Ban of Parkour - Drew Taylor 17/10/09
Some saw it coming, but it’s happened. The council of the Moreton in the UK has deemed Parkour as an antisocial activity and have put a ban of parkour training in the town. Practitioners choosing to break the ban have been told they’d be receiving an anti social behaviour order.
My initial thoughts on this were that it is completely ridiculous. How can they ban moving efficiently! It’s the one thing young people can always fall back on, and I have no idea how would they define what is and what isn’t parkour. Councils should be trying to get more people into parkour as it can benefit youth’s so much, and steer away from real antisocial behaviour; not banning it!
It became apparent that this connection with antisocial behaviour was due to the small minority of people who claim to train, yet don’t actually practise parkour. They use flips and tricking as an excuse to go on private property and hang in big groups. Obviously this sort of behaviour would be seen as antisocial, and quite clearly it can be mistaken as parkour, therefore the council has decided that in order to abolish those activities banning parkour is the answer. Of course this isn’t the case, these guys are just going to carry on without the positive side. This ban of parkour won’t solve the problem, educating these guys about what parkour is really about will.
The people who are really training parkour, if they’ve done their research should understand that it’s part of the ethos of parkour to respect the environment and people around you. Practitioners know it’s important to maintain the integrity of the structures they use if they want to use them again.
Another thing that I don’t understand is how the council will define what is and what isn’t parkour. Physically parkour is moving efficiently, so the only way I can see they can ban it is by banning efficient movement. So surely skipping a step on the way up stairs could land you with an ASBO, and even running could be seen as parkour, are they going to ban that?
Also what irritates me is that clearly the police and authorities can’t make judgements on a case by case basis. It would make more sense to catch the people who are causing trouble and give them an ASBO rather than banning the sport which they aren’t passionate about training. This impacts all the people who are serious about training and respect private property and not the people who the ban is trying to effect.
With this decision passed it might be just a matter of time till other areas follow. Practitioners who are serious about maintaining the legality of parkour should really concentrate on regaining a positive image for parkour by respecting property, members of the public and the authorities. Frankly if this misunderstanding extends to the ban of parkour nationwide, they can arrest me because I can’t live without it.