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Movement Card develops for the UK

Parkour UK has supported the development and completion of 3 new Movement Cards for England, Wales and Northern Ireland to aid making practitioners and the public aware of the laws regarding the use of public and private space.  

The Movement Card – created by Ukemi and Parkour Outreach – aims to educate and inform all who have interactions with people moving in the public domain. The card is part resource, part research and part response – created to promote freedom of movement. 

The project was part of our Development Associates programme and Hugo Knowles, Sam Strickson and Matt Hinchley played a key role in this programme.  The aim of the project was to develop the movement card product based on the already existing Scotland card for the rest of UK adhering to the differing laws between the countries. 

To achieve this our DAs spoke with Gordon Tsang to get an understanding of what the movement card was and why it was important to practitioners. They were also provided expertise and documentation from Alex May – of Serious Play Parkour – containing information about parkour, training outdoors and the legality of parkour in public spaces. 

This led the team to share a survey with the community where they listened to views on “What the law says vs what the culture says?” and compared the lawful rights to space with the experiences that practitioners have had out while training.

The surveys gave them some valuable insight into practitioners’ experiences with the law and found that although roughly 75% of the practitioners trained either daily or weekly, almost half of practitioners didn’t know their legal rights when training in public spaces.

When asked about common misconceptions about parkour comments such as
“That we are a high risk / threat – will either break something or seriously hurt ourselves. It’s seen more as a pass-time for energetic kids rather than a practised discipline.” 


”They think parkour is just jumping off things without any real training. That it’s just random children playing on walls. They could see it as antisocial, although, this is more to do with the person. People that own companies or do sports see it as positive” 


When asked ‘What do you wish security / police / property owners knew about Parkour?‘ One practitioner replied:

“That the last thing we want to do is damage something and that we just want to train. It would also be nice if they realised that when we train in these spaces, it often discourages other antisocial behaviour, drugs and alcohol.“

Practitioners talked about being challenged for various reasons which while on the surface seem valid, are actually in contrast to the law or fail to identify a realistic reason that spaces cannot be used for the practice of Parkour.

The research from the survey highlighted commonly known issues and reinforced the good work already carried out by Ukemi and Parkour Outreach which led to the creation of the original Scottish Movement Card. This mean that the work to adapt the card for the other UK nations could be carried out but still create a consistent message and aesthetic for the cards. 

The information on the law that Alex provided helped to form the England, Wales and Northern Ireland adjustments while keeping consistent with the overall principle and messaging in regards to educating movers about their rights to space.

In April the new cards digital assets were published at Movement Card – Right to the City ( and physical cards will available to print.

Parkour UK intends to print the movement cards in future to be included with memberships and to reach the UK community in a number of ways over the coming year.  

We would like to thank Hugo, Sam and Matt for keeping the project moving forwards. We are also grateful to Alex May for his expertise in regards to the law and his contributions allowed us to develop the cards with confidence. Thanks to David Banks from Ukemi and Gordon Tsang from Parkour Outreach for their support, guidance and feedback they given to the project.

Whats next for the Movement Card?

 “We want to create a global database for the Movement Card to empower practitioners with knowledge about their rights to move in the public domain. This will allow us to draw comparisons between countries and understand the best examples of freedom to move so that we can advocate greater rights for all” said Gordon Tsang.

If you are interested in developing a Movement Card for your country – please contact the Movement Card team at

Holding the door open for everyone… Always…

Following the announcement by Red Bull regarding the athletes that will be competing at Art of Motion 2022, Parkour UK would like to share our continued support for gender equality and equal opportunities.

Art of Motion is an international parkour competition, for 2022 the decision has been taken to select 13 athletes for invitation and offer two online qualifying places. The 13 athletes that have been selected include 2 women and 11 men. This is in direct contrast with 2021 where the qualification procedure was the three podium-finishers from Red Bull Art of Motion 2019, the 12 winners (six men and six women) of the Online Qualifier and, finally, three more contestants who qualified through the Onsite Qualifier. Parkour UK have approached Red Bull to understand the approach they took to deciding which athletes would be selected to compete in 2022, we await a response from Red-Bull.

As an NGB, we are committed to parkour being an inclusive practice and we support the comments made by women from the community, which challenge the imbalance of genders invited to compete at Art of Motion 2022. As well as an awareness of the opinions across social media around Red Bull Art of Motion, Parkour UK spoke directly to Rachel Gough. Rachel competes and runs women, girl and non-binary jams / events. This includes the upcoming This Girl Jam on July 2 & 3rd with workshops, speed and style competitions which are accessible for everyone. 
Rachel shared her views:

“Women deserve a place in this sport, we do not need to prove ourselves, we already have. There is a huge selection of highly talented women who are incredibly interesting to watch, yet Red Bull ignores this. Under representation is a huge issue for any growing sport, how are women supposed to enter and grow in the sport if they’re already being shown that they clearly aren’t as important or valued in the sport? We should not have to constantly compare ourselves to men, to keep up with men to be allowed a place, we deserve a place, we aren’t men, we are women.”

