KEVIN VAN DER LIST
TuksSport could soon be another sport richer with the inclusion of free running and parkour. An application has been submitted to TuksSport to include free funning and parkour as an official TuksSport. For the application to be successfully approved as a TuksSport, it needs a membership of at least 60 members, which it has. According to Simeon du Preez, a second-year civil engineering Student, the application is being processed. Free running and parkour involve getting from one obstacle to the next by using natural movement, according to Kenji Marapa, a third-year BIS Publishing student and participant in the sport for two years. The sport originated abroad in France and it is huge in Europe, the Middle East, the UK and the US. South Africa’s version of Parkour started eight years ago in Pretoria. The sport is growing rapidly in South Africa and now has a bigger viewership than actual participants. Free running and parkour might seem to be the same thing to many people who first witness the sport, but there are indeed differences between the two. According to du Preez, free running uses flare to overcome obstacles whereas parkour is aimed at getting from point A to point B in the quickest possible time. Du Preez also said you need to be equipped with a bigger build when doing parkour. The sport is comprised of jumping, running, climbing and flipping from one obstacle to the next. While most of us will be too afraid to attempt some of the daring stunts committed by these sport participants, they are not fazed by the dangers involved. “It’s mostly in the mind. It feels good to navigate through objects. You’re always progressing with parkour,” said Marapa. Marapa enjoys the “incredible rush” and adrenaline that the sport offers. Du Preez feels that if you know and stick to your limits and have no doubts during the stunts it won’t be that dangerous for you to attempt them. These daring stunts require a degree of physical conditioning which is worked on at the gym or by means of running and pull-ups. Although the sport is still relatively small in South Africa compared with overseas, there is a competition held every two months in Johannesburg called Urban Session. According to Marapa it’s easy to get involved in the sport: all you need is a pair of shoes and the will to do it.