What is a "Volkssport"?

Translated from German, volkssport means “sport of the people.” The sport originated in Europe over 35 years ago in response to the need for a fun, healthy, outdoor activity for individuals and families. Volkssporting events include activities like walks, bikes, swims, and cross-country skis. Most popular, however, are the walks–usually 10 kilometers on a well-marked trail with directions and a map to get you back where you started. There is usually a 5 kilometer option for those not wishing to walk as far. Trails frequently explore parks, historic areas, famous sites, and scenic neighborhoods. In addition to exercise, these non-competitive events provide a family-oriented social environment in which participants share the spirit of walking–meeting friends, walking scenic trails, and improving mental, as well as physical health, with a natural, accessible, low-stress activity. 

Volkssporting events are non-competitive, but a participant’s achievements can still be recognized and rewarded. An optional Achievement Award Program, governed by the International Volkssporting Organization (the Internationaler Volkssport Verband or IVV) provides certificates, patches and pins to commemorate milestones in distance or number of events completed. To take advantage of this program, a nominal amount ($3.00) covers the cost of recording credit. Some events also offer an award or memento usually available for $4.00 to $7.00 inclusive of credit.

Volkssporting events sponsored by local clubs are available in every state in the United States and in numerous countries worldwide. The Walk ‘n Mass club hosts events around eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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