Parkour UK believe that equitable treatment is important, particularly with regards to visibility. Women’s visibility in sport is pivotal. Women athletes serve an inspirational role model for girls. They show girls what is possible. If girls mostly see men competing, they’re less likely to think this is an activity they can take part in or belong in. It is something supported by Women in Sport who highlight eight principles for success which set the challenge to ‘Hold the door open for everyone’.

Women in Sport also talk about the importance of role models close to home and further afield in their report ‘What sways women to play sport?’. The report references six identified spheres of influence or sway factors, with one being ‘possibilities; opening her eyes to what she can do’.

We can see there is brilliant work going on in the community which drives opportunities for women and girls, which include:

  • We believe that the women’s parkour courses run by Train Hard / The Parkour Project support making parkour more accessible to women and girls in their area – they include women only sessions and are free to access.
  • We support ‘The Women’s International Parkour Weekend’ run by Parkour Generations for offering women and non-binary people a non-competitive, supportive and welcoming space to explore movement.
  • We support the approach that NovaCity have taken within Project Underground 9 and other jams / events, where they have included separate women’s competition with equal prizes in the programme.

Further information on the examples given can be found at the bottom of this statement.

The Future 

In the short term…

We are making an active effort to amplify opportunities and successes of women in the community. You can help us by sharing the details of opportunities and jams that you would like us to promote, or by making suggestions for what we can be doing? Please contact us here.

In the long term…

We believe that representation from a wider cross section of society will encourage more people to believe that they belong and can participate and engage fully and equally in parkour. Our plans to improve diversity and inclusion in the sport will be set out through a subcommittee and a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. Through this work we will publish clear ambitions to ensure our work represents and reflects the diversity of the parkour community. 

Our Independent Director Natasha Preville, who is the board lead for diversity and inclusion, stands by the written piece in 2020. Natasha believes “Parkour is, by its very nature, inclusive and rights focussed, and we believe everyone is entitled to equitable opportunity to access. Therefore, we will never tire to challenge negative stereotypes and experiences as a progressive and forward thinking NGB”

Examples of good practice in the parkour community

Train Hard Women’s parkour courses – Between September 2021 and April 2022, Train Hard Parkour & Freerunning successfully delivered ‘Introduction to Parkour’ courses for less well-represented demographics in parkour made possible through a grant from Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council via the Bounce Back Challenge fund. The programme included parkour courses for girls and women aged 6-9, 10-14, 14-17 and 18+ and attracted 165 women participants, many of whom have continued to attend regular classes after these courses. Check out this video from BBC South Today.  

Parkour Generations Women’s International Parkour Weekend – We are pleased to see this event returning and encouraging more women and non-binary people into Parkour and movement. Providing an entirely non-competitive, supportive and welcoming space where we can explore both our general environment and our inner landscape is important for personal growth and development as a movement community.⁠ Whether you’re a woman or non-binary traceuse, climber, crossfitter, runner, weightlifter, gymnast or general mover. This event is a celebration of YOUR movement.⁠

NovaCity – Through their Project Underground 9 event NovaCity brought together practitioners from across the world, helping to grow parkour practice across the country. The event was conducted over 3 days and designed to be attractive to all parkour practitioners as it offers the chance to train, compete or spectate. The competition itself was split into 3 discipline categories and 3 age categories, and a separate women’s competition, all with equal prizes.

Parkour opens up new horizons for Matthew

Matthew, a sports-loving teenager is discovering the new-found freedom and confidence-boosting benefits of Parkour.

In many ways Matthew is a typical sports-mad teenager. Fiercely competitive, the 16-year-old from Edinburgh loves football, basketball, swimming and athletics. He’s sensitive, stubborn, cheeky and has a good sense of humour.

He likes being active and enjoys spending time with his close-knit family, including their one-year-old Labrador, and his circle of friends.

Matthew has Downs Syndrome, so faces various physical and learning challenges due to his condition. He needs additional educational support and attends a school for youngsters with learning difficulties.

I think the fact that Parkour revolves around bodyweight exercises or movements benefits him massively. What he is learning and mastering is important for day-to-day life and is giving him the confidence to do things like go to the park and play.

