Volksmarching (from German “Volksmarsch”, people’s march) is a form of non-competitive fitness walking that developed in Europe in the mid-late 1960s. By 1968, the International Federation of Popular Sports (better known as the “IVV”) was formed by Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The national emblems of these four countries were placed in a wreath to form the symbol IVV
Though walking is the primary activity, the volkssporting movement also includes bicycling, swimming, cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing, and other approved activities.Special provisions also allow for the physically challenged to participate in most events.
Participants typically walk 5 kilometers (3.1 mi), 10 kilometers (6.2 mi), 20 kilometers (12 mi) or longer, on a pre-determined outdoor path or trail, with the aid of posted signs or markings, or a map and a set of written directions. Volksmarching associations offer incentive awards (including certificates, pins and patches) for participating in a certain number of events and for covering different cumulative distances over time. Volksmarching participants enjoy recording distances and event participation in international record books