Building Community Through Parkour, Play, and outdoor urban Fitness
Parkour Visions is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to sharing the benefits of parkour, play, and urban fitness with people of all ages through educational programming, design service, and community development support. We believe that parkour and play-based fitness are the most powerful pathways to long-lasting physical, emotional, and social health, and provides a path over many obstacles blocking people engaging in life-long fitness, including ease of access, knowledge, affordability, and need for encouragement.
"We all hear about the need to exercise for our health, but the problem with traditional exercise programs is that they are too much like taking medicine; too much repetition with no up-front reward. Parkour is simply an advanced form of play, and because it is so much fun, I’m motivated to build strength and speed so I can have more and more fun"
— Gus Denhard, Community Member
The last 20 years has been marked by a steady and dramatic rise in sedentary lifestyles and obesity. It is well-documented that, child or adult, regular physical activity not only positively impacts the body but mental and social health as well. It is essential to lasting happiness and longevity.
However, many of the options available today for traditional exercise and sports present serious barriers to making physical activity a regular and enjoyable aspect of every day life.
Parkour provides a unique path over, under, and through these barriers and can lead to a sustainable, fun, and engaging active lifestyle.
One of the biggest barriers to lifelong physical health is due to lack of affordability. From what can be steep costs of sporting equipment to personalized instruction, gym memberships and league fees, the costs to stay moving can stack up quickly.
Parkour requires no special equipment. Practice teaches you how to make challenge yourself and play in the environment you're given with the skills you have, and the community supports life-long learning and personal growth.
Lack of access includes lack of programs and spaces readily available to a particular demographic, as well as availability of transportation. (1) Getting to and from sporting facilities and public facilities can be difficult, especially in places with poor public transportation. Children and seniors are especially dependent on others for their transportation needs. (2) Even where there is good transit, many populations have limited opportunities to engage in programming that is affordable and nearby. Cities also lack public play spaces and fitness parks for teens & adults.
Parkour can be practiced anywhere. We teach people how to turn the every day--benches, scaffolding, rails, walls--into spaces for play!
Many kids grow up without substantial exposure or education on how to take care of their physical health. Schools across the country, especially in urban locations, struggle to provide regular gym classes. And, after leaving school, gaining that education faces the issues around affordability.
Parkour has one of the largest online information-sharing communities, with organizations world wide providing quality written, video, and audio resources for independent practitioners at low to no cost.
Participation in team sports, the most common physical activity in youth, declines with age as students leave the systems that readily and easily provided those opportunities. This also results in a loss of a social community and a system of support and encouragement for an active lifestyles.
There are also far more free and affordable resources serving youth than adults and seniors.
Parkour is a life-long practice, built inside a supportive and enthusiastic community that spans across all the generations. It can be practiced collaboratively, competitively, or independently.