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Learn to Orienteer Launch

Learn to Orienteer logo

With the aim of improving participation and engagement in orienteering in Australia, a new program called Learn to Orienteer (LTO) was officially launched last month by Orienteering Australia. It aims to teach beginners the fundamental orienteering skills while providing a structured pathway into the sport. A virtual launch event was held in late February, a recording of which can be found here. Slides from the presentation and a transcript can be found in the links below:

Learn to Orienteer launch slides
Learn to Orienteer launch transcript

The launch commenced with an outline of the five stages of orienteering participation from the Orienteering Participation Pathway and the link to the LTO program. Learn to Orienteer’s focus is on individuals at the “LEARN” stage; which helps newcomers become confident and comfortable to engage in orienteering further and become members.

Daniel Stott (Project Leader) shared about the program’s inception, drawing inspiration from educational principles, insights gleaned from other sports and Melbourne families trialling the idea in-between covid lockdowns. He underscored the importance of a participant-centered approach and a sustainable funding model, highlighting the program’s holistic nature in involving all generations. Participants will systematically learn orienteering skills through a specific activity for each individual skill.

The program, developed in collaboration with a dedicated steering committee and informed by research from the Australian Sports Commission, will help participants:

–             Learn NAVIGATIONAL skills and build CONFIDENCE.

–             Have FUN while boosting your FITNESS.

–             Become part of an ACTIVE OUTDOOR COMMUNITY.

A snapshot of what a Learn to Orienteer program would look like was shared and the main documents were showcased, including the Program Delivery Guide, Activity Cards and the Participant’s Handbook. An overview of these documents can be found here and access provided by each state/territories LTO coordinator. See the LTO page of the website for further details.

The launch session finished with outlining the next steps and a Q&A session addressed resource sharing, advertising strategies, and the importance of maintaining the program’s completeness. In closing remarks, OA emphasised the structured and supportive nature of Learn to Orienteer, highlighting its potential for participation growth in the sport.

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