The power of authenticity

Parkour as health promoter in schools

Recently a scientific article was published, showing the results of a study by a group from Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark. The research group have been following our classes and workshops for a while. The conclusions were very clear:

1) Parkour has an significant potential when it comes to generating participation in schools.

2) The ‘power’ of parkour loses significant strength when it is conducted by the briefly trained schoolteachers instead of professional parkour instructors.
— Dan Grabowski, Steno, Denmark

The article states that parkour is a formidable way of including pupils in health promoting activities.

It seems that parkour instructors are very well equipped with different tools to handle and encourage children and adolescents - the parkour instructors are flexible, talkative and patient when they work with this specific group of people. 

The research team also observed the pupils' regular teachers as being insufficient in the role as "parkour instructor". The teacher seemed unable to provide the authenticity and skill-level that had been proven so powerful and effective in the high level work with the childen and adolescents. 

For most parkour instructors it might seem obvious that they would be better at teaching parkour than most other people. But given the fact that the regular teachers who were observed are educated school teachers, one would likely assume that they would be able to include the children in almost any activity. 

Teachers and school leaders, please don't forget: Moving is a skill like everything else and at least as important as every other subject taught. You have to take it seriously, prepare well and deliver good, qualitative and authentic content - you can make a real difference!


If you are interested in seeing how and what exactly the research team found, please read the article, and make up your own mind. You can find it on the Macrothink Institute website here.

The article is a great read, with some pretty obvious errors, contributing to the lack of generalization that this article should provide.