Encouraging the growth of Nordic Walking takes cooperation as well as creativity
Earlier this week, I participated in a telephone conference with an ad hoc steering committee for Nordic Walking North America, established to disseminate information about Nordic Walking and promote it. Even it if had a budget, this would be a real challenge. With a very small pie (thus far), few training organizations, instructors or equipment suppliers appear eager to share. Feel free to jump all over me if you want to, but please do note that I wrote “few,” not “no.” I truly believe that NWNA is trying to make a breakthrough and has taken the first important step in this country to baking a bigger pie.
I’ve also had communications from frustrated people who were looking for information on Nordic Walking and found me, and from instructors and trainers who are individually trying to grow the sport in their own areas. One of the most ambitious resources that NWNA can provide is a national, searchable list, by geography, of local instructors, regardless of which training organization they went through. Creating such a list is daunting, and includes such issues as privacy. Individual instructors will probably have to be pro-active in supplying information or at least opt in. Some observers do not believe that all training organizations will be eager to provide their lists as a starting point. As one nationally known trainer said, “They all want to know what’s in it for them.”
Here’s my very personal wish list for Nordic Walking, which I ardently hope will gain traction, grow and thrive:
- I wish that all training entities and individual instructors could think beyond what is immediately in it for them.
- I wish that people in the competitive little community of Nordic Walking would recognize that a rising tide lifts all ships.
- I wish that they could understand that everyone who walks with any kind of poles for any purpose using any technique and is enthusiastic about ultimately, if indirectly, benefits everyone.
- I wish that an individual somewhere who wants to start Nordic Walking and is looking for information on how to go about it can find pathways, rather than roadblocks.
What are your wishes for Nordic Walking — and do you have any ideas of how to best go about it?