Informal sport, institutionalisation, and sport policy: challenging the sportization of parkour in England
Wheaton, B. & O’Loughlin, A.
International Journal of Sport Policy
Tipo de publicación
Artículo de revista
Lifestyle sport, informality, youth sport, sport policy, institutionalisation, community dance, parkour
Initiatives using parkour and parkour-inspired hybrid activities are emerging in increasingly varied settings from formal physical education to the performance arts. This proliferation in England has led to the need for more formal governance resulting in the formation of a Sport England-sanctioned national governing body, Parkour UK. In this paper, we document attempts to challenge the perceived sportization process in England through the emergence of Performance-Parkour [2PK] a version of parkour practice rooted in the performance arts. We discuss the implications of these developments for maintaining parkour’s diversity and inclusivity as a practice for inspiring participation. We draw on a range of data sources including observations, formal interviews, and reflections from different positions from academic outsides to involved practitioner. We then consider the implications of these developments for maintaining parkour’s diversity and inclusivity as a practice for inspiring participation, particularly with regard to pedagogic style and gender inclusion. This process highlights some of the challenges and difficulties in the institutionalisation of an informal movement practice into an organised and formalised one. Our paper therefore contributes to our understanding of the role informal sporting activities can play in promoting inclusive and equitable physical cultures, and provides insights into emergent boundary-crossing practices that are situated between sports and the arts.