If YOU like Walking…You’ll Love VOLKSSPORT!
Volkssport? What’s That?
Literally translated, volkssport means “people’s sport”. It all began about 50 years ago in Europe where a need was recognized for healthy, organized, non-competitive activities, suitable for people of all ages and their families. Efforts in several communities resulted in the development of local “volkssport” clubs, which sponsored events for walking, cycling, swimming, and cross-country skiing. The movement grew rapidly.
Now, across Canada, throughout the United States, and in more than 50 countries around the world, unique opportunities are available for safe, healthy exercise, without the stresses of speed and strain of endurance. A distinctive hallmark of volkssports is that all participants who successfully complete the event of their choice at their own pace, are recognized as “winners”!
To date in Canada, walking events are by far the most popular activity among volkssport club members. What is a Walking Event?
They follow planned trails which are safe, scenic and circular (that is, you finish where you started). The trails are usually 5 and 10 kilometers (km) and occasionally, longer walks are offered. Walks are held in all weather conditions, so long as life and limb are not at risk. Three kinds of Walking Events are held: Volksmarchs, Guided/Map Walks, and year-round or seasonal events using Permanent Trails, check out Q&A for details.
The International Federation of Popular Sports, or the IVV (Internationaler Volkssport Verband) as it’s more commonly known, was formed in 1968 to extend the promotion of the volkssport program worldwide, with the aim of contributing to peace and understanding, good health and well-being among the people of all nations by fostering friendship through volkssport.
Volkssport came to Canada in the early 1980’s and has grown steadily ever since. The Canadian Volkssport Federation (CVF) was formed in 1986 and now has over 30 member clubs, plus three provincial organizations, and sponsors hundreds of volkssport events across the country each year.
Who May Take Part in Volkssports?
Volkssports are open to everyone. There are no age limits, from youngsters to seniors! Because walking is a relatively simple activity, it’s safe and inexpensive form of exercise with health benefits accruing for years. Although membership in a volkssport club is not a requirement, most volkssporters choose to do so and enjoy regular participation in the friendly company of other members. Cycling, Swimming, and Cross-Country Skiing are also popular volkssports offered to a broad range of Canadians.
The IVV’s Individual Achievement Awards Program is another popular feature of Volkssports, available internationally at low cost. Many participating volkssporters benefit from the personal incentive and satisfaction gained by qualifying for a series of IVV awards based on the number of volkssport events completed, and/or the distances they have walked, biked, swum or skied. After each event, their personal IVV record books are stamped, recognizing their participation in the event and the distance they have completed. Distance is not recorded for swimming only events.
Upon achieving a required progressive level, participating volkssporters forward their record books to the appropriate CVF office. In return, without additional cost, they receive their well-earned award in the form of a certificate of achievement, and mention in the national newsletter and other local newsletter
More questions? Maybe we’ve answered them on our FAQ page
You will be welcomed as a walker or, better still, as an active member of your local volkssport club. If YOU like walking…(cycling, swimming or cross-country skiing)….You’ll Love VOLKSSPORT