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Parkour UK

Train Hard – Funding Success

Train Hard receives substantial funding from BCP’s Bounce Back Challenge Fund

Parkour UK would like to congratulate our members – Train Hard Parkour – who have received a grant to be able to offer Parkour and drive participation in physical activity across Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole.

With support from Parkour UK, Train Hard successfully applied to the Bounce Back Challenge Fund  in April 2021. The fund is designed to engage with the business community to support their ideas to help Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole bounce back from the pandemic.

Train Hard are now delivering on a number of projects funded by the grant including:

  • A series of 6-week courses for Girls Ages 6-9, 10-14 and 14-7
  • Two 6-week courses for Women Ages 18+
  • Two 6-week courses for Adults Ages 18+

“We are so pleased to have received such a good amount of funding for our project. This money will really help drive participation in lesser-represented groups in Parkour and also increase the physical and mental health of children and adults in Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole. Parkour UK were extremely helpful in helping us with our application. Thank you!” said Scott Jackson, owner of Train Hard.

If you are interested in support to find funding for your organisation, Parkour UK has a funding directory and basic advice available here – Funding Directory Archive – Parkour UK

We would also be happy to look over any draft applications and advise. Please contact info@parkour.uk if you have a specific request in relation to funding application support.

Parkour UK Return to Move Guidance

We understand this is an incredibly tough and confusing time for our members, coaches and gym owners around the UK. In 2021 as gyms re-opened there were frequent changes to lockdown conditions – nationally and locally. 
Updated February 2022

The majority of the UK has moved to minimal restrictions or the removal of restrictions in 2022. 

Our overall advice at this stage would be to learn from previous restrictions and make decisions based on the safety of your coaches and customers with which you are comfortable. As a business owner or coach you have the right to put measures in place that you think are right for your business, and have the right to deny participation to those who will not adhere to your guidance and measures.

We have now removed the regularly update guidance for each of the 4 nations. If you need specific advice please contact us with questions. 

Our COVID toolkit with in depth advice around coaching, classes and venues will remain available. 

It is important to remember that the COVID virus is still prevalent across the country and Parkour UK will fully support any measures that any organisations decide to keep in place. 

Here in our Return to Move page we are supporting members in a number of ways:

  • A Parkour & COVID toolkit – this is a downloadable file of examples of best practice from a number of our members of risk assessments, coaches guidance and other examples. These are free to use and adapt for your own gym.
  • Regular updates of general guidance from Parkour UK.
  • Links to the UK and devolved nation’s live guidance, and that of the corresponding sports bodies

Please note that these are general recommendations and you should refer to guidance regarding any local lockdowns in your area which may have further restrictions. 

Current live guidance from governments and sports bodies: 

The UK government and each of the devolved Nations have the latest and frequently updated guidelines available, and we would encourage individuals and organisations to look at the relevant local guidelines in the first instance for implementation.   

Feel free to contact us directly if you have a specific question or need. 

Farewell Mitch

The AGM on Thursday will signal the end of the Steve Mitchell’s time as independent chairman of Parkour UK. Mitch has led the board through the early years of development, from February 2013 – July 2021 within which time recognition of governing body status in the UK and funds to employ an executive team were achieved.

Parkour UK have worked with Sam Coppack and his ‘Parkour Coach Companion’ podcast to produce a interview with Mitch which covers many angles.

  • What was / has been the appeal of parkour and Parkour UK for you?
  • What have been the key moments of the 9 years that you have been Chair of Parkour UK?
  • What have you learnt personally from parkour and lifestyle sport?
  • Are any of those insights transferable to other parts of the sport sector?
  • Knowing what you know now, are there any situations that you would have managed differently?
  • What do you think the future looks like for Parkour UK?
  • What is the future for you?

The interview can be heard in full on YouTube here and on Spotify here. Some highlights are:

Parkour & lifestyle sports vs traditional sport (29:17 – 30:04)

“It has made me look at traditional sport in a different way. We don’t always get it right in this country or globally. Does a modern sport offer in a local community truly represent the society its trying to engage? I am not sure it does. And that is where the informal, the fun, the social, the pop up when you can, play when you can, move when you can, and you don’t need to ask permission, you don’t need to join a group and you don’t have to attend a session. That is society reflective. You guys, your generation and the generations pre and post you in terms of the parkour community have grown up trying to shape a different narrative.”

