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BC Parkour Team Ready To Jump In

Asst. News Editor

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

Too active to be considered a student organization and not competitive enough to be considered a club sport, Boston College’s unofficial parkour team (BCPK) is stuck in what might be the only place its gravity-defying members cannot get out of.

The team has been seeking official recognition since it was founded by Matt and Greg Milano, both BC ’11, in 2008. Its elusion of categorization and intrinsic riskiness have, so far, caused BC to hesitate to officially recognize the group.

“It’s not a stunt club,” David Campo, A&S ’14, said. “There are so many different definitions of it — you don’t want to just cut and paste.” According to his own definition, parkour is “the art of motion and efficiency in moving.”

The team practices outside Devlin Hall on a regular basis, taking advantage of the area’s many architectural elements. But because parkour is such an individualized sport, even the terrain one practices on can affect his or her style.

“We’ve all developed under Milano leadership,” Grant Schum, A&S ’14 said. “Other schools have different ways of training, so they might know things we don’t.”

BCPK meets up with other schools as often as possible and participated in the Red Bull Parkour Jam this past Sunday. The jam was an opportunity for college parkour teams to meet and train together and took place at various locations in Boston, including the campuses of MIT and the Harvard-Kent School and the Charlestown Shipyard, where the USS Constitution is anchored.

Though BCPK is not officially recognized by the University, it is recognized by the World Freerun and Parkour Federation (WFPF) as an affiliate. With its affiliate status, the team cannot fully benefit from the WFPF’s many resources. These include insurance for both team members and more casual participants, a spot on the list of officially recognized college parkour groups, allowing them to connect with teams across the country, and access to certification and safety courses.

“The WFPF will train club leaders with tests and ask them first aid questions and questions about the progression of the sport,” Schum said.

While these are important reasons for BCPK to be officially recognized by the University, the chance to work more closely with BC would also be beneficial.

“It’s about just being able to say we’re recognized by BC,” said Ryan Ritell, CSOM ’13.

Upon becoming official, the team would also have more flexibility in terms of when and where they could practice and hold demonstrations. The team has been asked to cancel demonstrations and is not allowed to advertise at the annual Student Activities Fair.

“It’s always been a gradual process,” Campo said.

The team hopes to negotiate for official recognition before the end of finals this year in order to work with administration over the summer.

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