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Iraq Parkour Committee History and Updates

January 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

January 22, 2024

The International Parkour Federation (IPF) has been closely observing the commendable initiatives undertaken globally by our member organizations. In this context, we aim to showcase the rich history and ongoing endeavors of Iraq’s Parkour Committee, a distinguished member organization since 2015 within the IPF network.  Here is a brief history and a present day report. 

The inception of organized parkour in Iraq unfolded in 2010, initiated by a group of young enthusiasts practicing their skills in the streets and gardens of key cities like Baghdad, Najaf, Babylon, Karbala, and Basra. Recognizing the potential of the sport, some of these athletes sought assistance from the founders of the International Parkour Federation (IPF). In response, IPF not only provided letters of support to bolster the credibility of parkour in Iraq but also played a pivotal role in securing resources for the establishment of the country’s inaugural Parkour school.

Athletes faced significant challenges during that period due to the country grappling with adverse conditions following a security collapse. However, as time progressed and stability increased, various parkour initiatives gradually surfaced. These encompassed the establishment of parkour training programs, community gatherings, and competitive events. Notably, two championships were instituted to take place annually, reflecting the positive evolution within the parkour community amid the changing circumstances.

In 2019, following the establishment of an official Parkour committee in Iraq and the reception of official accreditation from the International Parkour Federation, a dedicated committee for Parkour was formed. This committee is spearheaded by Captain Haider Hassan Mana Al-Qusayr.

In 2020, the global impact of the Coronavirus pandemic affected Iraq, along with every other nation. In response, the International Parkour Federation (IPF) adapted by transitioning its championships to an online format. In collaboration with the Asia Freerunning Parkour Union (AFPU), a series of virtual Asian regional championships were organized, attracting participation from Iraqi athletes. Remarkably, Iraq secured the third position in the overall standings across Asia.

Furthermore, Iraq actively engaged in a tournament tailored for participants under the age of 10. The country fielded a team of ten athletes representing both genders. Notably, two players from Iraq earned the distinction of being selected from the top ten competitors at the continental level in Asia.

In 2023, Parkour in Iraq experienced heightened activity with a focus on championships, education, and organizational developments. Noteworthy events included:

•Various parkour sports tournaments held across different governorates, including the capital Baghdad, aimed at widespread game promotion.

• Mr. Haid Hassan Mana Al-Qusayr’s appointment as the President of the West Asian Freerunning Parkour Union (WAFPU) elevated the quality and quantity of parkour tournaments in Iraq.

During the 2023 season, the parkour committee in Iraq actively engaged in meetings with various government agencies. Key events included:

• Iraq Club Championship for Parkour and the inauguration of a specialized (Speed Power) hall in Baghdad on April 26, 2023, witnessing the participation of over 10 clubs and 75 participants.

• Establishment of committees and championships in Babylon Governorate, Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdistan region, Najaf province, and Babylon Governorate University Day, each attracting significant participation.

• The largest championship in Iraq took place in Baghdad on October 20-21, 2023, hosted at the Iraqi Ministry of Youth and Sports facilities, with a remarkable attendance of over 300 participants.

• Submission of a file to the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, aiming to formalize the parkour committee, its funding, and elections for the Board of Directors, transforming it into an official union supported by the state.

• A tournament on November 3, 2023, and committee formation in Maysan province with the participation of more than 50 individuals.

• A championship on November 16, 2023, and committee formation in Diyala province with a strong presence of over 60 participants.

IPF commends the dedicated leadership of Dr. Hussein Ali Kanbar, Secretary General of the West Asian Freerunning Parkour Union (WAFPU), and Captain Haidar Hassan Man’ Al-Kusayr, Chairman of the Iraqi Central Parkour Committee and President of West Asian Freerunning Parkour Union (WAFPU). Furthermore, IPF acknowledges the unwavering commitment of Iraqi Parkour athletes whose grassroots initiatives and perseverance continue to be at the heart of establishing and sustaining the sport of Parkour in Iraq, contributing significantly to its ongoing growth and organization.