PreO Means Orienteering For People With Disabilities!

There is a form of orienteering which has been created specifically to cater to those with disabilities – PreO! (short for Precision Orienteering)

PreO relies on placing controls in accessible situations by paths and roads (though often still deep in forests) to enable those with more limited mobility to enjoy orienteering. Competitors are given single control maps and descriptions at each timed control but the level of map-reading and decision making is significantly harder than comparable able-bodied orienteering, so decision-making is timed, not travelling speed between controls.

Competitors can take an escort with them to help with any accessibility issues (eg. pushing a wheelchair) but the escort must not help with any decision making. Extra helpers are also sometimes stationed on particularly steep slopes so accessibility doesn’t mean lack of adventure!

Primary ranking in each race is determined by how many controls the competitor gets right, with decision timing often a way of breaking a tie.

Click on the video above to see how PreO worked at O-Ringen 2022 in Uppsala, Sweden. You can read about PreO further at the British Orienteering website.

What a great way of making orienteering even more inclusive!

(BTW – We now have short, accessible orienteering courses at the Randwick Sustainability Hub in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.)