When people hear the term “extreme sports”, most commonly think about the dangerous, life-threatening stunts only daredevils would be happy to enjoy. From an uninformed viewpoint, a person can say that people who engage in extreme sports are bored, shallow individuals who are only intent on breaking their noses and bones to have some fun. However, there is more to extreme sports than what meets the eye. For those who understand the practice of high-risk games regarded as “extreme”, the activities can be used as a means to improve one’s self-confidence, draw out people who cannot easily connect with the rest of society, and support various philanthropies. Parkour is one such extreme sport used to support a charity in an effort to make people’s lives better.
Doing it for a Cause
On May 28, three young men by the names of Stuart Rook, Andy Whitbread, and John Eames decided to make use of their hobby, Parkour, as a means to support the breast cancer charity Breakthrough. The idea sprouted from Eames’ workplace—the Leakers Bakery was supporting a fundraiser for Pauline Bale, who was very hands-on in her charity project mentioned above. Liking the idea of doing something you enjoy in order to help others out, John and his friends invited fellow traceurs and held a massive demonstration at The Mound on the said date.
Where it All Began
This extreme sport discipline originated in France, where an athletic man by the name of Raymond Belle coined the term “parcours” for the personal athletic development program he underwent. The program was basically a military-based training focused on balancing, running, jumping, climbing, and other basic loco-motor movements that humans should be able to do smoothly and easily. After nearly 90 years, the sport which is now known as Parkour is widely practiced all over the world as a non-competitive sport and physical discipline.
The Future of Extreme Sports and Charity
Although there have been other events where the sport was used to aid fundraising efforts, the efforts of the three young men mentioned above have gained notoriety for being able to successfully raise funds for an otherwise-startup foundation for breast cancer sufferers and survivors. What started as a simple fundraiser at a local bakery turned into an attractive and mind-blowing event where a large group of people displayed their Parkouring skills in an effort to finance a charity. Apart from helping people in need, the event also successfully attracted interested individuals to try out the sport.
You don’t have to learn this extreme sport in order to help a charity of your choosing, but acknowledging that there is more to extreme sport than what meets the eye is a large contribution to many E.S. enthusiasts. After all, why aren’t they deserving of high regard if they are willing to defy the laws of physics (and break some bones in the process), all for the sake of helping people in need? If you are not as strong as these enthusiasts who can try themselves to the limits, then the best you can do is support them for what they do and try to help others in your own, little way.