The genesis of non-competitive walking
events is the Nijmegen Vierdaagse. It is clearly, at that moment, the
oldest and largest event of this nature in the world, with a history
dating back to 1909.
Due to the success of that event and because more and more
foreign walkers were participating in the Nijmegen Vierdaagse, the
Dutch organization KNBLO helped to get similar events established in
other European countries, starting at the end of the 1960's and the
beginning of the 1970's.
In that period the International Two days Marches of Flanders
(Belgium) started, the Haervesjmarchen in Denmark, La Marche de
l'Armée in Diekirch (GD Luxembourg), International Four days
marches Castlebar (Ireland) and Two days Marches of Bern (Switzerland).
In 1977, the Japan Walking Association established the Japan
Three Day March. This was the first multi-day walking event to be held
in Japan. This also represented a major breakthrough as it meant that
organized non-competitive walking events were no longer exclusive to
Europe. In 1986 several Multi-Day Walking Event Organisations with a
common interest (all more days walking events, which approved of the
idea to organize a multi days walking event) met each other in
Paapendal / Holland, in order to discuss the possibility of founding
some form of International Walking League.
The countries represented were Austria, Belgium, Denmark,
Ireland, Japan, GD Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Switzerland. There
was agreement at that meeting to form such a league.
Since then, membership in
the IML Walking Association has grown steadily to 25 with Sweden
(Borås) the latest country to be admitted in 2011.
International Marching League (IML) has a new title and is now known as
IML Walking Association after a decision taken during the General
Meeting in Vancouver (USA) in 2006.
Foto right: Sit (left to
right): Wil Doctors van Leeuwen (Nl), Juerg Gmür (Swits), Rien de
Jong (Nl), Tomokazu Kaneko (Jpn)
Up (left to right): Tommy
Robinson(Ir), Rudy Leberbauer (Au), Marc Muller (GHL), Luc Henau (B),
Toon Lamote (B) and EO Pederson (Dan).