Outreach in North America and a new magazine in England
It seems as if the loose Nordic Walking community is seeking new connections and new communication. If Nordic Walking is ever to take off on this continent, more such initiatives are needed.
Nordic Walking Expo Planned for Minnesota in June
Great Lakes Nordic Walkers, a new group started by Twin Cities instructors that I wrote about recently, has already announced its first event: the Great Lakes Nordic Walkers Expo on June 12, 2010, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Hyland Park in suburban Bloomington in conjunction with “National Get Outdoors Day” at Hyland Park in suburban Bloomington. No details yet, but if if follows the format of last year’s initial Nordic Walking Expo organized by Nordic Walking North America, an umbrella organization, it will be free to the public and include seminars or panels, an opportunity to try different brands and types of poles and best of all, the chance to take those first steps with some of the top trainers and instructors in the land.
The Santa Monica Expo was such an encouraging groundbreaker that I wrote three posts about it. Click here for scenes from the event. Click here for my take on the collegiality that brought key players in the North American Nordic Walking game to work together toward common goals. Click here for further reflections and a list of participants including contact information. I am looking forward to learning about plans for the Minnesota event.
NWers Seeking NWers
Meanwhile, Marek Zalewski of Nordic Walking US put out the word on his own website and also on Britain’s Nordic Walking eCommunity that he wants to facilitate an informal group in the Washington area and vicinity. He was looking ahead toward spring, because these last few weeks, his part of the country has been slammed by back-to-back blizzards. He wrote: “I was wondering if anyone in Northern Virginia, Maryland and in the Washington, DC area in general would be interested in starting some group walks. I would be willing to lead them, even provide a few initial pairs of loaner poles, some basic training for beginners, etc, at no charge. You would have to provide your own transportation, of course. We could meet in different places in the area, let’s say, once a week, twice, or even once per month. Let me know what you think, before we get too specific.” Links are on his website, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope he gets enough takers to make this worthwhile, and I hope he lets us know when things begin to gel.
Additional ideas for possible Nordic Walking Expos include one in Ottawa on May 29 concurrent with the Ottawa Marathon, a weekend that includes 10K, 5K and family 2K distances, as well as a Health and Fitness Expo. Another possibility is something in October in conjunction with World Walking Day, an international event supported by TAFISA (don’t ask me what the initials stand for). TAFISA’s goal is “to bring joy, health, social interaction, integration and development to communities and citizens around the globe through the promotion of physical activity.” Nordic Walking certainly fits there, and a look at the WWD page on the TAFISA site shows the breadth of its ambitious goals. And stay tuned for
Free Trial Subscription to New Nordic Walking Magazine
David Downer, who wears more Nordic Walking hats than I can list (I’m sure I’d forget something), established a Nordic Walking eCommunity in January 2006 and with editor Malcolm Jarvis has been putting out a weekly newsletter/blog. The next step is the new Nordic Walking Magazine, set to launch soon. Until February 21, you can sign up for a free trial subscription at least for the the first two issues. Billed as the “the world’s first English Language Nordic Walking Magazine periodical,” it will presumably cover gear, events, technique and other news. To register for the trial subscription, click here and from the home page, the click on the “Register” tab (left beneath the header banner at the top of the page). You must register there even if you have previously registered at our pre-launch information site. After the free trial period, paid subscriptions will be kicking in at US$4.95 per month, $10.95 for three months or $29.70 a year ($2.48 per month). A new Nordic Walking forum will also be launched.
Stay tuned for progress on all.