Friday, March 23The Voice of London

Parkour – a sport made for young Londoners

Parkour is the art of climbing obstacles and challenging your fears, but why are women not getting involved?

Parkour is a unique type of sport that allows you to use the environment as your tool rather than traditional sports equipment. Anything from park benches to buildings alone are unique for this type of sport.  It originated from the military and games that were developed from Parisian suburbs.

The art of free running allows the athlete to become creative and very strategic, devising new courses and how to tackle obstacles based on their surroundings. It is something more mentally demanding than physical as the athlete needs to develop enough self-confidence in order to get past obstacles as well as become more creative.

Despite it being more of a mental battle it does require lots of physical strength and muscular endurance to be able to withstand the constant intense level of activity. The back flips and climbs all require a great level of body strength and composure.

Voice of London Sport spoke to Alex Pownall, an athlete from Parkour Generations about the sport and some difficulties they face. When asked what parkour meant to him personally, he simply replied “parkour is a great thing. It’s something that I do to explore my own mind.”

Pownall has been an active parkour enthusiast for 11 years and raised a particular gender issue in the sport: “The fact is there is not enough exposure for the strong female role models that we have within the sport. There are a lot of women that do practice and are very good. We have not managed to portray that as well as we should have and that’s a problem we are trying to tackle at the moment.”

The 26-year-old also stated that extreme videos online have affected the sport in some way “videos that are made by a lot of young men between the ages of 13-18, usually show guys doing ridiculous things and there is no real thought to making it look as inclusive as it is.”

Words: Asllan Gecaj | Subbing: Oliver Browning

Feature Image from Pixabay

Music From Youtube audio Library: Otis McDonald – Stay