A new club is jumping into the scene in fall 2023
With nearly 1,000 student organizations on campus, there is something for every student to enjoy at UW–Madison. Still, two undergraduates felt that a club was still missing.
Jake Aminia and Connor Blackburn decided to extend their passion of parkour to the UW–Madison community, creating a student organization dedicated to this sport named Wisconsin Parkour and Tricking — or informally Badger Parkour.
“UW-Madison hasn’t had a parkour club in years, and it’s way overdue for one. While there are so many ways to be physically active on campus, I don’t think any are as casual, accessible, and fun as Badger Parkour will be,” said Jake, the club president.
Jake has no doubt that anyone can discover their passion for parkour without any prior experiences. He hopes that his new club, founded alongside Connor, will provide just the right means for discovery.
“The biggest thing Connor and I wanted to ensure when creating Badger Parkour is that all students would be able to join the club and have a great time on their first day. Unlike other physical activities, there is basically no barrier to entry for parkour,” he said.
In general, the sport may seem as though only athletically gifted people can succeed at parkour. Not true, Jake says.
“To us, what defines successful parkour is how much fun someone can get out of it, rather than the absolute measure of their tricks and skills,” Jake said. “We are currently working on compiling information for a Badger Parkour curriculum, which would account for all skill levels, comfort levels, and physical abilities,” he added.
As the club continues to prepare its launch for the fall of 2023 in Madison, Jake and Connor are working hard to develop a strategic, logical and planned program for members of all skill levels to participate in.
“We plan on having weekly practices that consist of parkour-oriented exercises, learning new skills, and then actually going out and doing parkour. We also plan on having frequent social events, some of which will be in conjunction with other student organizations,” Jake said.
Like any new group on campus, the founders know that social media will play a large role in their ability to recruit new members and raise awareness and excitement for the upcoming launch of the club.
“Connor also happens to be the best social media manager this campus has ever seen. Within a week of creating our @BadgerParkour Instagram account, we hit over 30,000 views on our videos,” Jake said.
The duo also plan to create a YouTube channel in their opening year using compiled footage in order to demonstrate just how exhilarating “going outside with some friends and jumping over things” can be.
“Both of these platforms will help get our message out to the campus community and to the world,” Jake said.
As the upcoming fall term approaches quickly for Badgers across the country, Jake and Connor hope that their club will spark new interests and new experiences across campus.
“Badger Parkour will be just another tool in the toolbox for students who want to get outside and learn some cool tricks. Connor and I are super excited to begin this epic journey in the fall. All students are welcome at Badger Parkour, and we look forward to sharing our passion with them.”