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Volkssporting arrives in Colfax, plans events

Whitman County Library to facilitate walks the entire year.

Local+volkssporting+includes+guided+walks+in+Eastern+Washington+and+the+Idaho+Panhandle.+
Local volkssporting includes guided walks in Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle.

Local volkssporting includes guided walks in Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle.

Courtesy of Shirley Cornelius

Courtesy of Shirley Cornelius

Local volkssporting includes guided walks in Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle.

AUDREY HUDDLESTON, Evergreen reporter

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Volkssporting has made its way to Colfax. Derived from a German word meaning “folk,” volkssporting is by definition the sport of the people.

Shirley Cornelius, business manager at the Whitman County Library, said volkssporting is an organization dedicated to promoting healthy fitness for American people.

According to the Dairyland Walkers website, the activity focuses primarily on walking along a set trail or path. While walking is the most popular activity, people are sometimes given the option to bike, swim or ski.

Every event that participants log receives a stamp and some credit toward their first patch.

Participants need two books, which can be purchased through the Lilac City Volkssporting Association, to record their participation. One book records events and the other records distance. Books can be sent to the International Volkssport Verein, an international organization responsible for overseeing volkssporting worldwide, and they will send out the patches.

Cornelius emphasized that the sport isn’t competitive. It is simply a way to get out, see different areas and meet new people. She said she and her husband met at a volkssporting event.

The sport started in Germany and came to America in 1976, Cornelius said.

Cornelius said 250 organizations now exist nationwide promote volkssporting events, and there are usually about 3,000 events annually.

Local volkssporting is supported by the Lilac City Volkssporting Association, which extends mostly through Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle.

A full list of local events and trails can be found on their website. The trails go through historic towns, state parks, national forests, designated walking areas and university campuses.

Cornelius said the Whitman County Library will facilitate volkssporting for the rest of the year. She said participants can stop by the library any time it’s open to pick up a map and a brochure of historical sites in Colfax to guide them on the trail.

In addition to this ongoing volkssporting, she said the library plans to put on a volkssporting event in April. This means everyone will participate in the same block of time, with specific start and end times.

Cornelius said that prior to the event they will host an information session for those interested in learning more about volkssporting before participating.

The session will be at noon on March 21. There may be another later in the day, most likely at 6 p.m., she said.

Those looking for another way to participate in the sport can walk along other local trails in Pullman, Moscow and Clarkston, which can be found on the Lilac City Volkssport Association website.

Keats McLaughlin, a member of the Lilac City Volkssporting Association, encourages everyone to participate. However, he said the walks are most popular among middle-aged and retired people who have more time for it.

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Volkssporting arrives in Colfax, plans events