Welcome to the new Blog page – where APA Instructors and other members of the Australian Parkour community can share their thoughts.
In response to community feedback about our current APA Qualification system, we are pleased to announce a number of both pending and immediate updates. There will be a number of other things announced in the coming weeks, but in this post we would like to specifically announce the decision to remove the women’s version of the qualifications.
Instead of having different requirements for men and women to pass certain areas of physical testing, we will be shifting to a modular system which includes baseline requirements for each level of instructor (regardless of gender), with an additional selection of modules to allow flexibility and recognition of different abilities, strengths, and skill sets. We believe this serves to provide a happy medium in which we maintain a professional standard for parkour instruction, while also supporting a diverse community of practice.
Examples of modules (to be completed in addition to baseline requirements for physical and theory) include:
- teaching kids
- flexibility & mobility
- creative movement
- advanced strength & conditioning
Details are still being drafted but will be shared soon for further community feedback as these updates are finalised.
After spending the weekend almost entirely focused on revisions of the qualifications, we are hopeful that this new system will encourage and enable more people to gain their qualifications, recognise diverse expertise and interests, and encourage more people to get involved in their local communities.
We are very proud of the growing number of female practitioners around the country, and have always hoped this would translate into more female instructors. We believe that this new system alleviates all of the major issues raised in recent months, including complaints about it being discouraging for women by setting them ‘lower standards’.
Our immediate actions
We recognise that the finalisation of the new system will take some time, but there is a need to provide additional support right now. In particular, we discussed that if we are genuine about increasing the number of female instructors, we need to be providing a broader suite of support right now. As of this weekend, we are launching two things:
Instructor intensive – We will be holding an Instructor Intensive for which we are particularly encouraging women from around the country to attend. Our instructor intensives are for both current and aspiring instructors who want to develop their depth of understanding of parkour and parkour instruction. We will be announcing further details (when, where, etc.) soon, but you can keep up to date by registering your interest here.
Mentor and buddy system – We are also introducing a mentor & buddy system for aspiring instructors to help provide support for those training towards their qualifications. This will include access to a list of current APA instructors at all levels (who are happy to be listed) and those willing and able to offer support, advice, or just be a training buddy – whether online, over the phone, or in person. The first stages of this will be launched in the upcoming days.
If you would like to be kept up to date with either of these initiatives please register your interest here.
We’ll be sharing more details about the updated qualifications system over the coming weeks. In the meantime, huge thanks to all who have shared your thoughts and feedback online, and particularly to individuals from who dedicated time this weekend to help collate this feedback and make change happen. Please continue to share any thoughts/feedback/questions in the comments!
The official 2016/2017 Parkour year has again come to an end with NatGat 2017 finishing up on Monday the 2nd of October, ending a massive national annual gathering. Over 100 parkour practitioners descended on Canberra this year in what seemed to be an even longer event, running from Thursday with a dedicated day for instructor training through to a beautiful nature training session on Monday.
It was awesome to see practitioners from across Australia come together, and especially great to see such a big representation of Tassie traceurs this year.
As with every NatGat, the APA held it’s Annual General Meeting and elected it’s new committee for the 2017/2018 period, seeing quitea few changes in position, some old and some new. President of the APA, Eliot Duffy, discussed some of the big movements in the national and international parkour community, including the work to rebuff the misappropriation of Parkour by the FIG, the establishment of the International Association Parkour Earth, for which the APA is one of six founding members, and the APA’s focus in delivering instructor training and coaching certifications. We are very happy to announce this years committee:
- President – Eliot Duffy
- Vice President – Amy Han
- Treasurer – Jade Hiroki
- Secretary – Lluka Johns-Mead
- State Representative (WA) – Isaac McClellan
- State Representative (SA) – Travis Ranson
- State Representative (NSW) – Monique McDonald
- State Representative (Vic) – Kelley Glaister
- State Representative (Qld) – Steve Berry
- State Represtnative (Tas) – Brian Wagner (non-voting)
- General Member – David Haines
- General Member – Josh Douglas
Alex Pavlotski will also continue in his role as a strategic advisor, drawing on is in depth research on parkour communities and leadership.
