History of IPF
IPF – International Parkour Federation
In 2014, the founders of WFPF filed not-for-profit incorporation papers in Indiana (later transferred to New Jersey) for a new organization, the International Parkour Federation. We were counseled by our longtime advisors, individuals with decades of experience in national and international Olympic sports governance, that to protect the organic growth and independence of Parkour worldwide, a true world governing body for Parkour must be formed, to facilitate the formation of National Parkour Federations and to empower local leaders to grow their communities.
Following in WFPF’s footsteps, IPF now stepped into the leadership void and did what needed to be done. Federation By-laws were written and an application was submitted for membership in Sport Accord/GAISF, the first step in formal recognition for a new sport, with the full knowledge that we still did not have the 40 affiliated recognized National Governing Bodies (NGB’s) required for full membership. Building on the relationships that WFPF had formed over the years with athletes and teams throughout the world, IPF began the process of education, both for ourselves and for our international partners. It has been a long process, but it has at last begun to show real results and IPF now has NF’s in Kosovo, Tajikistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Portugal, Ukraine, Guinea, Uganda, Nepal, Maldives, Malaysia, United States, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Yemen, Libya, Cuba, Syria, Malta, Morocco, Pakistan, Italy and Switzerland, all either recognized by their National Sports Council and/or National Olympic Committee, partnered with a recognized extreme sports federation, or as in the case of Mexico, Bhutan, Botswana, Algeria, Tunisia and many other countries, in the process of gaining recognition. IPF has also facilitated the creation of the Asia Freerunning Parkour Union (AFPU), the continental body for Parkour in Asia, as well as the West Asia Freerunning Parkour Union.
IPF regularly sponsors and sanctions competitive and non-competitive events large and small around the world, including the 2016 and 2017 WFPF World Parkour Championship (WPC) “Jump Off” in Las Vegas, the 3-Run Family Jam/Jump-Off in the UK in September 2017, the World Parkour Championship in Mardin, Turkey (and 1st IPF Congress) in May 2018, and the USA Parkour Cup in Tampa, FL in January 2018, 2019 and 2020.
IPF’s influence as a force for positive social impact through Parkour can be seen in its global initiatives such as Peace through Parkour, which recognizes and works with Parkour leaders in conflict zones who are using Parkour to bring hope and empowerment to youth-at-risk. Recipients of our 2019 Peace through Parkour Award, Zahid Shah has worked with thousands of young students in his native Kashmir, and in 2020, the award was given to Qudrat Frotan whose work with his Aghan Parkour Society is offering a positive path to countless youth in war-torn Afghanistan.
IPF is committed to Parkour education worldwide and offers full or partial scholarships for teaching certifications to needy students. In July 2017, IPF sponsored a Certification workshop in Bangkok, Thailand in cooperation with IPTC (International Professional Training Certification) with students attending from five countries across Asia. In support of IPF’s commitment to Gender Equality, included among these students were two women from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In June 2017, representatives of IPF, including WFPF Founders David Thompson, Ryan Doyle and Victor Bevine were invited to a meeting at GAIFS/Sport Accord in Lausanne, Switzerland to review our pending application with an eye towards approval for GAISF’s “observer” status.
IPF believes in maintaining an ongoing dialogue with all people of good will who have an interest in Parkour. In that spirit, in January 2018, IPF President Victor Bevine accepted an invitation to meet with the President and administration of FIG in Lausanne, Switzerland to discuss the future of Parkour. Bevine put forward IPF’s three non-negotiables, that Parkour must be remain an autonomous sport, that Parkour will never become a “discipline” of gymnastics, and that IPF will continue to have the right to facilitate the formation of independent National Federations in countries with pre-existing Parkour communities, so that local leaders are empowered to continue to grow the sport organically in their home region. A Memo of Understanding (MoU)was signed, with both sides agreeing to those principals. The MoU had a six month expiration date, and despite attempts to create a more formal agreement, IPF has had no further official cooperation with FIG, has never accepted any money from FIG and has not partnered with FIG on any events or initiatives of any kind. IPF continues to hold to its three core principals as outlined above, and will always behave accordingly in all its actions.
Everyone in the world of sport agrees that the future of Parkour is bright. Parkour practitioners and leaders around the world should feel extremely proud and optimistic about the amazing movement and philosophy of transformation and service that together we are bringing to the world. IPF remains open to partnership with any and all Parkour organizations and federations who share the goal of bringing together the world’s many Parkour communities from a place of equality and mutual respect.
IPF is proud to be recognized by GUIDESTAR, an organization that connects donors and grant makers to qualified non-profits, revolutionizing philanthropy and encouraging charitable giving through transparency and collaboration.
IPF- Strive Together!