Peo Bengtsson- the most important ambassador of the orienteering! An “old” man (85 in August) but still very young in his mind, he is still always thinking how we can develop orienteering world-wide and make orienteering more global. Through his travel company, WWOP (World Wide Orienteering Promotion), he tries to use all his effort to promote the development of the orienteering to a world class sport.
WWOP was started in 1984 by Jörgen Mårtensson and Peo Bengtsson, but since spring 2000 Peo is the only owner of WWOP AB.
The promotion of the orienteering sport is done mostly with sponsoring of mapping in new orienteering-countries and through sponsoring of clever participants from poor and isolated countries, so they get possibilities to participate in important world-competitions. He is also the founder of O-Ringen Academy, formerly called “O-Ringen Clinic”, an education camp to train coaches, young athletes to organise education in orienteering, smaller events, mapping and course planning and to improve navigation skills among the participants.
The economic profit of WWOP travel organization creates money for these sponsorships. WWOP is annually arranging 5-10 travels. Before the WWOP was established he has also organized orienteering-travels. The first travel was in 1961, and since then more than 250 travels of different lengths have been organized. One of the most well-known travels is the “Höst-Öst” (Autumn-East). During each autumn in 50 years in row he has organised events with local organisers in the east of Europe.
Approximately WWOP in this way has contributed with about more than 1.5 millions Euro for the international spreading of the orienteering sport. In 1961 IOF (International Orienteering Federation) had 11 countries as members and currently IOF has 71 member federations. Before 1961 he had only run orienteering in the Nordic countries (4), but today he has been running in more than 100 countries all over the world.
As long as he is running WWOP, there will be no change in this policy. The profit from the WWOP travel organization will still more promote the international development of the orienteering sport. Since many years he believes that Orienteering shall be part of the Olympic Games. Already during the Games in Munich 1972 he organised an orienteering event outside the city to promote the sport of orienteering to IOC. IOF and Peo Bengtsson have a common vision to get Foot Orienteering or Ski-Orienteering part of the Olympic we hope this dream will come through!
Peo is ready for WOD. During May 23rd he will organise an event both for children at school and for his team mates in his homeclub, OK Pan Kristianstad.