International walking event heading for the neighborhood


Since January 1 of this year, the national headquarters of the AVA (“America’s Walking Club”) has been right here in the neighborhood, at 1008 South Alamo.

The AVA has 200 clubs across the United States and sponsors over 2,500 annual events. One of the biggest events internationally is headed for San Antonio.

According to CEO Henry Rosales, the international organization (the IVV -- International Volkssportverband or International Federation of Popular Sports) is bringing its walking ‘Olympiad’ to San Antonio in February of 2023. At the same time, another international walking organization, the IML (International Marching League), will host its international event here. Henry expects that walkers will come to San Antonio and participate in events for both.

In total, Henry says that he expects more than four thousand international walkers to come to San Antonio for the six days of walking and socializing in 2023.

An all-day event announcing the Olympiad will be held Tuesday, March 30, at the AVA headquarters on South Alamo. It begins with a 7:30 AM 5K walk and includes an open house from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, a press conference at 9:30 AM, and an Elvis tribute artist from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

“Basically, we’re opening our house,” Henry told us. “Come on in, see what we do, and if you like it, come on some of our walks, maybe join the club.” He notes that they’ll be giving away free memberships during the open house.

The event will be attended by District 1 Councilperson Robert C Trevino, AVA vice president Nancy Wittenberg, King William Association executive director Lisa Lynde, and AVA CEO Henry Rosales.

The AVA promotes ‘volkssport’. Here’s an explanation of that term from the AVA’s website:

The term “volkssport” is German for “sport of the people”. Volkssporting in the United States is sponsored by the American Volkssport Association (AVA) which has a nationwide, grassroots network of over 200 active clubs nationwide presenting more than 2,500 volkssporting events each year. We welcome people of any background, age, and ability to come participate in our noncompetitive sporting events. Set your own pace at any of our events whether it be walking, biking, swimming, canoeing, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing.

If you love to walk and meet new friends, join any of our walking clubs nationwide to find the perfect trail for you. No membership is required, only the motivation to walk! Bring your family, friends, and even pets on the beautiful, unique trails that the AVA offers.

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