Parkour UK, as the recognised National Governing Body (NGB) / National Federation for the recognised sport of Parkour/Freerunning in the United Kingdom has issued an open letter to Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) regarding the encroachment and misappropriation of our sport by FIG via ‘development of a related FIG discipline’ based on Parkour/Freerunning, as detailed in their press release dated 24th February 2017, Lausanne (Sui), FIG Office.
As the recognised custodians of the recognised sport of Parkour/Freerunning in the UK and to protect and promote the integrity, rights, freedoms and interests of Traceurs/Freerunners (practitioners of our sport), our member organisations & the UK community – as well as by legitimate extension the international Parkour/Freerunning community – Parkour UK feel that it is both necessary and expedient to provide some much needed clarification on Parkour/Freerunning, such that our sport is neither misappropriated and/or encroached upon by FIG internationally and/or nationally by any FIG member National Federations.
Parkour UK has experienced similar encroachment and misappropriation, beyond ethical, established and recognised norms, of our sport by British Gymnastics, a FIG member NGB/National Federation, via the development of ‘Freestyle Gymnastics / FreeG’ – which clearly mimics and imitates Parkour/Freerunning. Parkour UK has pro-actively, positively and robustly addressed this with British Gymnastics & the UK Sports Councils since March 2013, to ensure that our sport is not misappropriated and/or encroached upon. Parkour UK has achieved the necessary independent recognition as the NGB/National Federation and independent recognition for Parkour/Freerunning as a sport throughout the UK. This has ensured, with absolute clarification that Parkour/Freerunning is a distinct and unique sport in its own right and not a discipline of any existing sport/activity.
Parkour/Freerunning is not “Gymnastics”, nor are Traceurs/Freerunners “Gymnasts”. We are our own sovereign sport with independently recognised distinct uniqueness and cultural status. We are Parkour/Freerunning, we are Traceurs/Freerunners.
Parkour UK, as currently the only NGB/National Federation for Parkour/Freerunning anywhere in the world that has received the necessary independent recognition from the highest sports authorities in the UK, will offer our unique expertise and experience to any other nations, NGB’s/National Federations and/or national groups internationally to support them in developing National Federations/NGB’s for their territories. We do this to ensure we can assist other communities to protect and promote the integrity of our sport, the rights, freedoms and interests of Traceurs/Freerunners internationally & the international Parkour/Freerunning community.
We would like to invite and encourage other national communities to issue letters of support for Parkour UK’s position to FIG and cc in Parkour UK. We will collaborate to ensure protect and promote the integrity of our sport, the rights, freedoms and interests of Traceurs/Freerunners internationally & the international Parkour/Freerunning community