Docklands revisited through the practice of parkour

Local parkour and movement coaching organization Melbourne in Motion is set to take over Docklands on May 14 with a series of hour-long workshops as part of this year’s Melbourne Knowledge Week.

The ‘Parkour Vision’ sessions will take place in and around Docklands from the Dock Library and encourage participants to engage with the concept of ‘urban play’.

“We are running a physical and interactive workshop like we did last year, but this year we are also introducing some simple parkour techniques and inviting people to think about how they see the city and build their vision. of the city through embodied practice,” Kel Glaister, director of Melbourne in Motion and parkour coach, said.

As someone who found herself in parkour after a dislocated shoulder caused her to “be afraid to do anything”, Ms Glaister said parkour helped her feel stronger mentally and physically.

She said the practice also fits with the themes of the Melbourne City Festival, which aims to show off the innovations and inventions shaping our future, because of the way it encourages people to use new ways of relating. to their environment.

“Parkour is really a practice of rethinking the city around you and rethinking your urban environment for what makes you happy,” she said.

“The parkour vision is essentially a whole new way of seeing where you are and understanding both how the city is designed to control your behavior and how you can play through those designs.”

“We try to introduce parkour and other urban practices as a way to gain an embodied understanding that the city is for citizens and for play and joy and movement and all the things it is for. designed.”

While Ms. Glaister and the Melbourne in Motion team have a clear vision of how they view their practice, there is a constant box they are placed in when people hear the term parkour.

Not wanting parkour to be “classified” because of videos seen on social media, she said the practice was not just for young people with disabilities or thrill-seeking men.

“It’s a misinterpretation of parkour as a practice. One of the core philosophies of parkour is to train for longevity and we want to train and move well all of our lives,” Ms Glaister said.

This means slowly building strength and conditioning to protect the body and developing risk intelligence and the ability to assess challenges.

Escaping any association with people dangerously climbing buildings and rooftops, Ms Glaister said much of the training they underwent was ‘almost all at ground level’ with modifications made to suit all levels of fitness, ability and confidence.

For the Melbourne Knowledge Week sessions, there will be two family sessions at 10.30am and 12.30pm, with a general public session at 11.30am.

A range of over 100 interactive events, workshops and performances will also take place during the festival from May 9-15, with something for all ages.

“Melbourne Knowledge Week will explore exciting opportunities, tackle challenges and develop the skills we need to shape our future – cementing Melbourne’s status as a university city,” said the Education and Community Portfolio Manager. board innovation, Cr Davydd Griffiths.

“We want to support curious minds and encourage learning at all ages, and this event is the perfect forum for our great thinkers and learners to come together to brainstorm ideas.”

For the first time in the history of Melbourne Knowledge Week, the festival will also be known as narrm ngarrgu, and the names Woi Wurrung and English will be used throughout the festival regarding the various themes of the event •

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Photo: Grant Webster.

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