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Trail Orienteering (Trail O) is one of the four disciplines of the sport recognised by the International Orienteering Federation. It evolved after a number of years of experimenting with different formats so that people with disabilities could have meaningful orienteering competitions.

Since those days it has been accepted as a version that can be enjoyed by everyone. It is particularly valuable in introducing the sport as it concentrates on the map interpretation and the relationship of that to the terrain, without a time element.

The area required to set a Trail Orienteering course need not be large so that school campuses, city and country parks are all suitable, the need for unfamiliar terrain becomes less and therefore it is possible to provide 'pay and play' courses near population centres.

Competitors in forest, one in a wheelchair

The elite course is a challenge to experienced orienteers and can be included in a training schedule for top competitors giving the opportunity to occasionally train without going to prime terrain.

Any planner should remember that a course should be available for people with restricted mobility, needing wheelchairs, walking sticks or crutches, as well as fit athletes. Therefore, paths, tracks or marked routes in suitable forest areas should be used for all competitors who proceed round the track at their own pace.

Remember this is an inclusive sport, so no variation that discriminates against those with impaired mobility should be introduced.

Another article introducing Trail O.

Up to Trail O home page