We would like to give sincere thanks to Vivian Cao, Suzi Miletic and Sam Hinwood for all their work for the committee over the past 12 months.
Ross and TJ – both APA Level 3 Instructors – are hosting a 4 day intensive in Adelaide, with 10-12 Parkour instructors from all over the country. Check the information below, and fill out the application form if you are interested.
14th-17th July 2017 – (should be in most school and uni holidays). 9am start on Friday – 5pm finish on Monday.
Accommodation from Thursday night till Tuesday morning.
Adelaide – Group accommodation provided in/near the CBD from Thursday night till Tuesday morning. There will be activities outdoors, in Point A, and carpooled to other locations.
$300pp – Your instructing community will likely subsidise this. Includes accommodation but not food, travel to and from, etc. [pending confirmation of sufficient attendance to split accommodation].
Participants will be active in their teaching community – must be working above the level of an APA L1 (Assistant) Qualification. Ideally, close to L2 (Full Instructor) point – either striving for or recently achieved. (Actual qualification not necessary, they are just good shorthand for knowledge/experience/responsibility level).
All participants must attend for the whole time, will train and live together, and work on a mixture of Parkour and Instructing related skills and experiences.
In future, we may run a similar intensive for a L1 level group to start them off towards L2. However for this round we’re aiming for that higher tier.
Applications will be reviewed by Ross and TJ, and approved by the APA committee. They must be submitted by the 12th of June, and applicants will be informed before the 18th.
Fill out this form to apply
Direct to your state rep, or firstname.lastname@example.org
This letter was written in response to movements by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) to develop parkour-like activities as a FIG discipline with the view to claim representation of the Parkour community at the international level. For more information you can read about the events here
To President Morinari Watanabe
We are writing to you as the Australian Parkour Association, operating as the peak body for Parkour in Australia, and on behalf of our members across Australia.
We are writing to express our objection to the recent encroachment and misappropriation of our practice by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) via ‘development of a related FIG discipline’ based on Parkour, as detailed in their press release dated 24th February 2017, Lausanne (Sui), FIG Office.
Furthermore, we reject the assertions of FIG Secretary General, André Gueisbuhler, regarding the history of Parkour as inaccurate and ill-informed. We support the stance taken by Parkour UK, Fédération de Parkour (FPK), and the New Zealand Parkour Association and demonstrably reject the Secretary General’s notion that our community is not organised in our development of Parkour.
It is our duty to look after the rights and interests of our members across Australia and ensure that our practice is not misappropriated by FIG internationally and/or nationally by any of FIG’s National Federation members. As such, we assert the independence of Parkour as a characteristically unique, culturally distinct and sovereign practice for which FIG is neither presently representative, nor does it have grounds to claim representation, of the international Parkour community.
We support the call to invite other national Parkour communities to issue letters of support for this position and invite collaboration across the international Parkour community to ensure the protection and integrity of the practice.
Our discipline is our own.
President of the Australian Parkour Association,
On behalf of the national committee of the Australian Parkour Association and its members.
We are coming up to the giving season and in true giving spirit, we are launching the APA Blood Drive!
This is a campaign to encourage everyone in the parkour community (who can) to donate blood.
According to the Red Cross, 1 in 3 Australians will need donated blood, but only 1 in 30 make a donation. The aim of our blood drive is to get as many as possible into the habit of donating blood/ plasma/ platelets regularly, which is very much in the be strong to be useful spirit of parkour.
We are launching this through social media, so please get involved by donating or getting a group to donate together AND by bragging about it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (and whatever else the kids are playing with these days)!
We are sad to recognise that unfortunately not all people are able to donate (due to illness, injury, phobia, religion, travel requirements, or restrictions against queer men from donating blood). We hope all of you who can’t donate yourself will help by spreading the word through your social media networks and we hope for change in the future to allow all to donate.
WHAT TO DO
– Go to www.donateblood.com.au/donate and make an appointment to donate blood
– If you have a donor number, register yourself with our Red25 group, by going to www.donateblood.com.au/red25/join-group and searching for Australian Parkour Association. (If it’s your first time donating, you can do this at/ after your appointment.