Practitioner Opportunity (58:21 – 58:38)

“If there is one thing that the parkour community have taught me from day one, you are prepared to be resilient, be determined, overcome barriers and challenges. So apply the parkour mindset to jobs, career, life and societal contributions.”

Recognition – Biggest Achievement (21:40 – 22:23)

“The single biggest thing that we have achieved as a community and that I have been hugely proud to be part of is receiving recognition. The recognition journey was brutal. People will never truly understand what went on behind the scenes to get there. I think that the staging post globally of parkour to be recognised and legitimised as a sport, activity, discipline, movement and Parkour UK to be the first recognised national governing body is something that everybody should be inherently proud of.”

Impact on me personally (30:14 – 30:57)

“The connections that I have been able to make behind the scenes, that have allowed conversations to happen, absolutely are based on the learning of meeting and greeting, seeing the power and action of what the community can do. Its not always been unequivocally in the right direction and alongside my value set, but the majority of time and with the majority of people it has been a brilliant personal experience. Has definitely shaped how I will be a father, how ultimately I will try and apply what I have learnt in everything I do moving forward.”

Parkour UK would like to thank Mitch for his commitment over the years and wish him well for the future.

Building networks & throwing yourself in at the deep end

Building networks & throwing yourself in at the deep end

As part of the benefits package that Parkour UK offer Development Associates, last week we invited Ian Braid and Preeti Shetti to share some of the things that they have learnt during their careers.

Preeti Shetty is CEO of Upshot, a monitoring, evaluation & learning system to help you evidence your impact. Preeti spoke about her career with a particular focus on insight and data, building networks and the importance of acknowledging failure.

Some of the insights were:

  • Learnt the importance of monitoring and evaluation through writing grant applications and producing annual reports.
  • Obsessed with the idea of failure, particularly the concepts of Black Box Thinking which considers how in the aviation industry the learnings drawn from the black box are shared with the whole of the sector so that everyone can learn.
  • During interviews many candidates underestimate the need to understand ‘this company, in this sector, at this time’.
  • Building networks is what it comes down to. A peer network that you can grow with, is the strongest thing. Building trust with a group of people who are going through similar things and who will encounter many of the same problems that you do.

 

Ian Braid is MD and founder of DOCIA Sport Ltd (Duty of Care in Action) who offer independent, expert advice on all aspects of duty of care in sport. Ian shared thoughts on personal development and possible approaches to help improve the duty of care in the sports sector.

Some of the insights were:

  • Two catch phrases have helped me realise what I should do when I grew up. Firstly that ‘everything is worth the price of a cup of coffee’, its an opportunity to listen to a perspective which may lead to an opportunity. Secondly, ‘throw yourself in at the deep end’ as the greatest learning always comes from those incidents.
  • Keep your head up, open your eyes, listen to others with a view to helping.
  • Build the confidence to challenge others over time. We are learning all the time and we shouldn’t be afraid to say what we think.
  • Linking it all together you need to understand who you are, what your values are and stick to them no matter what happens. Create a personal coat of arms and hold yourself to account every day.

 

Thanks to both for their time and effort. If you would like to contact Preeti or Ian you can do so through the following links:

Upshot – Contact Us

DOCIA Sport – Contact

Movement Card – Development Associates Project

As most practitioners of Parkour know, the discipline can challenge the social conventions and perceived rules of the use of space. This can result in positive interactions where relationships with communities are built and those outside of parkour are educated about the sport. It can also result in potential conflicts with security, property owners and authorities. While Parkour UK would always encourage its members to behave politely and rationally in these situations, we also recognise that sometimes these various authorities can act outside of the law and prevent the legitimate right that someone may have to the use of a space.

And in rolls the Movement Card created by Ukemi Project and Parkour Outreach for Scotland, our latest Development Associates project works to research and create a similar resource for the rest of the UK’s nations. We caught up with Gordon from Parkour Outreach to understand some of the basics of the rights to space, and the messaging the movement card provides.

