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 29 with San Antonio ( USA ) the latest country to be admitted in 2019.
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).