Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Stop Press: The Program for this weekends Ground Breaking Nordic Walking Event in Santa Monica!

Here is the program of activities for this coming Saturday's ground breaking Nordic Walking event in Santa Monica, California...

Featuring leading industry Experts: Dan Barrett; Suzanne Nottingham; Malin Svensson; Tom Rutlin.


Are you a beginner?

Then try the FREE Nordic Walking demos all through the day.

Do you already know the basics of Nordic Walking? Then join the FREE four different 30 minute Nordic Walking classes.

9am: Nordic Walking Class 1: Dan Barrett - "Nordic Sand Walking"

11am: Nordic Walking Class 2: Suzanne Nottingham - "Less Talk More Walk"

1pm: Nordic Walking Class 3: Malin Svensson: - "Nordic Walking Circuit"

3pm: Nordic Walking Class 4: Tom Rutlin - "A Perfect Fit ~ Nordic Walking techniques for any age, ability and goals"

Want to listen to some inspirational lectures?

There are three 30 minute lectures with hot topics about weight loss, getting in shape and staying injured free.

10am: Lecture 1. Malin Svensson: "Burn More Calories with Less Effort"

12pm: Lecture 2. Tom Rutlin: "Transform Walking into a No Pain, Total Body Fitness Solution".

2pm: Lecture 3: Suzanne Nottingham "Injury Prevention for Nordic Walkers"

Book signing by Malin Svensson 10:30am, 12:30pm; 2:30pm

There is only one place to be for North American based Nordic Walking enthusiasts (both participants and industry professionals) this coming Saturday. For the first time ever, key leaders in the North American industry are coming together in the spirit of co-operation for the "betterment of the industry" in this ground breaking event... And every credit to everyone involved!

Venue & Time:

Santa Monica Beach
2600 Barnard Way
Santa Monica, California 90405
Saturday May 30, 2009
8:00AM - 4:00PM

For further details email:


Thursday, May 14, 2009


Nordic Walking - A Future Hope

The last three articles to feature here on Nordic Walking News collectively indicate the possibility of a shift in the world of Nordic Walking, at least at industry level. I am of course referring to the developments at the International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA) and the emerging spirit of co-operation which seems to be becoming a strong feature of the US Nordic Walking community. Perhaps the participants in the latter are taking their cue from the refreshing approach to be witnessed in the country’s highest political office. Of course, it’s difficult to guess where all of this will lead but I’m sure many of us will support such positive trends.

In the fascinating interview with Gary Johnson, it was interesting to see a brief mention about individual members of the public becoming members of the US association of the INWA (NWNA). This reawakens a strongly held conviction of mine for the need for a world-wide organisation which is committed to serve the interests of ALL Nordic Walkers, not just those of the industry. Thus far, it might be said that only one component (the instructor cadre) of the Nordic walking community has some form of collective. The other part (the customers who actually fund the former) has no collective voice.

To my mind, the INWA, with its strong international construction, has always been a likely candidate as the foundation for such a global organisation. However, I am aware that this was never its remit and it is therefore wishful thinking on my part. Furthermore, there is more to the world of Nordic Walking than the INWA previously seemed prepared to recognise, as they appeared to jealously guard the portals to this great activity. Of course, given their former raison d’être they probably could not do otherwise.
However, I sense a shift in attitude which could eventually lead to a spirit of mutual recognition and respect. The success, or otherwise, of this will be largely dependent on those concerned keeping an open mind and putting the interests of the customer first. Perhaps, when matters have consolidated, a debate could be started about providing a strand within, or linked to the INWA which is designed to serve the total Nordic Walking community. Through this mechanism the interests of the customer could be immediately reflected by responses from its service community, the instructor cadre.

The INWA, with its strong educational remit, could thus maintain an independent and authoritative certification of all viable Nordic Walking modalities including the dissemination of methods and guidance about all of the associated paraphernalia. The same organisation could commission and fund (via subscription) scientific test and analysis of Nordic Walking and further validate its undoubted benefits. The advantages for the customer would be quite considerable and would give both a sense of focus and community – something which is currently lacking.

I recognise that for some Nordic Walking is little more than a commodity; a means of adding further income stream. However, I believe strongly that above all else Nordic Walking has the potential to provide millions with the opportunity to enhance the quality of life, help to maintain physical independence and to lead a more sustainable existence. To do this, the movement has to extend much further than its current reach, as thus far, the promotion of this great fitness activity has been largely on a cottage industry scale. I believe that an overarching International Nordic Walking Federation could and should become a great force.
Malcolm Jarvis, Nordic Walking Leeds UK

Thursday, May 07, 2009


An Exclusive Interview with INWA’s “North American" Representative Association

Here at Nordic Walking News and over at our sister publication Nordic Walking eCommunity (, we have in recent months reported on the positive restructuring at INWA (International Nordic Walking Association). Nordic Walking News is therefore delighted to have secured an 'exclusive' interview with INWA’s North American Representative Association which is publised here.

