Discover the History of Nordic Walking with the Creator and the mission of the World Original Nordic Walking Federation - our organization, its goals and future!"

History of Nordic Walking and ONWF

Nordic Walking got its start in the spring of 1997, when Marko Kantaneva, while studying and working at the Finnish Sports Institute in Vierumäki, Finland from 1994 to 1997, independently developed various Nordic Walking exercises (then known as SAUVAKÄVELY) for course groups. Marko used Nordic Walking as part of his thesis (1994-1997), despite the fact that physical activity as such did not even exist at the time...

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Mission and goals of the ONWF


Our mission is to care for the health of the global community, guided by the idea of Nordic Walking activity within the concept of Nordic Walking Fitness clubs. We aim to achieve this through active promotion, education and motivation, inspiring people to participate in Nordic Walking on a regular basis. We want to create a global network of clubs where everyone can experience the health benefits of this form of physical activity. Our mission also includes supporting research, innovation and creating a community that promotes healthy lifestyles, physical activity and mental well-being at all skill levels and ages."


  • promotion of Nordic Walking as one of the easiest and healthiest sports disciplines in the world

  • development and promotion of ONWF educational programs to train professional Nordic Walking Instructors, Trainers and Judges

  • Nordic Walking as an example of creating outdoor Fitness Nordic Walking Clubs

  • organizing improvement workshops, providing marketing tools, information systems and applications to support the work of instructors and ONWF partners

  • introducing innovative forms of motivation for regular activity, such as sports competition, sports tourism, gamification and modern applications

  • to conduct scientific research on Nordic Walking technique and pole training, supporting the development of this field

  • strengthen global cooperation through the unification of national organizations in ONWF

  • standardize training standards for Nordic Walking instructors and trainers internationally

  • establish a coherent system of international competition within the World Nordic Waking League, including national leagues, aiming to unite communities and raise the standards of the sport worldwide.

  • unify and create international judging standards for Nordic Walking competitions

  • diversification of revenue sources for ONWF and partners.

  • strive for recognition of Nordic Walking as an Olympic discipline, emphasizing its global stature.

ONWF board

Marko Kantaneva

Founder | Finland

Marcin Szulc

CEO | Poland

Organizational structure of ONWF

ONWF connects thousands of amazing people with a passion for physical activity and Nordic Walking from all over the world. Get to know us better!

Would you like to join the organization?

Do you dream of a fascinating and rewarding job related to Nordic Walking? Would you like to become not only a Nordic Walking Instructor or Judge, but help promote this activity in your country on various levels? Now is the perfect time to join us and become part of our dynamic community!

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We are where you are

We have our representatives in many countries. Get to know them and sign up for training.