What is Volkssporting?
Volkssporting is an exciting new concept in the United States that is an integral part of an international volkssport movement devoted to physical fitness. These sports, walking, swimming, bicycling, are commonly referred to as volksmarches, volksswims, etc. Their aim is to get people of all ages out of doors to exercise non-competitively in events where everyone who completes the event is considered a WINNER!! "Volkssport" is a German word which loosely translated means "peoples" or "popular" sports. Walking events cover a minimum distance of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) with a shorter 5 kilometer option available.
What are Record Books?
Volkssporters enjoy keeping track of the walks they've done and being rewarded for their achievements. An Event book keeps a record of the number of events walked, and a Distance Book keeps a record of the total distance walked. This is called "walking for credit", and the walker pays a $3 credit fee at each event. When the book is filled, it is sent to the AVA, and the walker receives a beautiful hat pin, patch, (see below) and certificate, and the walker's name is published in The American Wanderer. Normally sold for $5 each, both books AND 3 free credits, as well as a copy of The American Wanderer can be bought by new walkers for only $5.
What is the AVA?
The American Volkssport Association (AVA), was founded in the United States in 1979. The AVA is a member of the International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV), along with almost 30 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. The AVA accredits clubs, sanctions and oversees events and presents IVV awards to eligible participants. The AVA includes over 500 active member clubs and 17 state organizations. The AVA publishes a bimonthly newspaper, The American Wanderer, and a newsletter which give information about all the events and clubs in the USA and Canada.
What are "REGULAR EVENTS"?
A "REGULAR" AVA event is an event with a fixed duration (usually one or two day) and hours (8 A.M. to 4 P.M. for example.). The local club selects a trail, marks the trail or draws maps and writes detailed walking instructions. Most clubs conduct one or two REGULAR EVENTS each year.
What are "YEAR ROUND EVENTS"?
Unlike the REGULAR volkssport events limited to one or two days with set start and finish times, a YEAR ROUND EVENT (YRE) is a self-guided walking event available most days of the year. The local club selects a trail, draws maps and writes detailed walking instructions, and sets up a permanent starting point. You arrive during the stated open hours, register, take a map, and enjoy the trail. These events include series of state parks in several states, great tourist attractions and national parks and good daily exercise routes in hundreds of communities. Some are scenic, some are historical, some are just for exercise. Call the club to find out which events suit your interests. YREs give local citizens a daily exercise opportunity and make traveling more fun for volkssporters. There are over 1100 YREs throughout the USA and Canada. The Metrolina Walkers sponsors three YRE and there are many others in North and South Carolina. Click here for more details.
What is a "GROUP WALK"?
A group of walkers (one or more clubs) set a date and time for the group to start a selected YEAR ROUND EVENT. This type of event is very enjoyable for people that like to talk and meet new friends as they walk.
Who may participate?
ANYONE -- Volkssporting is a family oriented activity. Infants may be pushed in strollers or carried in a backpack. While youngsters and senior citizens may participate, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Club membership is not required.