 

1) What is the common challenge that parkour practitioners have in relation to use of spaces?

Gordon: People generally see a clear distinction between public property and private property. Public property is seen as a space that the public can freely use, whilst private property is seen as a space to be used only by the property owner. Private property is clearer in residential properties, but the distinction has become less clear with commercial property. Particularly, we have seen the development of a grey area in which private property appears open to the public – some of these areas are even defined by the property owner as “public space”.

Parkour is often practiced that in these areas, i.e. public spaces that are privately owned. This has resulted in parkour practitioners facing a common challenge: being moved on by property owners and/or security guards despite the space being open to the public. The reasons given by property owners usually have no proper basis.

For example, in Scotland, property owners may say:

  1. This is private property, you cannot be here (even though it is a public space and there will usually be public rights of way and/or a right to roam that applies. The property owner can request for you to move on, but cannot force you to do so without raising legal proceedings)
  2. If you hurt yourself whilst doing parkour on our property, we will be liable (legally, this is not true)
  3. You are on CCTV (this simply is not a reason to be moved on.)
  4. If you do not move on, we will call the police (If the property owner does not want members of the public peacefully using their land – it is a civil matter. The police deal with criminal matters, not civil matters).

We have set out the above in further detail on the Movement Card website: www.mvmnt-card.com

Furthermore, parkour practitioners have experienced property owners being aggressive due to a misunderstanding of the rights available to the public in these “public spaces”. Even when the above has been explained to the property owner, they continue to be aggressive and at times risk committing an offence themselves. This has been a particular issue when dealing with security guards.

For example, I was balancing on a rail at height and a security guard forcefully kicked the rail in an attempt to intimidate me. Thankfully, balancing is one of my stronger skills so the security guard’s actions had no effect on me. However, if I had fallen off the rail and injured myself as a result of the security guard kicking the rail – the security guard would have lost his job and the property owner would have been at risk of facing serious liability. 

 

2) What would represent a landmark in the future that would symbolise the success of the Movement Card?

In the short term, it would be a landmark of success if we had Movement Cards in situ all over the world and parkour practitioners feeling welcome everywhere. This would help to encourage what is already known as the “parkour passport” across the global parkour community, but it would help practitioners to better understand and appreciate the local laws that apply in each country so that these can be respected accordingly.

In the long term, it would amazing to establish a baseline for the Right to Move in public spaces and for this to be applied globally. This would mean that there was a global shift in the appreciation for the Right to Move and the benefits that come with being able to move freely in public spaces. The benefits would clearly extend beyond parkour – people would feel comfortable using public spaces without questioning what can or cannot be done in those spaces. This would create more cross collaboration and a greater sense of community in those areas.

Thanks to Gordon for his insights, and we look forward to working with our team of Development Associates – Hugo, Sam and Matt – to develop the work.

Natasha Preville – Being The Change We Want To See…

As we near the halfway mark in 2021, I reflect on my journey as an Independent Director at Parkour UK. Entering my second year of service, I remain in awe at the resilience, growth and transformative power of our Sport and practice. We have all experienced a year like no other and the team have worked tirelessly to provide guidance and support to our communities and practitioners in any way they could. We have strived to build sustainable ecosystems through widening engagements, participation, strategy and investment that continue to enable Parkour and the dynamic and adaptable nature of its practice, to thrive, ‘Moving with Purpose’ through 2021 and beyond.

 

Sport England Award:

Since our last update earlier in the year, we are delighted to announce Parkour UK will be a recipient of continued Sport England funding, testament to their support in the development of Parkour UK as a National Governing Body. The award of £120,240 will help sustain our Executive capacity in 2021/22; prioritising areas such as strategy, financial sustainability, insight and governance.

 

Extension of Sub Committees and Working groups:

One of the many reasons I love my work as an Independent Director for Parkour UK is the unwavering commitment of my fellow peers, our Exec team and expanding Workforce Committees, Partners and Supporters; they bring to life the ambition and demonstration of a modern, progressive governing body: One that is customer facing and works collaboratively to coproduce with and through the community.