– When you donate blood, take a selfie and share it with the hashtag #APAblooddrive, to encourage all your pals to join in. (Along with other blood and parkour related ones like #save3lives, #donateblood, #bestrongtobeuseful, #australianparkour
Earlier this month, the world’s first Do it in a Dress: Global Parkour Jam for Change happened, led by Amy Han from Melbourne, who also happens to be our Vice Pres!
Amy volunteers as an ambassador for One Girl, a charity on a mission to raise awareness and funds for girls in Africa to go to school. She brought together practitioners from around the world to jam ‘together’ on the same day to support the cause.
In total, $4339 was raised – enough to send 14 girls to school for a year. A huge thanks to Amy and everyone who turned out to show their support!
On Saturday, the Association celebrated its 10th birthday, surrounded by practitioners at the 2016 NatGat in Brisbane. There was BBQ, videos, training all weekend and cake!
In 10 years we have seen parkour grow and grow in Australia, we have taught thousands of students and trained hundreds of instructors. The Association its self has had to grow and evolve to meet new challenges. We are so proud of what we have achieved so far and those who have helped us achieve it, we are looking forward to the next 10 years!
The weekend also saw mammoth efforts from the Brisbane Parkour Association to host an amazing NatGat 2016, with about 100 practitioners from all around Australia converging on the city to train, explore, learn and catch up with old friends. It went off without a hitch, thank you so much to the amazing Brisbane team.
We also had our annual general meeting, where we elected a brand new committee for the next year. Notably, one of our earliest practitioners of Parkour in Australia and a co-founder of the APA, Matthew ‘Chippa’ Campbell, stepped down. Chippa has served on the committee for the whole 10 years of the APA, 8 of which as President, and has been a mentor and leader for many of us around Australia. Thank you for the years of hardwork Chippa, Australian Parkour owes you so much. Chippa isn’t going too far though and will be focusing his efforts on the Melbourne Parkour community. THANKS CHIPPA!
Stepping into the position is Eliot Duffy from Canberra, Eliot has been training Parkour for 10 years and has previously served on the Committee for 6 years as ACT Representative, Treasurer and Vice President.
We are all looking forward to the year ahead!
Tracuers all around Australia are still on the come-down from an awesome week of training in Perth for this year’s Annual National Gathering. Around 80 traceurs from all around the country (as well as a big group from Singapore and some special guests from the UK) converged on Perth city for about 4 days of training, workshops, and catching up. This was the first NatGat for Perth and it was a huge success, well done Evie Clayton, Isaac McLellan, Matt James, Grant Webster and the whole team from Perth Parkour who put together a great event.
This year, a grant from the City of Perth allowed us to bring over Chris ‘Blane’ Rowat and Shirley Darlington-Rowat from the UK, who attended as special guests. Both are highly experienced and influential traceurs and it was a great pleasure to host them both. Blane has been, and continues to be, a hugely influential figure in the international Parkour scene and inspired many of us in to our hard training habits! Check out some of his influential writing at http://blane-parkour.blogspot.com.au/
The APA Annual General Meeting is also held each year at the NatGat where we discuss the years progress and elect a new committee. We are extremely excited and proud to announce that this year we were able to achieve a 50/50 equal split of men and women on the committee, including our first female Vice President. Gender inequality is an ongoing problem across society, particularly in physical training and sports communities; the APA is very proud to be on the forefront of tackling the issue. We look forward to working to encouraging and building greater female participation in Parkour!
APA 2015 – 16 Committee
President – Matthew ‘Chippa’ Campbell (Melbourne)
Vice President – Amy Han (Melbourne)
Treasurer – Eliot Duffy (Canberra)
Secretary – David ‘Hainsey’ Haines (Canberra)
Vic Rep – Vivian Cao (Melbourne)
NSW Rep – Monique McDonald (Sydney)
ACT Rep – Kat Vincent (Canberra)
QLD Rep – Steve Berry (Brisbane)
SA Rep – Travis ‘TJ’ Ranson (Adelaide)
WA Rep – Isaac McLellan (Perth)
General Member – Suzi Miletic (Melbourne)
General Member – Jade Hiroki (Brisbane)
Congratulations to all committee members on their appointments, we look forward to working together for the next year!
We have put together a new website. It should make it a bit easier for people to find the right people if they want to start training parkour.