He has obsessive compulsive disorder, which was heightened during the disruption of lockdown, but thrives on structure and routine. In addition, he suffers from noise sensitivity (hyperacusis), finding everyday sounds intrusively loud and distressing, so will often wear ear defenders in busy, noisy environments.

Although Matthew likes to try different activities and sports, he tires easily and has a limited range of movement. He also takes a while to relax in new environments and with people he doesn’t know well.

Disliking unpredictability and lack of control, Matthew won’t play sport as part of a team. So his mum, Angela, is always keen to find a new activities to keep him entertained while developing his physical abilities and skills.

A few years ago, Matthew discovered Parkour on YouTube and began watching videos of people practising freerunning. He became fascinated by the sport, focusing as it does onfinding creative ways to overcome obstacles and moving safely in an unsafe environment.

“At its core, Parkour is about overcoming obstacles with a flexible but focused ‘can do’ attitude. It aims to build confidence, determination, discipline and self-reliance, along with strength, fitness, balance and coordination.” 

Seeing Matthew’s interest, Angela contacted Access Parkour – which runs Parkour and movement classes in Edinburgh and across Scotland – to see if they could offer some tailored training for her son.

Matthew’s journey

Four years ago, Access Parkour coach Adam Romaine started working with Matthew at one-to-one weekly classes in their Edinburgh gym, Room To Move – and the enthusiastic teenager has gone from strength to strength.

Adam began with short 30-minute sessions and has slowly built them up to 45 minutes, as Matthews’s fitness and stamina have increased.

After lockdown forced the suspension of such activities, Matthew was desperate to resume his training so, when restrictions allowed, Adam continued the sessions with him outdoors – outside the Scottish Parliament building.

Initially, Adam introduced him to safe ways of jumping, climbing and landing. Over time, Matthew’s movement journey has comprised jumping, forward vaults, wall technique, swinging and underbars, crawling, turning vaults, balance and ascending vaults.

“It has been fantastic to see Matthew progress with Parkour. He is learning and improving all the time, while having fun…”

Adam’s success with Matthew has revolved around understanding the need to progress gradually from slow, simple movements to more complicated ones. For example, jumping started with the floor to a step, graduating to the floor to a box, then a box to another box.

Similarly, vaulting moved from a low-level box to a bar, then to an elevated bar – but still ensuring Matthew had something to hold onto.

Adam is patient, reassuring and relaxed with Matthew, building his trust and confidence so that he can learn and master increasingly complex and skilful moves and techniques. The key has been breaking everything down into small steps, along with lots of repetition and encouragement.

Crucially, Adam understands Matthew’s personality and his limits so adapts each class to his student’s fluctuating ability, confidence and mood on the day.

Sometimes, progress plateaus while Matthew is psychologically processing what is required to master a technique. For instance, he struggled to grasp the dynamic swing but, following a short break from his weekly classes over Christmas, he returned in January and was able to complete the movement.

Onwards and upwards

Matthew has improved tremendously in terms of his ability and range of movement. He is currently working on perfecting his climbing techniques, low-level balancing and using bars to swing from one object to another.

Adam explains: “Sometimes Matthew has a mental block on something, which can be challenging. I have to figure out if it’s a physical or psychological barrier we’re facing – whether, rather than not being able to do something, he is just scared or worried about it. Then I have to work out how we can overcome that.

“But, the longer we have worked together, the more Matthew trusts me and he has progressed amazingly. Now, he’s usually up for trying anything unless it is particularly scary or a bit too different from what he’s used to. He’s come on in leaps and bounds in confidence and ability.

“If something goes well, he feels great. We always finish our session on a high note so he realises how well he’s done and how far he’s progressed. His reward at the end is usually swinging, because he absolutely loves that.

“It has been fantastic to see Matthew progress with Parkour. He is learning and improving all the time, while having fun. He was scared of doing a lot of things when he first started. For example, he would never jump to grab things out of reach, so it was just mind-blowing for me when he did eventually jump and grab a bar.

“I think the fact that Parkour revolves around bodyweight exercises or movements benefits him massively. What he is learning and mastering is important for day-to-day life and is giving him the confidence to do things like go to the park and play.”

Quality of life

Parkour has boosted Matthew’s quality of life, improving not only his strength, fitness, balance and coordination but also his confidence, skills, independence and self-belief. He looks forward to his weekly one-to-one coaching and delights in how it has pushed him to explore a wider spectrum of movement and agility.

His family have installed monkey bars in their garden, which Matthew loves swinging on, and this has helped him hone this type of movement during his gym visits. As he commented: “I like jumping off the boxes and swinging on the bars!”