In the interview
David Downer is asking the questions on behalf of Nordic Walking News and Gary Johnson representing NWNA (Nordic Walking North America) is providing the answers.

The Interview:

David: "Hello
Gary, it’s great to talk to you and thank you for agreeing to this interview".

Gary: "My pleasure David and thank you for giving me the opportunity to showcase INWA's North American organization to your readers".

David: "So
Gary, who or what is Nordic Walking North America"?

Gary: "Nordic Walking North America is the INWA representative in North America ( USA & Canada ) and we offer full INWA certifications to instructors".

David: "Why INWA"?

Gary: "INWA is the International Nordic Walking Association, they are one of the oldest and largest Nordic Walking associations around and have played a key role in moving the activity of Nordic Walking forward on the worldwide stage. They are a non profit organization and have now re-dedicated themselves to be an ‘Educational Association’".

David: "That’s interesting; you say that INWA is non-profit"?

Gary: "Yes and I have been surprised by how many people didn’t know this. They did have a title sponsor for a long time in Exel, and Exel breathed life into the association in the beginning, so I think a lot of the confusion comes from that early and very tight association. Now times have changed, Nordic Walking is now a full-blown activity that can stand on its own two feet and Exel no longer needs to chaperone INWA. INWA is now ready to move on to being a truly educational association for the furtherment of the Nordic Walking activity".

David: "So who is actually behind Nordic Walking North America"?

Gary: "The President of Nordic Walking North America is Malin Svensson and I am the Vice President. Malin participated in the very first INWA convention in 2002 and is one of only four International Coaches for INWA and was instrumental in re-structuring INWA. She has written books on Nordic Walking and has been the International Coach in setting up Nordic Walking Programs in several other countries. I was a Reebok Master Trainer for 10 years and I am the owner of Kneedspeed the company that brought lateral movement training to the masses back in the early 90’s. Lateral movement training was sold to Reebok as Slide Reebok".

David: "That’s quite a pedigree. You mention that INWA has been re-structured, so how is INWA organized now"?

Gary: "All on INWA’s boards including the directors are made up of and voted on by the member organizations such as Nordic Waking North America. With the recent changes at INWA’s the length of time served by each position on the board has gone down and there is a rotation program in place. I think you will see some of the new blood flowing into INWA".

David: "How is Nordic Walking North America organized"?

Gary: "We will have several boards including Education, PR, Convention and others. These will be made up of members of NWNA and there will be certain seats that are reserved for ‘special members’ of the Nordic Walking community. NWNA can therefore reflect the full breadth of Nordic Walking throughout North America".

David: "How about education throughout
North America; how will that be organized"?

Gary: "Both Canada and the United States will be split into regions with at least 2 National Coaches per region, and then eventually we will have designated National Coaches per population region. As an example California is a large and densely enough populated state that it may eventually house 4 National Coaches. In the certified ranks below the National Coaches will be the Master Trainers, then Master Instructors, followed by Instructors".

David: "What certification opportunities are being offered by NWNA and how is your training program structured"?

Gary: "National Coaches are invited and have to complete two 2½ day trainings and pass a written and practical test. Certification will last two years and will be renewed by ‘continuing education’ or ‘re-certification’. Master Trainer will complete one 2½ day training. Master Instructor’s one 2 day training and Instructors one 2 day training. All certifications last for two years and can be renewed by ‘continuing education’ or by ‘re-certification’. Additionally all the certifications require the successful completion of both written and practical tests".

David: "Do you offer a membership scheme for members of the public"?

Gary: "INWA only includes its member organizations but NWNA will have a component for ‘individuals’ to be members of NWNA".

David: "Who is NWNA intended for"?

Gary: "Nordic Walking North America is for all instructors or individuals regardless of what trainings they have had in the past or what poles they’re working with. NWNA is a pole neutral educational organization. In our first National Coach training we had participants from several other organizations and we presented information on and had candidates try several different brands of Nordic Walking poles".

David: "Can you clarify what you mean by ‘NWNA is Pole Neutral’"?

