Welcoming the annual Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang this year, many athletes are on the spotlight. From football players, badminton ones, to basketball players, they’re all ready to compete to the precious friendly games and win some medals. But beside the major sports in Indonesia, are you familiar with the faces of local extreme sports’ scene?
Meet Hamy Pratama. He is a professional parkour athlete from Indonesia who’s already known by many athletes from abroad. Lately, he has been preparing for a competition in Singapore this mid-year, and another competition by the end of the year in Sweden. Let’s dig up more about him!
What makes you interested in parkour though? Who’s the one who introduce you to this sport?
“Okay so I knew about parkour from my friend back in Junior High School. He basically told me about the sport and I joined him for exercising and all. But at that time, there wasn’t a single parkour community in my hometown, Sidoarjo, East Java. So we sort of exercised the sport by looking on YouTube and self-taught myself by the videos. I didn’t have any coach, mentor or something, so I spent a lot of time watching parkour videos on YouTube. Then there was this one website about parkour in Indonesia and it had list of cities for official parkour community. And then I finally put my hometown on the list and made a little forum about the sport. I asked a lot at that time and I gained more knowledge about parkour from that forum. Then it also led me to befriend other Indonesian parkour athletes.
After graduated from high school, I had this desire to explore more about the sport and our country itself. I moved to Lombok, then to Makassar, then I finally went to Jakarta. And I still self-taught myself about parkour techniques and all. No coach and whatsoever. And I started to be a professional parkour athlete in 2010.”
What makes you happy regarding this extreme sport?
“It’s kinda hard to explain but one thing for sure, this sport saved my life. I’m grateful that I discovered parkour.”
Self-taught and all can be fun, but what kind of struggle do you have from the beginning though?
“Lotsa them! Starting from the exercise. As an extreme sport, I fell down a lot at first when I exercise. But as I grew with parkour, I’m trying to find a sponsor to support me join the competition abroad. That’s the hardest thing, I’d say. I put a lot of effort in that matter though.”
How do you see the growth of parkour in Indonesia?
“In 2006, very few people have interests in parkour because the extreme sport was still unfamiliar here. But ever since 2011 till now, the hype is still there. A few years back, only people around parkour community that can talk about the sport, but right now, many people know about parkour.”
Do you get any support from the government to keep going?
“What should I say… I don’t even know if the official athletes for Asian Games get a full support from the government or not. I’m just a private athlete who depends on sponsors. But it only makes me try harder to get a sponsor for the competition in Sweden this year.”
From many championship that you joined, what was the most memorable one?
“I participated in many competition, started from the small scale competitions, to the big ones. But the most memorable was in Singapore competition in 2012, because people got to know me more. I mean, I got to know many professional parkour athletes there and vice versa. And it was my starting point as a professional athlete parkour from Indonesia.”
Do you have any special workout or exercise before you compete?
“I indeed have it, truthfully. In parkour, we need stretching and warming up before exercise, because we use all of the motoric movements from the foot up. Let’s say that it won’t give you a sudden effect, but later. There is a philosophy in parkour that aside from knowing about the environment better, you should know about your own self and body.”
Your hope for parkour in Indonesia?
“Of course I want this sport to get more exposure in Indonesia, and the athletes can get more recognition abroad. And for the athletes from abroad, I hope they can do parkour in here too.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Editor: Olivia Elena
Photographer: Ganang Arfiardi
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin
Makeup Artist: Nadia Renata
Wardrobe: Legiteamate, available at TheFThing.com
Location: Stadion Patriot Chandrabaga Bekasi