Our ‘Moving with Purpose’ strategy has continued to meet fruition as we build and grow in the following areas: Digital Workforce, Space & Place, Economy, Mental Health, Life course (all age / intergenerational activity), Inclusion & Diversity and Storytelling. I am particularly excited to be involved in driving forward our work in the realm of Diversity & Inclusion. As a society and as a human being within it, if this year has taught us anything, for me, there is no place for division, we ALL know that in authentic unity, there is strength.  To this end, during the Summer, we plan to bring together four more Sub-Committees and Working Groups to strengthen our work in Diversity & Inclusion, Space & Place, Digital and Storytelling.

 

Unstructured Insight:

We want to build on the insight report on the structured community launched in September 2020 by David Butler. In response, we have commissioned a second report for the unstructured community, working again with David Butler.  In addition, Rob Young (RY Consulting) will work with us to build capacity in order to help us gain an independent view / perspective.   We endeavour to initially speak with 15 – 20 Companies to explore; their brands, businesses, income streams, barriers and challenges, campaigns and causes, services and support, quick wins and immediate concerns (not a short list).

Parkour UK is also cognizant of our structured communities and to that end, we want to take a deep-dive approach to gain a comprehensive insight into some well-known Parkour names and brands within the unstructured world: Our initial work will include brands such as Ampisound, Jimmy the Giant, MOTUS etc.

 

Observations on the Digital Roadmap:

Digital literacy, marketing and engagement is important now, more than ever. We are living in a normalcy where the video call is king. As Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease, Parkour UK have kept the lens on the development of our Digital Roadmap, produced by 7 League and first shared in February 2021. As part of our due diligence, we looked at a variety of lifestyle Sports and it quickly became apparent we had numerous similarities with Skateboard GB.  With this identified, March 2021 saw us convene meetings with Lewis Wiltshire and Lenka Istvanova (7 League) and Adam Freeman-Pask (Sport England) to explore the next steps… Unity is strength, once more, through shared insights around community engagement, areas for development and sustainable growth. The outcomes of the meeting concluded the key areas of focus would be; digital strategy, systems and processes and content and community engagement. We are thrilled to be in a position to continue working with 7 League and wider partners to further develop our Digital Strategy… Watch this space for updates.

 

Progress with Community and Stakeholder Relationships:

Our most recent CEO Report, by Dan Newton continued to make encouraging reading, particularly in reference to structured and unstructured relationships monitored between September 2020 and April 2021; all of which showed growth, improved engagement, where numerous relationships were viewed as “positive with intent to support”. This is humbling news as we continue to grow steadily and we very much look forward to building on our new and existing relationships during the next phase(s) of our development.

 

Diversity and Inclusion: Women’s Empowerment

Last, but certainly not least, I want to highlight a(nother) area close to my heart and the shared ambition of Parkour UK and our communities.  Giving a platform, giving a space and place, giving (back) of power and reflecting and learning, then doing better, is the order of the day, when I think of empowering women in sport. Entering the second round of the programme, we are working in tandem with Women in Sport, to look at the perspective of women in Parkour and the stories they tell; including, but not limited to, the lack of female role models, lack of representation in Parkour media, barriers to entering / engaging with Parkour to name a few.  When exploring the lifecycle of sporting activity, it was found ‘girls tend to stop doing sport as they reach their teens’, furthermore, ‘women doing sport want to feel included and integrated into their communities and want do sport as part of their lifestyle’We all have a commitment to make this happen.  We continue to proudly work with Women in Sport to help us eradicate inequality of access, experience and participation with Parkour, through storytelling, content creation and media; promoting equitable access, positive role models, all within safe and inclusive environments. 

As we all adapt our lives and overcome unforeseen challenges, we gain insights, we learn, we grow and we do better. We have entered unchartered territory with boundaries constantly shifting in the world around us, however, Parkour UK remains stalwart in our commitment and we continue to work tirelessly to ensure, as a National Governing Body, we uphold and demonstrate the change we want to see.

 

Natasha Preville

Independent Director

Parkour UK Board