Parkour has PMB group jumping

2015-01-05 00:00

LEAPING, swinging and wall-climbing, Parkour enthusiasts are starting an exhilarating new trend in Pietermaritzburg by introducing the growing sport to the city’s youth.

Developed in France from military obstacle course training, Parkour or Free-running is growing in popularity internationally as athletes try to get from one place to another using only the human body and surrounding objects for propulsion.

From hurdling between buildings while flipping through the air, to traversing walls, a local “traceur” (one who takes part in free-running) group, calling themselves Pietermaritzburg Parkour, is conquering the city one building at a time.

Founded in 2011 by Ross Griffin (18), the group trains every Sunday at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is open to the public at no charge.

Griffin said up to 20 people join the group for training every week and the sport is growing fast. “Parkour is using your body to navigate urban environments. We see the world differently,” he said.

“Society tells us to keep to pathways and stairways, but we say why not jump over it?”

Almost every major town in South Africa has a Free-running group and Pietermaritzburg Parkour is the first of its kind here.

“It’s like any other sport, but it’s a fun and non-monotonous way to keep fit.”

However, Parkour is sometimes shunned as there are obvious dangers to a sport without any rules or boundaries.

“Our youngest member is 12. It’s all up to your physical ability and anybody can do it. You’re going to get a few scratches and bruises, as with any sport, but I haven’t heard of any major injuries,” Griffin said.

Visit the group’s website — — for more information.


V Ross Griffin,Pietermaritzburg Parkour founder

“Our youngest member is 12. It’s all up to your physical ability and anybody can do it.”

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