Volkswalking comes from the German term "Volksmarch" that literally means "a people's walk." It's a noncompetitive outdoor walk, usually 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) through a scenic, historic, or interesting area over a predetermined route. Sometimes there is a 5 kilometer (3.1 miles) or other option.
Volkswalks provide opportunities for people to see new countryside and landmarks, meet other people, and collect incentive awards. It's not a contest. The purpose of Volkswalking is to encourage people of all ages to participate in the healthful hobby of hiking/walking/running on a noncompetitive basis. This makes Volkswalking an excellent recreational activity for the entire family. Volkssports may also include events in biking, swimming, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
The IVV, or International Federation of Popular Sports, was founded in Europe in 1968. It is the parent organization of a number of affiliates around the world. Among the largest is the AVA, the American Volkssport Association, located in Universal City, Texas, which oversees the events in all 50 states.
Come participate in one of these walks, and discover for yourself why thousands of people of all ages in this country have joined the sport of Volkswalking.
You can participate in the incentive awards program simply by purchasing (for $6.00 each) record books for events and distance, which are valid indefinitely and are honored at any IVV sanctioned Volkssport event worldwide. The different levels of achievement for events are: 10, 30, 50, and every 25 additional events, and for distance: every 500 km. When one book is completed, it must be sent to the AVA National Office, who will then mail the appropriate award, consisting of a stick pin, patch, and certificate.
How do I find out about walks?
Volkswalks are sponsored by individual clubs. All walks are posted on the organizations website at ava.org . Some clubs also have a presence on meetup.org . The ESVA (Evergreen State Volkssport Association) has information on walks in Washington State at esva.org . A person can always e-mail a club and ask to receive information about their scheduled walks.
Do I have to be a member to participate?
You do not have to be a member of any Volkswalk club to participate in walks. However, if you would like to become involved with others who are interested in walking and in helping to plan walks, all clubs are happy to have new members. Benefits to club members and membership fees vary from club to club. It is a good way to meet new people, and it is a lot of fun to work together at a walk and participate in walks together.
How much does it cost?
Anyone can walk free at any Volkswalk event. If you are walking for IVV credit, however, the fee is usually $3.00 for the credit stamps in your book.
Other awards which may be available include an embroidered patch, and enameled, cloisonné or pewter medal or pin, or some other item, as designed by the sponsoring club. The costs vary for these
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