Parkour is now recognised as an official sport, what does this mean?
First thing to mention is that "officialising" the practice of Parkour will not require all who do it to be competitive. PK still does not follow the convention of regular sport which pits athletes against each other to find out who is "better".
Parkour has always and will always be about self development and finding challenges that are specific to oneself.
The recent approval of Parkour has taken 3 years culminating in the UK being the first country to officially recognise it as a sport. As a community we have the organisation Parkour UK, headed by Eugene Minogue, to thank for their efforts. This is the first sport to be formally recognised in 30years in the UK and is a testament to the incredible benefits to be gained from training the mind and body with Parkour practice.
Minister for Sport, Tracey Crouch, had this to say about the decision:
"I want people to get out there and find the sport and physical activity that appeals to them and Parkour is certainly a fun, creative and innovative option. I am pleased that it has been recognised as a sport, giving it the platform for further growth in this country"
We at LSP are thrilled at this announcement as it will set the standard for safe practice amongst all who coach Parkour and will ensure organisation's will not be able to appropriate our sport without the proper skills or knowledge to teach it safely or effectively.
Sebastien Foucan, co-founder of Parkour and President of Parkour UK, summarises this achievement best:
"This is brilliant recognition for a discipline that started off as child’s play with my friends almost 30 years ago. The beauty of Parkour/Freerunning is that everyone, of all ages, can do it respectfully in almost any environment. We celebrate activity and playfulness whilst constantly challenging our mental and physical limits. It is more than just jumping, it is a health driven way of life"
We see this instatement of Parkour as an official sport as a tool to spread the benefits of training this discipline to many who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to try it. I know personally team sports did not appeal to myself as a child; but were presented as the only option for getting active and learning new skills associated with complex movement which are great for the brain as well as the body. Parkour is now one such option, recognised and with the same resources at it's disposal to spread as a sport throughout the UK
About the Author
With many years studying technique and safe practice of Parkour, Connor utilizes these to focus on creative movement using simple surroundings for his own training.
He hopes to be able to share this method of creative expression to his students to see them too enjoy movement even if only given one unassuming obstacle.