Gary: "Nordic Walking North America is pole neutral since it does not recommend or promote any one brand of Nordic Walking pole. This is confusing for some since INWA was so closely associated with Exel but INWA’s recent turn to an ‘educational association’ has freed the member countries to use whatever poles they prefer. Exel is a great manufacturer of poles and there are several great manufacturers of poles. NWNA will educate on the usage of a variety of poles but will not single one brand out as THE Nordic Walking Pole".

David:"So what are the Goals for NWNA"?

Gary: "In North America , Nordic Walking is still a relatively new activity but to date the trend has been for each manufacture to either endorse or develop one training organization, creating a bunch of fragmented organizations trying to promote the activity of Nordic Walking to North America . At the same time they are each trying to promote their particular brand of poles".

"The first goal of NWNA is to represent Nordic Walking as an activity and be an educational organization promoting the safe and effective activity of Nordic Walking. It is our hope to work in co-operation with the existing Nordic Walking organizations to promote Nordic Walking but add credibility to that goal by not being seen as a defacto marketing arm for any one manufacturer. Also by having other organizations become part of NWNA we hope to add creditability to their existing training programs. If we all work together and move as one strong force we can get Nordic Walking to be the fitness activity here in
North America that those of us in the Nordic Walking community know it can be".

David: "How do you hope to achieve this cooperation between organizations"?

Gary: "We are already well on our way. As I mentioned earlier we already had representation from several different organizations at our first National Coach training. For our large second half to the National Coach training we have invited several different organizations and brands to present to our candidates and also to members and the general public, since we will open up one day of presentations to the general public. And of course any organization that is interested in looking for ways for us to work together would be very welcome to contact me directly".

David: "Why NWNA as the co-operating organization"?

Gary: "We have two strengths to help achieve this goal, we have great history through INWA and we are a new organization here in North America . So we get to start with a clean slate. I don’t see NWNA replacing any organization but being the collection point for all the Nordic Walking energy and add some understanding to the different forms of Nordic Walking and promote the simple and safe forms along with the specialized forms of Nordic Walking".

David: "I’ve been saying publicly for 4 years, that a re-structured INWA together with co-operation between the major players in our industry is ‘essential’ if Nordic Walking is going to begin to achieve its potential. I am really encouraged by what I have heard today Gary and I feel that this is a great opportunity. If you achieve the support that this initiative deserves this really could be the dawn of an exciting new era of ‘industry co-operation’ in
North America and one where everyone is a winner. It could also lead to North America setting a new standard that the rest of the Nordic Walking world will be eager to follow. Thank you Gary for all your hard work and I really do wish you and Malin every success with NWNA - You’ve definitely got my support".

Gary: "I’ve enjoyed it David and thank you for the work you have done over the years, which has been instrumental in how all this is coming together".


If you head up an existing Nordic Walking Organization; or you are a manufacturer; an instructor, an enthusiast or you have any other interest in Nordic Walking in North America and you’d like to contact Gary and Nordic Walking North America; here's how you can do it:

Via Website:
Via Email: email: info(at)nordicwalkingusa(dot)com

Note: Replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .

Monday, May 04, 2009


Ground Breaking North American Nordic Walking Event in Santa Monica!

For the "first time ever" the leaders players (both individuals & companies) in the North American Nordic Walking Industry, are coming together for a ground breaking 'public' event, to teach "YOU"!

In recent months behind the scenes negotiations lead by NWNA (Nordic Walking North America) the North American INWA Representatives, has resulting in the leading players in the North American Nordic Walking Industry coming together to co-operate, in promoting and participating in this 'first ever' joint event.

Confirmed participants include:


Meet the top Nordic Walking Pole companies:


Meet the top Nordic Walking educators:

Tom Rutlin (Exerstride® Method Nordic Walking), Malin Svensson (NWNA & Nordic Body™), Dan Barrett (FITTREK), Suzanne Nottingham (NWN)

What's on Offer?

- Free Admission
- Free and easy demos for beginners

- Free and fun advanced classes

- Free and simple lectures on getting in shape
and healthy weight loss tips.

- Meet author, Malin Svensson, as she signs her new book
Outdoor Adventures: Nordic Walking (Human Kinetics, May 2009)

Where & When?

Santa Monica Beach
2600 Barnard Way
Santa Monica, California 90405
Saturday May 30, 2009
8:00AM - 4:00PM

There is only one place to be for North American based Nordic Walking enthusiasts on Saturday May 30th and that's with the US industry leaders in Santa Monica, California. Come and support this initiative and welcome in a new era of co-operation in the North American Nordic Walking industry!

For further details email:


Note: Replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .

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