News: October 2016
Initiated and practically and financially supported by Michael Pedersen, parkour communities in Peru and Denmark came together at the BGI Sports Academy near Aarhus, Denmark on 24-25 October 2016. This undertaking formed part of Michael’s volunteer work in support of remarkable projects that evolve around sport, children, values and positive societal change and his ongoing support to Parkour Peru.
Cristian Rodriguez, President of Parkour Peru, was visiting France in October 2016 to meet the founders of parkour and to experience first-hand, how the sport is practiced in the country where it originates from. It took Cristian 10 years to save money enough to do the trip, and it was his first time outside of his home country. As Michael learned about Cristian’s trip, he started working on an idea to bring him to the BGI Sports Academy in Denmark during his stay in France. Bringing Cristian to the Academy not only offered an opportunity for Cristian to see and practice at what is known to be the world’s largest combined indoor-outdoor parkour park. It also offered an opportunity for the parkour communities in Peru and Denmark to exchange and learn from each other’s practices. Last but not least, it offered an opportunity for creating a dialogue and potential future parkour focused visits by Danish practitioners to Peru.
Thanks to great support by Håkon Sandøy-Holmgaard, Head Parkour Coach at the BGI Sports Academy, Cristian spent two very interesting days at the Academy. He participated in and partly taught three different parkour classes. He also gave a presentation about Parkour Peru to a combined class of approx. 60 parkour specialized students at the Academy. In his teaching and presentation, Cristian focused on the parkour training techniques applied in Peru. Among other things, he highlighted that the Peruvian context is very different from the Danish one. For instance, with no proper training facilities available, the parkour community is forced to use public spaces in Peru. Because of that, the community is often asked to vacate such spaces by the local police because of little or no understanding or appreciation of what is going on.
As a result of the parkour communities in Peru and Denmark coming together through Cristian’s visit to the BGI Sports Academy, there was a general appreciation of the fact that both sides of the Atlantic Ocean can learn from each other. The Peruvian parkour community has a lot to learn from the Danish parkour community in terms of how to design, build and practice at dedicated parkour parks. At the same time, the Danish parkour community has a lot to learn from the Peruvian parkour community in terms of how to creatively use the city space for practicing the sport.
Parkour Peru is the governing body for parkour in Peru. The BGI Sports Academy is a self-governing, not-for-profit institution, which offers an alternative to attending traditional secondary schools in Denmark. Approx. 700 students live and study at the Academy for one year. Beyond attending traditional classes that are part of the Danish school curriculum, the students specialize in a particular sport or mix of sports of their choice. Besides of parkour, such specialization includes sports like handball, football, cycling, basketball, gymnastics and dancing.
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