Asia Pacific Physical Education Conference Embraces Parkour
Next week sees our Parkour For Schools Programme once again taking centre stage at the awesome Asia Pacific Physical Education Conference, or APPEC, which brings together leading physical education speakers, staff and schools from all over Asia, the USA and, of course, now the UK!
Founder of the programme, Dan Edwardes, and Programme Director Chris Grant fly out to Hong Kong next week to present a number of workshops at the conference as well as to run a two-day Parkour For Schools Instructor Course prior to the conference itself, which is now fully booked. This is the second year the Programme has been presented at the conference, and the one day Introductory Day went down such a storm last year that we’re now presenting the full course.
The Benefits of Parkour in Schools
The benefits of introducing a regular parkour option for any age group of schoolchildren are many and varied. We’ve been delivering parkour into schools since 2006, with enormous success, reaching hundreds of schools in the UK, USA, Brasil, South Korea, Thailand and more, and we’ve seen firsthand how this powerful, constraints-led model of motor practice develops stronger, fitter, more agile, more confident, more adaptive and even happier young people.
What are some of the key aspects we teach within our Programme?
PHYSICAL LITERACY: not just arbitrary skill acquisition for specialised sports, but general, fundamental physical literacy. This is absolutely key in the healthy bodily and neural development of a young human being. It’s part of the reason why all kids play, and the variety of those organic, problem-solving, complex-dynamic movement skills is integral to growing up healthy.
PHYSICAL FITNESS: fitness development has been proven time and again to have a marked effect in improving a host of elements including mental health, attention spans, heart health, postural stability, neurogenesis and more. We think it’s a key element of a young person’s upbringing and it’s vital within parkour.
RESILIENCE: learning to solve problems, face adversity, deal with fears and manage risk are all key aspects of our Programme, and should be part of all young people’s development. We desperately need these skills to weather the storms and challenges of life as children and adults, and we believe these are skills that can be developed and improved like any other skill. No one is born resilient – we learn to be, or we don’t, depending on our training and our experiences.
CONFIDENCE: we believe in building confidence, self-efficacy and self-reliance in all young people. This, again, is a skill born of practice, and the movement training in parkour builds fantastic physical and mental confidence in one’s own abilities and the capabilities of one’s body and mind.
FUN! it’s vital that all development practice for young people is engaging, intrinsically rewarding and fun! Otherwise they just won’t stick with it – and why should they? Parkour taps into the natural instinct for play, exploration and challenge, and that makes it great fun for all.
We could go on, but suffice to say there are so many benefits to introducing a holistic movement practice like parkour into the physical education curriculum of your school. We can’t wait to introduce it to the more than 300 physical education professionals who will be at APPEC this year!