Parkour athletes to compete in Auckland

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Five Dunedin parkour and freerunning athletes will flip, spin, jump, vault, swing and roll through a series of obstacles at the first national parkour and freerunning competition in Auckland.

Pro-Motion members Jared Billyard (14), Cody Veenvliet (16), Ziggi Kaitai-Martin (14), Caleb Farrow (12) and coach Alex Pearson will compete at Jamzac this weekend.

They were selected for the competition based on the individual videos they submitted and will spend two days competing in Auckland against other parkour and freerunning enthusiasts from around the country.

Jared, an Otago Boy’s High School pupil, has been doing parkour for about three years and started when he watched a few videos on YouTube.

He trains three times a week, mostly at Dunedin Gymnastics Academy where Pro-Motion is based, and will compete in the age 10-16 style and speed categories.

The speed category is based on who can complete a pre-determined course in the fastest time, similar to the Ninja Warrior format.

In the final round, two athletes will compete against each other on the same course at the same time.

The style category is based on tricks, how well they are done and the creativity of each competitor’s run.

Cody, a Taieri College pupil, started parkour and free-running about four years ago.

He said he enjoyed using the bars and had created a course in his backyard, on which he practised most days.

“It’s a lot of fun.”

Pro-Motion coach Alex Pearson said the club started classes about five years ago with six people and focused purely on parkour and freerunning.

There are now more than 100 people taking classes and the waiting list is growing.