“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
― Desmond Tutu
You may have been aware of this topic that’s been floating around the Parkour community for the past year or so and, wherever you may stand on the spectrum, there is no doubt it is an important issue for our time and generation, and ultimately, for the future of our sport.
So, what exactly is the issue?
It’s no secret that our sport is relatively young in comparison to other sports. National governing bodies have existed but there has never really been an internationally recognised one for the sport as a whole. This is the role that FIG have self-proclaimed without the consent of the greater Parkour community which is where the stem of the controversy lies.
Why is it important?
- It is important because the resultant actions have a direct effect on everyone participating in the Parkour community, coaches and everyday practitioners alike.
- If FIG get their way they will essentially be able to regulate the sport, they will be able to decide on coaching qualifications, coaching content and programmes, competition layout, competition rules, the list goes on… All by people who don't appear to care or take an interest in the greater community or our sport. Their slogan is literally “We are Gymnastics”.
- FIG have failed to start communication with the wider Parkour community and have ignored an open letter that was issued to them by the national governing body for Parkour in the UK regarding the “Encroachment and Misappropriation” of our sport.
- FIG have shown no signs of genuine regard for our sport and it seems evident that they simply view it as something on which to capitalise. The Parkour community has been building and grafting hard for years and there is something uneasy about the entire notion which just doesn’t sit pleasantly with the morals and ethos of our community.
If you would like to find out more information about the whole situation to gain a better understanding of things, here is a list of useful resources.
So, where do The Motus Projects stand?
The Motus Projects, since the beginning, has always stood for the interests of the Parkour community. From hosting jams to running film festivals and even providing funding for localised communities, the future of our sport has always rested firmly on our foundations. We have remained quiet for the past year about this issue but feel as though we can’t sit back and watch this happen to our sport any longer.
The release of the t-shirt aims to send FIG a strong message through the unity of our community. Unity is power. If we as a community fight this then we have the power shake off big federations and corporations from getting involved in our sport. This release is not a naive act of selfishness and we are not trying to say that we own Parkour - the traceur owns Parkour.
Our community is built on a love that is unprecedented. It is a place that many of us call home and is something that we have created from scratch through a united love of our sport. Let us not allow anyone or anything to change this.
Our community is key.