Parkour Singapore leaps forward with Asian championships

ST VIDEO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Parkour enthusiasts worldwide are expected to gather at The Star Vista where obstacles have been set up.
Parkour enthusiasts worldwide are expected to gather at The Star Vista where obstacles have been set up.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Athletes worldwide to gather for meeting, workshops organised by enthusiasts here

A small group of parkour enthusiasts have taken their love for the sport to a higher level. This year's Lion City Gathering (LCG), an annual parkour meeting organised by Parkour Singapore which first began in 2015, will double as the first Asian Championships.

The enthusiasts began practising the extreme sport - which involves running, vaulting and climbing over urban obstacles - in Singapore in 2004 and have seen it gain momentum as a movement over the years.

For tomorrow's championships, more than 40 local and overseas athletes have registered to compete - both in speed and style - for prizes worth up to $1,000.

Mr Koh Chen Pin, 24, vice-president of Parkour Singapore, said the event aims to foster a "community spirit" between the local and global practitioners. It also aims to provide an avenue for talented athletes to be recognised and rewarded for their skills, he added.

"This is the third time we are having a competition during LCG, but the first time having it as the Asian Parkour Championships. We are inspired by events like the North American Parkour Championships, Air Wipp Challenge and Redbull's Art of Motion," the student at an Australian university said.

Last year's LCG drew about 200 local and overseas participants. This year, about 150 practitioners from over 11 countries, like the United States, United Kingdom, China and Japan, are taking part.

The competition, open to men, women and children under the age of 15, will kick off tomorrow at noon at The Star Vista, where obstacles have been set up.

Parkour enthusiasts worldwide are expected to gather at The Star Vista where obstacles have been set up.
Parkour enthusiasts worldwide are expected to gather at The Star Vista where obstacles have been set up. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Among the competitors is Australian parkour athlete Dominic Di Tommaso, 26, who is sponsored by Redbull. He has been competing in competitions like the Redbull Art of Motion for the past three years.

He said winning should not be the main reason for competing. "The main purpose for everybody, I think, is to come and to enjoy movement, learn and progress, share knowledge, and experience good memories," he said.

Members of the public can also sign up for parkour workshops at The Star Vista today.

There are workshops for senior citizens, ladies, and children. The ladies workshop will be led by Ms Hikari Izumi, 22, a Japanese who has been practising parkour for almost six years. Parkour Singapore says there are about 100 practitioners actively training in Singapore, but only a fifth of them are women.

Ms Nina Saburi, 27, a Singaporean who picked up parkour last year, is interested in Ms Izumi's workshop. "I'm inspired by female traceurs (a French term for parkour practitioners), because I don't think there are enough female traceurs in Singapore," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2018, with the headline 'Parkour Singapore leaps forward with Asian championships'. Print Edition | Subscribe