Murray Scown, a Geography Honours student at the University of New England and a SportUNE full sporting scholarship holder, has returned to Australia after competing in the World University Orienteering Championships in Sweden.
He was the first Australian across the line in the middle distance event, finishing 61st, and in the long distance event, finishing 70th. In the relay, Australia beat New Zealand by one second in a sprint finish to come 22nd.
Murray Scown (pictured here) has been competing internationally since the age of 15 and has travelled around Australia as well as to New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Lithuania for orienteering competitions.
“The best thing I’ve gained from travelling to participate in orienteering competitions is the friends I’ve made from all over the world,” he said. “The experience of competing against the world’s best has been great. It has made me realise how much hard work I still need to put into training. The Europeans are really competitive.”
One of his proudest achievements was his selection in the Australian team for the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Lithuiaia in 2006 and being one of only two Australians to qualify for the middle distance final.
“Balancing sport and competition is easy if you do it right,” he said. “SportUNE has been a big help for me: the scholarships they provide athletes at UNE really help financially, and the sports facilities are some of the best I have seen at any university in Australia.”
THE PHOTOGRAPH of Murray Scown displayed here shows him competing in the World University Orienteering Championships in Sweden.