Updated: May 21, 2021
The Survey Link
Submissions close 31st May 2021
5 years ago when I started parkour, I was in my 2nd year of high school. I'd just been taught to use Microsoft Publisher. And I began designing a calendar with female athletes on it to eventually print and put up in my bedroom to inspire myself.
I remember most of the names I wanted to include to this day. Lynn Jung, Katie McDonnell, Sydney Olson, Sasha Sheva, Luci Romberg, Hazal Nehir, Silke Sollfrank, Renae Dambly, Pamela Forster, Tamila Ben, Ilaria Luisi.
I gave up because I couldn't finish my calendar. There were so few top level female athletes that I was including some whose styles didn't really appeal to me as much or who weren't as relevant to the parkour scene any more just for the sake of trying to find 12 inspirational girls. I already knew of and loved Lynn, Katie and Sydney's movement at the time, but everyone else on that list were people I'd gone out of my way to research and find out about because I hadn't heard about them previously. In fact, I distinctly remember Wikipedia searching the Redbull Art Of Motion winners to find more females and being disappointed that some years, there was only the top 2 females filling out the top 3 females table.
At the start of 2021, Seneca Schwartz, a parkour athlete and friend from the US, shared her Ted Talk with me. What really stuck with me is her mention of the lack of visibility of female role models in parkour. Since I began parkour, there are many more female athletes that inspire me, however in most cities there is at maximum, a handful of female role models for girls to look up to.
After watching Sen's Ted Talk, I decided to start The 2022 Calendar Project and create a way for female skill to be shown off around the world, even in locations where there are no female role models physically present.
In great contrast to the last time I attempted a parkour calendar, I have the issue of being inspired by too many female athletes now. Currently, I'm delighted to be running an international survey to try to narrow it down to only 12 out of all the incredible female athletes in the world.
I considered making this a non-profit project but I decided that it would be more beneficial to take the profits and give them to parkour communities and organisations around the world who would benefit from grant funds to increase female presence in their own communities.
In the past, as a co-organiser of many events under Women of Sydney Parkour, I have been immensely grateful to organisations and brands which have sponsored my events, making flying in athletes, booking venues and creating event merchandise possible. So I figured giving back via grant funds would be a good way to give back to communities in need of the presence of female role models,, especially as bringing international athletes to my own events has inspired both the local women and men's views of women as parkour athletes.
Guest athletes Hikari Izumi (JPN) & Saskia Neville (NL)
at Jump Off 2019 with WoSP organisers
While I am still in the calendar creation stage of organising The Calendar Project., please keep the opportunity of a grant fun in mind if you require one when I am up to working out that stage :)
Til then, share the survey link around to friends and parkour groups to give everyone a say in who should be featured!