Parkour: take a running jump!

Leaping through the air with the greatest of ease at Achievement Bute's introduction to parkour.
Leaping through the air with the greatest of ease at Achievement Bute's introduction to parkour.

A CRASH course in the extreme sport of ‘parkour’ was offered to a group of local young people this week as part of Achievement Bute’s summer activity programme, writes Nino Robertson.

Parkour involves getting from one place to another by jumping or somersaulting over various objects, while getting from your starting point to your final destination as efficiently as possible.

The ‘tracteurs’ (the name given to someone who practices parkour) began with a warm up to loosen up the muscles, and then began to learn the art of free-running, first by jumping over small objects, in this case beams or benches.

Trainer Steve explained that everything in parkour must have a continuous flow to it – if you stop for a second, your route is ruined and you have to start all over again.

Parkour is about body strength in getting from A to B, he said, and you must not use your knees at any point in your run.

As the participants became more confident and started doing things like vaulting, the objects they had to overcome became a little more challenging.

Towards the end of the lesson Steve informed the young free runners that as well as being efficient in this sport you have to be able to perform your routes backwards - another challenging aspect of the day for them

The last exercise of the day was a warm-down again to relax the muscles - and after a tiring shift, all involved said they enjoyed learning the skills picked up at the workshop and that it had been a good and exciting sport to learn.