Sports Recommendation: Race Walking
Race walking is one of the athletics events. Athletes of race walking put their power, strength, endurance and skills to the test. Not only one’s body but also his/her willpower can be strengthened through race walk. Various major races are held every year and attract a lot of participants.
Origin of race walking
Race Walking, evolving from common walking, originated in the United Kingdom in the 19th Century. The first race walking event was held in 1866, organised by the Amateur Athletic Club, and was a 7-mile race. At the end of the 19th Century, “race walking trips” were popular in some European countries, and people walked from one city to another. Race walking was then passed on to all countries in Europe, America and Asia.
Rules of race walking
Race walking in the early days had simple rules and allowed athletes to adopt the manner of the common way of walking or arbitrary way of walking. There were no strict requirements for skills. As for contemporary race walking, very strict requirements are set on the skills and the strides: athletes must continuously walk forward while their foot soles should keep contacting with the ground surface without any space left between each sole and the ground surface; the leading leg must keep straight during the period when the foot hits on the ground and then is raised up and the athlete’s knee cannot bend; the stride must be large and the motion needs to be in a natural and coordinated manner.
In a race walking competition, six to nine judges are in post for monitoring the athletes. According to the rules of race walking, judges have to make a judgment of athletes’ motion, without the aid of any equipment but with naked eyes only, on whether it violates any rule. If the judges believe that something is wrong with the athletes’ motion, they will show a yellow paddle; if rules are violated (including space between the sole and the ground or a bending knee), a red card will be shown. Should an athlete receive red cards from three referees, he/she is disqualified and must leave the track or course immediately.
Benefits of race walking
When compared to other athletics events, race walking is an aerobic sport involving medium to low strength and can help strengthen the muscular power of one’s legs, shoulder, back, abdomen and waist and improve the cardio-pulmonary function. Besides, the workout can help strengthen the body and willpower. Practice of race walking can be carried out at all times, unrestricted by climate, site or equipment. The distance and speed can be easily adjusted. Race walking is an outdoors sport suitable for all seasons and all people regardless of age and gender.
The Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association (HKAAA) is founded in 1951 and is a statuary organisation representing all athletics sports in Hong Kong. Since its founding, HKAAA has been dedicated to actively promoting the sport of race walk and organising various events and training courses so that Hong Kong people can enjoy the joy of race walking. Please browse the website of HKAAA for details of training courses and events, or call 2504 8218 for enquiries.