Over the past couple of years Parkour has become a hugely popular sport amongst young people, and is one of the fastest-growing activities in the world. This means that more people are taking it up as a form of physical exercise. This has been more evident in recent years during the pandemic due to the 'socially distanced' nature of the sport.
The surge in popularity of parkour has been no different at Tanglin. Besides the traditional games-based sports and co-curricular activities on offer, Parkour, or Movement Freestyle as it has been named, is one of the new 'diverse movement' core offerings that has been added to the junior school's programme. With athletic development and physical literacy being identified as key areas, sports, such as Movement Freestyle, are invaluable in providing essential skills that other activities may lack.
It has been well documented in recent research that integrating Movement Freestyle into youth sport can develop athleticism and promote skill transfer in other activities, particularly team sports. Movement Freestyle is unique compared to many other sports as the amount of traditional coaching is limited, with learning taking place via guided discovery and exploration rather than being driven by prescriptive, coach-led instruction.
In terms of health benefits, Movement Freestyle is a full body workout that improves cardiovascular endurance, and at the same time, also fosters creativity, lateral thinking and confidence.
Movement Freestyle at Tanglin runs for the entire year, three sessions per week, providing the opportunity for our junior children from Years 3 to 6 to develop these essential skills.
Tanglin's resident Parkour specialist, Coach Asraf, Founder & Trainer of Empower Childhood, explains: 'What makes Movement Freestyle a unique experience, especially for those in their formative years, is that it teaches children about situation and spatial awareness, adaptability and the art of making quick yet calculated decisions. Movement Freestyle also removes limitations and allows each student to set themselves an appropriate level of challenge. With this, students get to truly experience the joy of Movement Freestyle. I am delighted to see the children at Tanglin progress and grow since it was first introduced."