Parkour classes teach kids to overcome mental and physical barriers

They might not realise it, but for these young parkour students landing a big jump is as much a physical challenge as it is a mental one.

“You’re overcoming not just obstacles but mental barriers and pushing yourself to limits you didn’t realise you had,” said parkour instructor Luke Saunderson.

Parkour, a relatively new sport which began little more than a decade ago, involves moving quickly through an area, typically an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing.

Ballarat Gymsports runs parkour classes and the popularity of the new non-competitive sport has soared since classes began 18 months ago.

”It’s all about bettering yourself, not being competitive against others. I tell my students the only person you compete with is the person you were yesterday,” he said.

BIG LANDING: Jake Adrams, 9, learns the art of a safe jump as he leaps on to tyres during a school holiday parkour class at Ballarat Gymsports. Picture: Kate Healy

BIG LANDING: Jake Adrams, 9, learns the art of a safe jump as he leaps on to tyres during a school holiday parkour class at Ballarat Gymsports. Picture: Kate Healy

“There’s no better feeling than achieving a big jump you been so scared of for past three months. The adrenaline feeling you get from being in the air and making that drop is great.”