishing the course is an achievement in itself.'
Crediting the secret of his success to his teacher Dr Richardson, who coaches the school team, Mr Denby said: '[Dr Richardson] has been there to take us to events at ridiculous times of the morning and has always been encouraging, supportive and has known what we should be doing.
'He's seen me go from not having a clue what I'm doing to becoming champion. He's been a fantastic teacher.'
Dr Richardson said: 'I've taken Steven to this competition every year since 2012 and seen him get close to winning in the past, so it gave me great pleasure to see him finally become British Schools Champion.
'Steven has played an big part in recent team successes for both Norwich School and Norfolk, so he thoroughly deserves this individual honour. I hope that it will inspire more youngsters in Norfolk to take up the sport.'