What is Volkssport?

If you are among the growing majority who believe that regular outdoor activity in congenial company can improve one’s health, fitness and quality of life, then volkssporting is for you.

Volkssporters share your belief and enjoy walking as members of a friendly volkssport club. VABC is proud to be  a member of the national and international volkssporting community. Literally, “Volkssporting” translates as “people’s sports”.

It all began over 50 years ago in Europe where a need was recognized for healthy, non-competitive events suitable for people of all ages, where everyone who participates and completes the activity is a “winner” and is eligible for awards. The movement soon spread around the world to more than 50 countries, including Canada.

The Canadian Volkssport Federation (CVF) was formed in 1987. CVF now has 30 member clubs, including three provincial associations. The volunteers in these clubs and associations sponsor many different types of events, including walking, cycling, swimming and cross country skiing, though walking is by far the most popular.

VABC has six member clubs that sponsor group events throughout the year, primarily walking, though some clubs also offer cycling, VABC also sponsors walking events, all of which are listed by following the tab in the menu above, Online PTs. There are two types of walks (or rides): Permanent Trails and Scheduled Events.

Permanent Trails. Permanent Trails (PTs) are self-guided walks/rides that are in place over a fixed period of time, usually a year, and at a specific location. PT information can be accessed through the tab ‘Permanent Trails’ in the menu above. You are welcome to do these walks on your own at any time. In addition, group walks of Permanent Trails occur throughout the year – for more information on dates and times check with the walk contact or look on the club’s website.   

Seasonal Events are PTs that typically take place when the weather is better, usually late spring through the summer.

Scheduled Events Also referred to as Map Walks.  We meet at a specified place and start time. Maps and directions are supplied for each participant. The group will start off together and then spread out as participants walk at their own pace. Details about Scheduled Events can be accessed through the tab ‘Calendar’ above. We think of these as special events because each is held no more than once a year.

Achievement Awards

A unique feature of volkssporting is the optional achievement award program. This personal achievement program allows you to record, in specially designed Distance and Event books, the distance and number of events that you participate in. You may purchase these books from any volkssport club at a regular event, at a cost of $5. The cost includes the awards for which you are eligible at the completion of each book.

To receive recognition in Volkssport Canada, the national newsletter, and to receive your awards, completed books should be sent to: Marion Boom, CVF Awards Coordinator, 42 Billingham Crescent,  Ottawa  ON   K2K 2T7. Marion’s email address is walking4fun2@gmail.com. Every time you send her a completed book, you will receive a pin, patch, and certificate to recognize your achievement. The first time you send a completed book, you will also receive a CVF “Passport,” in which your achievement will be recorded. This passport should be included for updating each time you send Marion a book.

Trail Rating

Another special feature of volkssporting in Canada is our trail rating system. Every walk in Canada is assigned a letter and number, allowing walkers to determine in advance whether the walk is suitable for them.

INCLINE

1 Very little hill or stair climbing
2 Some moderate hill or stair climbing
3 Some significant hill or stair climbing
4 A great deal of significant hill or stair climbing
5 Many steep hills or high altitude trails

TERRAIN

A Walk is almost entirely on pavement, probably suitable for baby strollers
B A significant part of the walk takes place on well-groomed trails with very little more difficult terrain
C A significant part of the walk takes place on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky/rooted paths)
D A significant part of the walk takes place on very difficult terrain
E The majority of the walk takes place on very difficult terrain

Please be reminded that extreme weather conditions can raise the difficulty of routes. Volkssporters should exercise extreme caution under certain weather conditions. Caution is also advised when walking on trails after dusk.

Walking Programs

VABC and CVF have a number of Special Walking Programs which encourage you to explore some of the scenic wonders of Canada. Participants receive special pins and certificates to recognize their achievements.

Summary of BC Special Walking Programs

Walk BC
Location: Wherever a BC club organizes a walk.
Cost: Free to join challenge; $4 for a patch or pin.
Awards and Recognition: Certificate to everyone who does a group walk with every club. Patches and pins are optional extras.
Special Characteristics: A great way to meet walkers in other clubs. Contact vabc@volkssportingbc.ca to obtain a challenge book.
Dates: Open and ongoing.

Walk BC PT Challenge
Location: From Sooke to Mount Robson to Whistler and many points in between.
Cost: Free to join challenge; $4 for a patch or pin
Awards and Recognition: Three levels – bronze, silver, gold. Certificate for completing all PTs and seasonals in one, two, or all three regions of BC
Special Characteristics: A wonderful way to explore BC. Ask your club president or contact vabc@volkssportingbc.ca for a challenge book.
Dates: Open and ongoing.

CVF Special Walking Programs

Full details of the CVF programs, including downloadable stamp sheets, can be found on the CVF website by clicking here.

Notice to ALL walkers doing CVF walks in ANY part of Canada: The Canadian Volkssport Federation will not accept liability for medical expenses due to accident while doing any of our sponsored walks. The CVF HIGHLY recommends that Canadians and non-Canadians have proper and adequate medical insurance when they do a walk out of their home province, or arrive from another country.