Volkssporting is a fast growing activity in America. It originated in Europe in the 1960’s in response to the need for some type of outdoor sport, free from competition and for people of all ages. Translated from German, Volkssport means “the sport of the people.” The hallmark of volkssporting is to promote physical fitness and good health by providing opportunities for fun-filled, safe exercise in a non-competitive, stress-free environment. You participate at a pace that is safe, comfortable and enjoyable for you. Most events are walks, but sports such as biking, swimming, and cross-country skiing are also included. There are about 280 clubs throughout the United States that sponsor more than 1,850 year-round and seasonal events and 1,000 or more special week-end events per year. Typically, a walk or bike event will pass through and showcase residential areas, parks, nature centers or historical areas. Planning your visit to cities or states around AVA walks is a good way to experience the area. A directory, called the Starting Point, lists all the AVA year-round and seasonal walks and bikes. The Starting Point is available from local clubs or the AVA national office. Information about all AVA events is also available on the AVA website. ava.org
IVV/AVA Achievement Awards Program
The International Volkssport Verein (IVV) is the international organization that oversees Volkssporting world wide. The American Volkssport Association (AVA) is the U.S. affiliate of the IVV. The IVV has an awards program that most participants choose to enroll in. To participate, you purchase two little record books. An IVV Event Record Book and an IVV Distance Record Book. These books are usually purchased from the local club. Every event has a rubber stamp that is unique to it. After you complete an event and pay the appropriate credit fee you may stamp your books. On completion of milestones, participants receive a certificate, pin and patch from the AVA. Your name and milestone are also published in “The American Wanderer”, AVA’s national publication. Event milestone awards are earned for completion of 10, 30 and 50 events and for every 25 events up to 600. Thereafter the increments become larger. Distance milestone awards are earned after completion of every 500 kilometers (about 310 miles) up to 8,000 kilometers. Thereafter the increments become larger. The achievement awards program is international, so if you happen to attend an event in another country, you can accumulate credit for those as well.
|Volksmarch – Organized walks, normally 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). A shorter 5 K option is frequently available for week-end events.|
|Volksswim – Organized swims covering a distance of 300, 500 or 1000 meters. Participants may use any combination of strokes or even walk the pool, resting as necessary.|
|Volksbike – Organized rides covering distances ranging from 25 to 50 kilometers.|
|Volksski – Organized cross-country skiing events, usually 10 to 20 kilometers long.|
To learn more about volkssporting check out the AVA web site. ava.org