Article by Alannah Hall.
Dixie State University’s Parkour Club incorporates fitness, fun and adrenaline into its activities.
Nicholas Adkins, a senior CIT major from Shelby Township, Michigan, took over as club president in August.
Vice President Allie Baguley, a sophomore theater major from Eagle Mountain, said parkour is fun for everyone, even if he or she can’t do it and just wants to watch.
Parkour is a sport involving acrobatics where participants aim to move through their surroundings by running, jumping and climbing.
Adkins’ and Baguley’s main goals for the club are to get more members and grow the parkour community. They said they would like to be able to host jams, which are events where athletes gather to train and compete.
Baguley said she wants to grow the club so the university will give members more areas to practice. DSU officials only allow club members to practice by the fountain because of liability issues. She said she would also like to see the club involved in more university activities, although it has performed at tailgates and concerts in the past.
The club currently has 11 members, and not only DSU students are welcome to join. People of all ages, including high school students, can participate.
“I got into [parkour] because I’m a giant dork,” Adkins said, “[I’ve] always wanted to be Batman, so you’ve got to learn to do the kind of stuff Batman can do.”
Adkins said fitness and coordination aren’t essential. He said anyone can do parkour.
“I’ve seen some big dudes do some incredible things, and it doesn’t hold them back,” Adkins said. “If anything, it gets people in shape.”
Adkins said it’s all core work, but once someone learns the basics, parkour isn’t as hard as it looks. Beginners learn simple exercises such as box jumps and monkey-ups.
Parkour is a safe sport as long as participants train correctly, Adkins said. Athletes must ensure what they put their weight on is stable. Adkins said club members check obstacles before practice. Four to six coaches attend each club meeting, and tennis shoes are the only required equipment to participate.
Baguley said none of the club members have had any accidents, but the administration remains cautious of possible injuries and only allows them to practice in a restricted area.
“We don’t want to mess it up as much as [DSU officials] don’t want us to mess it up,” Adkins said.
The club was founded about three years ago and meets every Saturday at 2 p.m. by the fountain on campus. Students interested in joining the club just need to sign a waiver and show up to practice.
For those who want more practice, former DSU students teach a parkour class at Champion Gymnastics that is open to the public. DSU students pay $5 if they bring a friend or $10 if they come alone.