The IVV and its Award System
IVV stands for “Internationaler Volkssport Verband” which is translated as the “International Federation of Popular Sports”.
IVV is an organisation founded in 1968 by clubs from Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria, to encourage “unforced” walking as a healthier activity for the general public, in contrast to the numerous running clubs and organisations which had strict time restrictions (e.g. 10 km in 50 minutes), and which were not suitable (and a source of injuries) for the untrained.
Since that time, the IVV concept has been embraced by numerous other countries around the world, where National IVV Associations have been set up to organise, control and administer IVV accredited events within their countries (e.g. most of the European countries, USA, Canada, Japan, Korea and Israel.)
Additionally, in countries where there are no national organisations, individual clubs may become members – and the Canberra Two Day Walk Inc. became one such direct Club member in September 1999.
The IVV concept has also been broadened to embrace not just walking, but also cycling, swimming and cross-country skiing.
The goals of the IVV are:
- To foster public health by encouraging leisure outdoor activities, and
- To promote peace and understanding among peoples through friendships developed between participants from different countries at (IVV) events.
To encourage and recognise repeated participation in IVV events, an award system has been set up. The award system recognises both the number of events completed, and the total distance covered.
Awards, in the form of pins and sew on patches and a certificate, are awarded in the following steps:
- For number of events : 10, 30 and 50 events, and thereafter in steps of 25 to 600 events. Then in steps of 50 to 1500 events, and thereafter in steps of 100 (although certificates may still be obtained after every 25 events).
- For total distance covered: In steps of 500 km to 8,000 km, then in steps of 1,000 km to 22,000 km. Then for 25,000 km, and there after in steps of 5,000 km.
The award system only applies for participation in, and completion of, IVV sanctioned events. In the case of walking events, the minimum distance is 5 km. The performance(s) are then stamped into the appropriate IVV award record booklets/cards. There are separate “Events” and “Distance” record books.
Current cost for a record booklet is AU$10. The cost of the record booklet includes the cost of the relevant award.
New walkers can purchase an introductory kit that has both an event and distance book plus a coupon for 3 free walk stamps for only $10.
At the completion of each award step, you need to send your completed record booklet to the specified award warden. For participants living in Australia, your record book should be sent to the following address:
American Volkssport Association
1001 Pat Booker
Universal City, TX 78148-4147
The relevant award and certificate will be sent be return mail.
You will then need to purchase a new record booklet to begin recording the events/distances towards the next award step.
Events leading to an award step may span a number of years and IVV record booklets/cards bought in one country may be used for IVV events in any other country. Award booklets are not transferable.
Each year, the IVV produces an Annual Calendar, which lists the known IVV events throughout the world. The Calendar contains the dates, brief event details, and contacts for the events, and is useful for planning your holidays to take in some IVV events – and thus add to your number of events and kilometres!
Registered participants in the Canberra Walking Festival will get free IVV credits as part of their entry fee, if they have purchased an IVV record booklet (event and/or distance). There are also several other year round walks that can be done in Australia for a nominal fee, with World Walking Day in May and the St NicholasEmbassy Walk in December each year in Canberra being free events.
There is more information about the IVV at the following (external) web sites:
www.ava.org/ (USA IVV site)
www.walks.ca (Canadian IVV site)
www.bwf-ivv.org.uk/ (British IVV site)