Hawaii Parkour is an educational fitness organization, dedicated to sharing the healthy movement and risk-assement strategies that Parkour training can provide.
Last month Hawaii Parkour gave a 5 minute slide presentation on the potential benefit of building a public play space, modeled on some of the same features of several other pop-up play spaces and actualized movement parks. Ours was one among 5 other presentations by local artists, activists and organizations, aiming to promote a project that would bring conversation and awareness around mental health, and specifically the stigma against talking about our personal mental and emotional hardships.
Hawaii FEAST is an organization that “…seeks to empower artists to create vibrant and resilient communities in Hawaii through place-based and public artwork, and creative advocacy.” Purchasing a ticket to the Sept 19 FEAST (dinner provided by Peace Cafe) helped fund the event as well as the winning project, which was selected by audience vote at the end of the presentations.
Although Hawaii Parkour’s presentation was not selected (the $850 prize went to 19-year-old artist Rose Ranada’s shadowbox piece), the event was an amazing opportunity to bring up the topic of building a multi-use and intergenerational play space that would utilize the link between physical exercise, goal-setting and positive mental growth.
Our Presentation envisioned a community-built play space where Hawaii Parkour would hold regular safe-falling workshops, community exercise programs and our usual parkour classes. Being that the space is meant for public use, regardless of age or movement ability, it could also be a venue to host talk story events, art shows and performances.
By play space, what we mean is a combination of inviting and intriguing shapes, structures and seating areas. Low-lying ledges or low-walls would be accessible for resting upon, or exploring for young children or those with lower mobility. Taller features such as art mural walls or a rail structure would attract more skilled movers, and there would be an option for dynamic and changing setups, perhaps with monthly rotation of new obstacle orientation or suggested routes.
Hawaii Parkour aims to offer safe and fun movement options for all ages, as we believe that our mobility enhances our lives as we all grow older. With community support, we would assist in the design, construction and maintenance of a public play space, not exclusive to parkour athletes, but adaptive and interactive for many different skill levels and ages.