This is a wonderful club!! I am dreaming of doing this someday. I haven’t gotten to yet, but have ordered my New Walkers Packet and am just waiting to get to start it.. 🙂 I have spoken to several people who do it and absolutely love it! Here is a little bit about it below:
What Is Volkssporting? Volkssporting started in Germany and simply defined, is a personal fitness sports and recreation program offering noncompetitive walks, hikes, bike rides, swims, and in some regions cross-country skiing. You may choose your time to start within the start/finish “window” and participate in the sport at your own pace. Walking – also called “volksmarching” – is the most popular of all the volkssporting activities. Volkssporting in the United States is sponsored by the American Volkssport Association (AVA) which has a nationwide, grassroots network of about 300 active clubs presenting more than 3,000 volkssporting events each year. Founded in 1976, AVA is an educational nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to promoting fun, fitness and friendship. Almost 400,000 Participants The 2010-2011 AVA Biennial Report indicates that almost 400,000 people took part in AVA events during the July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2010 reporting period. Year-Round and Nationwide Volkssporting events take place throughout the year, all around the country. Historic and scenic sites are selected for their enjoyment. Trails are carefully laid out and marked and easy to follow directions or maps are provided. Trails are rated based upon the challenge the route presents. The designated Start Point is open for several hours to allow you to begin your volkssporting adventure at your leisure. Trails have checkpoints along the route and are monitored for security and safety. In the volkssporting tradition, you frequently find volkssporters gathered at the Finish Point where they take time to enjoy friends, and at some events, entertainment or refreshments. Membership Open to everyone, local club or national membership is optional, but highly recommended. Join the AVA today! Go to the www.ava.org homepage and use the membership link. Volkssporting As A Lifestyle Many people adopt volkssporting as part of their lifestyle, and have completed hundreds of events and thousands of kilometers. While most begin walking for fitness (that inevitable medical ‘‘wakeup call”), most continue because of friendships and social benefits. Most participants do take part in the International Achievement Award Program by purchasing record books to record their progress, or receive a special event award that adds to the fun of accomplishment. Volkssporter Profile The average volkssporter is a “baby boomer,” in his or her mid-fifties, and usually an “empty-nester” either approaching or beginning retirement. The ratio of female to male participants is about 60%-40%. Approximately 25,000 volkssporters are members of local clubs, with thousands more regularly walking each year. Past surveys indicate 84% travel out of state on a regular basis to participate in events and that they participate for enjoyment of the outdoors, exercise, health, travel and to enjoy the fun and social aspects of volkssporting.