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New body formed to represent and develop Parkour around the world

New body formed to represent and develop Parkour around the world
August 7, 2017

A new international body, Parkour Earth, has been officially launched as an International Federation for the sport to represent and develop Parkour around the world.

Backed by six founding national federations - New Zealand Parkour, the Australian Parkour Association, Parkour UK, France's Fédération de Parkour, Parkour South Africa and the Polish Parkour and Freerunning Federation – the creation of Parkour Earth follows what has been described as a "transparent and democratic” process, with Parkour Earth was incorporated on 12th July and registered at Companies House in the United Kingdom.

Parkour UK's Chief Executive Eugene Minogue has been nominated and appointed as transitional Chief Executive on an ex-officio basis.

The establishment of Parkour Earth follows apparent disagreements with the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) continues.

Organisations in a number of other countries have protested at FIG's involvement in the sport by writing to FIG President Morinari Watanabe.

FIG have responded to the allegations of "encroachment and misappropriation" of Parkour, claiming this was never their intention.

It was Minogue who initially accused the FIG of "encroachment and misappropriation" of Parkour and lodged a complaint with the International Olympic Committee in June.

A deadline to reach a Memorandum of Understanding between all parties elapsed on 26th July, with Minogue promising they would "take all necessary and appropriate steps to protect the integrity and sovereignty of the sport of parkour/freerunning, our sport, our community".

Following the passing of the deadline, Parkour Earth was launched at the end of last week.

A statement on its founding advised “any International Federation protecting the sovereignty of the sport, art and/or discipline of Parkour/Freerunning/Art Du Déplacement should and must be established only by consensus of the international community, via a process of federating National Federations, as per entrenched and recognised international norms, on the established right of self-determination.

"By virtue of that right we, as an international community determine our sporting, social and cultural development, in accordance with the freely expressed will and desire of the international community.

"As a result of a clear and demonstrable common unity and purpose within the international community, a number of National Federations reached an accord on 4th July 2017 to establish Parkour Earth as the International Federation for Parkour/Freerunning/Art Du Déplacement - our sport, our community, our culture, our identity."

In addition to Minogue the founding member national federations have elected and appointed a transitional Board of Directors on phased initial terms of office.

The Transitional Board consists of four elected directors - Damien Puddle of New Zealand Parkour, Eliot Duffy of Australian Parkour Association, Paul Gray of Parkour South Africa and Sacha Lemaire of Fédération de Parkour.

This is in addition to two independent directors - Stuart McInnes as independent chair and Belinda Wheaton.

It is stated that Parkour Earth has been established on two fundamental principles – ‘national Federations federating’ and ‘good governance’.

It will aim to embrace and support communities trying to form a national federation in territories where there is no national federation and/or organisation.

Good governance, Parkour Earth  claims, starts with the Memorandum and Articles of Association, defining and creating a clear, practical and proportionate system which sets out what the international federation can do, who the members are and can be, how decisions are made and who is responsible for making it happen.

By implementing good governance practices, Parkour Earth says it will ensure that it is being managed effectively, in a way that helps it to achieve its objects, values and principles whilst also safeguarding the integrity of the Federation and the best interests of all its members and the international community.

Last month, Parkour Earth became a member of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance, an independent, neutral and global body dedicated to the promotion and safeguarding of integrity, good governance, and ethical behaviour in sport.

Parkour Earth attended the SIGA Sport Integrity Forum II on 26th July and the SIGA Congress on 27th July in Portugal's capital Lisbon, where it was formally accepted into membership of SIGA.

Parkour Earth is now beginning the process of on-boarding other national federations and communities from around the world.

The first Annual General Meeting (AGM) is due to be held within 210 days of incorporation, likely be in early 2018.

Click here to visit Parkour Earth's website.

Images: Parkour participant Matt James in Perth (top) and Daniel Ilabaca (middle). Lower images shows the organisation' new logo.

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