Club gets over all obstacles

Ben Dobbie, left, and Andrew Forrest at the Southland Parkour Association open day on Sunday.
Ben Dobbie, left, and Andrew Forrest at the Southland Parkour Association open day on Sunday.

Southland Parkour marked its incorporation as an official society with its first open day "jam session" yesterday.

New Zealand Parkour Association instructor and Southland club member Terry Guyton said parkour was about learning to move better and becoming strong, resilient and useful and he encouraged more people to get involved.

It was all about fun, fitness and community involvement, he said.

The non-competitive discipline was about getting from one place to another in the most efficient way possible, while overcoming obstacles, he said.

"You will get ‘parkour vision' and new paths will become available to you. For example, you could leap over a wall."

He also wanted to change people's perceptions about the discipline and any associated negative connotations, he said.

"People perceive it to be antisocial and think it's all about taking risks and ruining your body but it's not," he said.

Southland club president David Tressler said the club was growing and he urged people aged 16 to 25 to get involved in the sport.

"It's something alternative to usual sports. It's slightly out of the ordinary and fun," he said.

The Southland club of about 25 members trained together most days at SIT and at Number 10.

Yesterday, they were joined by members of parkour clubs from Te Anau and Dunedin, for an event that focused on free running and acrobatics.

WHAT IS PARKOUR? A philosophy that focuses on passing physical and mental barriers in one's path for the purpose of reaching or escaping and using that ability to help others while living a life of continual personal progression. Movement - Honing the skills of running, jumping, vaulting, crawling, climbing to move precisely, quickly and efficiently. Practical - Movements that can be applied in any real-world situations. Holistic - Training to be mentally and physically strong. Altruistic - Practitioners also use their training to better the community as a whole. Personal - Being individual and non-competitive, parkour is all about personal progression. Source:

The Southland Times