The case of urban inclusive nordic walking in Rijeka, Croatia
The main goal of the urban public inclusive nordic walking program is to increase the social inclusion of groups with fewer opportunities, especially young people with disabilities and psychosocial functioning, by organizing nordic walking activities in the city. Urban Nordic walking serves as a wonderful new way to promote a healthy lifestyle for disabled people, stimulating prevention of disease through sports activities, together with active involvement of other citizens in the activities for people with disabilities. Also, it’s raising the visibility of disabled people and it’s encouraging their inclusion and social interaction with other citizens.
Nordic walking is one of the growing trends in active lifestyle, presenting added value to hiking as well as walking for health, especially for the older people and those experiencing diculties with walking. This kind of walking is specic by its use of poles, walking sticks called nordic poles, that are used to push oneself as a person walks along a trail or sidewalk. Walking with nordic poles burns more calories and works more muscles than conventional walking. So a nordic walker in the urban area becomes a promoter of a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention.
Since 2019 until today, there’re continuous recreational programs of urban nordic walking oered for the people with disabilities and for all residents of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.
Citizens of Rijeka and its suburb areas loved the mix of a recreational urban touristic exploration and networking, mutual interaction and mingling aspects of walking with strangers consisting of dierent abled bodies, dierent generations, social backgrounds and psychosocial proles.