The first National Collegiate Parkour Competition in the world will be held on the outdoor track near the UW–Platteville Williams Fieldhouse Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 12–13.
Parkour is described as a training discipline involving obstacles placed between two locations. Participants, called “traceurs,” use a variety of movements to traverse obstacles as they maneuver from one location to the next. The sport is becoming more popular thanks to YouTube and the recent television program, “American Ninja Warrior.”
Conner Hjellming, a junior criminal justice major from Byron, Minn., and president of the Parkour Club on campus, is helping organize the upcoming event.
“We really want to introduce parkour to the community,” he said. “It’s not just kids climbing buildings, jumping and trespassing. They’re athletes who practice and train just like any other athlete.”
The Parkour Club, which was officially recognized on campus last academic year, has 30 registered members, who train every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Hjellming has been involved in parkour for nearly nine years. He watched a YouTube video one day that caught his attention. He ultimately recruited others to take a class at a local gym and he has been enjoying the sport ever since.
The event will run from Sept. 12 from 1 to 8 p.m. and Sept. 13 from noon to 7 p.m.
Public admission for one day is $10 or $15 for the weekend. Cost for UW–Platteville faculty, staff or students with ID for one day is $3 or $5 for the weekend.
USA Parkour and the World Freerunning and Parkour Federation is sanctioning the competition. Professional parkour athletes will serve as judges during Sunday’s competition. Participants will compete in three categories including speed, a challenge round and freestyle. The highest average of the three scores will be declared the winner.
More than 10 collegiate teams have been invited and Hjellming is hoping for a crowd of a few hundred spectators.