Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sport Club Showcase: Parkour

Breaking all of your traditional perceptions of sports and exercise Parkour is part of a new wave of fitness across the country, but it’s old news for Rowan. Entering its seventh year as an official club on campus Rowan Parkour is building exposure and growing in the local and national scene.

First gaining popularity through the Internet parkour takes the graceful motion of gymnastics and combines it with aspects of climbing and running. As a sport it focuses on using the environments around you creatively and overcoming physical obstacles in all landscapes.

Due to its unconventional style and lack of structure parkour is a great fitness option for people who don’t like traditional sports and exercise routines. It is often non-competitive, although there has been a rise of competitions on the national level; there is no pressure to do anything but improve your own skills.

On the college level Parkour is growing fast with more and more schools officially recognizing clubs and sponsoring competitions between colleges through organizations like USA Parkour, which recently recognized Rowan as an official member.

Despite this growth nationally there is a stigma of danger surrounding the sport. Injuries, risky jumps, and dangerous moves have been highlighted through the Internet and in news. Although, this is not the experience Rowan has had as a club.

“We teach the safety moves and how to fall before anyone can attempt any jumps, it’s all about progression you learn how to jump from a curb and then you move on to higher and higher objects when you’re ready,” Club President Richard Stapleton said “In the three years I’ve been in the club we haven’t had a single injury.” 

The coaching and support of a college club combined with the support of campus organizations like the Rec and Public Safety have significantly reduced the risk of injury associated with parkour at Rowan.

If you’re interested in joining this sport in a safe and fun environment Rowan Parkour meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon at the Robinson Clock Tower. You can contact Rich Stapleton for more information at


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