AUOC Pride Month- Making Orienteering More Inclusive 

Pride Month is still an important time for progress towards inclusivity and equality. With the rising pushback against equal rights in countries like the USA and UK, many arguments focus on equality in sports. But inclusivity is equally important to many people; AUOC is fortunate enough to be an inclusive club with trans individuals and allies alike.

The Progress Pride Flag

AUOC has developed into an inclusive club through its members’ acceptance of others’ identities and willingness to learn and understand to create a friendly and welcoming space. However, AUOC is not the only inclusive club in Scotland; many clubs are doing good work to promote inclusivity. EUOC has a firm inclusivity policy and offers a non-binary category at all their events. Work has also been done at the Scottish University Students Orienteering Championships, where a gender non-conforming category has been introduced.

Despite seeing several sporting bodies limit their transgender policies. AUOC has found orienteering to be an inclusive and welcoming sport. A special thank you to both GRAMP and MAROC, who have been very welcoming to all our club members regardless of perceived differences. They are indeed a great example of the orienteering community.

Clubs can take many small and straightforward steps to become more inclusive, like keeping people’s gender on entries and results updated to their preferences and requirements, introducing non-binary or gender non-conforming categories at events, and welcoming and understanding people with transgender identities. Another policy that SOA and BOF can introduce is a less restrictive transgender policy, such as Scottish Hockey’s policy which states that as hockey is a non-contact sport, there is no restriction at a domestic level for transgender athletes. The SOA transgender policy is determined by the BOF policy as it is not a devolved matter. BOFs transgender policy is governed by the IOF at any level above local events. The IOF transgender policy is under review at the moment. SOA and BOF can also help create space for more research on the equality of transgender athletes.