Free-running, or Parkour, will soon flip onto the Jousterweg
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Omrop Fryslan, a hall in Heerenveen will soon be home to the ‘Freerun University’, which will be headed up by Thomas Dijkmeijer and Wouter Sojis. The pair have given lessens around the Netherlands for several years, but this will be their first fixed location- as free-running becomes ever more popular as a way to exercise.
The Freerun University in Heerenveen is, then, the first purpose-made hall in the North. “You find quite a few of these in the Randstad, but nowhere north of Utrecht. We’re the first”, says Dijkmeijer. “Freerunning is a new sport that’s mostly done outside, where you attempt to move through the environment as flexibly as possible. Children can practice in their school gym hall, as a starting point. But, we are building various platforms and obstacles in our hall to make it very challenging. And people can practice on an airtrack, so that they have no chance of injuring themselves”, added Dijkmeijer.
The sport has gotten more popular during the Coronavirus outbreak: “lots of children have discovered the sport in their own way- it’s an individual sport but can be done in groups. You can freerun in almost any outdoor situation- a gate or steps are enough”, says Dijkmeijer.
Freerunning differs from simply running due to the jumps and somersaults that are included: “the first thing you see is that it’s really physical”, says Dijkmeijer, “but it’s also a mentally challenging sport.”
The new hall is nearly ready to be used- which is great as both Dijkmeijer and Soijs want to start their first lessons in the next week or so. “We’re beginning with open lessons on August 31, and people, including children, can get to know our sport and the way we teach. After that we’ll begin with planned lessons. The youngest members will be about 6 years old, but there’s no upper age limit. We’ve got members in their 60’s, that would like to try something new in their retirement”, says Dijkmeijer.