Everything you need to know about McMaster's new gymnastics and parkour club

Jenny Zhao
January 19, 2023
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Everything you need to know before joining the gymnastics and parkour club this term

This year, McMaster University’s former gymnastics club was ratified to encompass both gymnasts and parkour athletes. Despite the official ratification only coming now, the club is no stranger to the sport of parkour. McMaster Gymnastics & Parkour president, André Morin, is one of many parkour athletes that have trained with the club over the last few years.  

“[At] my gym back home, gymnastics and parkour were practiced in the same facility. For me it just seemed obvious that the club should merge if we were going to make a parkour club — so that’s what we did,” explained Morin. 

The overlap between gymnastics, parkour and other related sports has allowed the club to expand rapidly and was only helped with the return of ClubsFest this past September. McMaster Gymnastics & Parkour now currently consists of around 50 members that attend practices regularly but has reached over 80 students if including those that drop-in from time to time.  

“The communities merging have been really exciting. It’s a big community now with lots of camaraderie . . . We have everything from ex-gymnasts all the way to beginners and then we even have some cheerleaders and parkour athletes mixed in, so it’s a really fun crowd,” said Morin. 

“The communities merging have been really exciting. It’s a big community now with lots of camaraderie . . . We have everything from ex-gymnasts all the way to beginners and then we even have some cheerleaders and parkour athletes mixed in, so it’s a really fun crowd,”

André Morin, McMaster Gymnastics & Parkour President

The club hosts practices twice a week at World Class Gymnastics at 95 Frid St. Unit 12, a gymnastics facility close to campus. Since the club rents the facility themselves, participants pay an upfront fee for the semester or $10 for two hours of drop-in practice. 

Practices times are structured as open gym time where members can practice independently or work with the club's various coaches specialized in women's artistic gymnastics and parkour. 

“We try to make this club as inclusive and welcoming as possible, so we have lots of coaches to help with spotting and instructions and making sure people learn safely and effectively,” explained Morin. 

Including the club’s coaches, the club has 15 executive members that are usually available to offer pointers or lend a hand. Particularly, beginners are able to communicate their goals with the club for a more tailored plan. 

“A lot of people join gymnastics and parkour with the goal of wanting to do like a backflip — that's a very common thing — we can help target that and make them strong enough to do that move first which will keep them motivated and wanting to learn new moves,” explained Morin. 

“A lot of people join gymnastics and parkour with the goal of wanting to do like a backflip — that's a very common thing — we can help target that and make them strong enough to do that move first which will keep them motivated and wanting to learn new moves,”

André Morin, McMaster Gymnastics & Parkour President

Within the next year, Morin is interested in organizing possible competitions for the club with neighboring schools. Members would then have the opportunity to train more seriously or to continue training casually.  

Beyond this, Morin and the club’s executive team have a number of exciting plans for the club, including team merchandise, fundraising events and social events with neighbouring businesses in Hamilton or other clubs.  

McMaster Gymnastics & Parkour practices weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. in the winter semester at World Class Gymnastics. 

Author

  • Jenny Zhao

    Jenny is in her second year of the Biochemistry program. As a first-time writer for the Sil, she is excited to share the latest sports stories with all students. In her free time, you can find her working on a burner photography account, eating something spicy, or playing intramural sports.

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