Matthew attends the classes with his dad, Gavin, and likes him joining in with what he’s doing at the end of each session. Gavin has watched his progress and observed the close, trusting relationship Adam has built up with his son.

Gavin says: “Matthew would just retreat into himself if he was in a group class, so this one-to-one coaching is ideal. Adam works really well with him, reassuring him that what he’s doing is going to be safe.

“It is great to see how Matthew has made progress, from doing just a basic step when he first started through to now being able to do a step vault up high. We have watched his confidence grow, along with his ability and desire to try new movements.

“Matthew has really taken to Parkour and likes the variety of trying different things. He likes the weekly routine and loves working with Adam. It puts him in a good mood, which is great.Parkour is the one constant activity for Matthew – it’s his ‘thing’ that he likes to tell his family and friends about, especially when he learns and manages new moves.

“It has also made him more confident when we are out and about, like taking a walk in the woods. Before, he would want to hold someone’s hand if he was jumping off a log. Now, he will just go off and do it.

“I think it’s also been good for him to be around people outside his usual social bubble – a

few other people who are usually at the gym at the same time, taking part in different classes. He seems to be better at coping and more comfortable with that now.”

The sessions also appear to have improved Matthew’s ability to cope with everyday noises. When he first started he would always put on his ear defenders, regardless of whether anyone else was in the gym, but now he can cope with the sound of a few other people there and will even take the lead in selecting what background music they should play.

The bigger picture

Parkour’s elements of fun, variety and accessibility make it a perfect activity for people with a range of difficulties or disabilities to enjoy, as it can be tailored to fit participants’ specific needs, capabilities and skills.

As well as its capacity to boost physical and mental health, it is a versatile and inclusive sport which can be practised anywhere, either alone or with others. Working with the right coach, it can also be adapted to suit specialised needs, such as a Matthew’s. 

At its core, Parkour is about overcoming obstacles with a flexible but focused ‘can do’ attitude. It aims to build confidence, determination, discipline and self-reliance, along with strength, fitness, balance and coordination.

All this lends itself to playing a role in supporting people who have their own personal, physical and emotional challenges to deal with in everyday life.

Jess Cook is Strategic Partnership Advisor at Activity Alliance, the national charity and leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity. She said: “It is great to hear how Adam and Access Parkour have overcome the potential barriers to Matthew discovering this sport.

“Adam’s unique relationship with Matthew is clearly key – he understands his needs and Matthew trusts him. This has allowed Matthew to enjoy Parkour’s wide-ranging benefits, from promoting core strength and balance to encouraging integration, a sense of communityand enjoyment of the great outdoors.”

If you are interested in parkour please follow Parkour UK on Instagram or get in contact with Parkour UK

You can find out more information about Access Parkour here or search for opportunities near you here.

Parkour UK’s 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Parkour UK’s 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Friday 25th September at 1730 – 1830. Below is the agenda that we will work to. To confirm your attendance please sign up here.  

Following the AGM we will outlining our immediate plans, by presenting an insight report on the coaching companies active in the Parkour community and how we intent to respond. You can sign up for this event here.


AGM Agenda

For:                         All Members

Date:                      Friday 25 September 2020

Time:                      1730 – 1830

Welcome & Introductions

–       Apologies

–       Minutes of the 2019 AGM

–       Matters arising

–       Declarations of Interests


Report of the activities of the Company


Report from the Independent Chair


Directors report & company accounts



–       Outcome of Elected Director process (Scotland)

–       Appointment of Independent Directors

–       Matters, motions or proposals from the voting members

Voting Members



Date & location of next AGM – July 2021


Opportunities to work for Parkour UK

As Parkour UK begin a new era we are recruiting two positions; the roles are Development Manager and Development Co-ordinator. Both will work alongside the Chief Executive Officer and board to understand and support the Parkour community and to deliver our ‘Moving with Purpose’ strategy.

The objectives set out in the ‘Moving with Purpose’ strategy are:

  1. Grow our community – Increasing the number of qualified coaches, growing the number of communities and practitioners, and sharing best practice and sustainable models
  2. Communicate, educate and influence – Influence and advocacy, a media and communications strategy and Parkour parks and facility guidance.
  3. Maximise culture and commercial opportunities – Leveraging investment for social, health and wellbeing interventions, a digital strategy and working with the leisure operator, health and fitness sector.
  4. Build our capacity and resources – Securing continued capacity investment for a core team, working in partnership with other lifestyle sports and leveraging external investment through commercial and social partnerships.
  5. Insight and impact – Developing an efficient and effective way of capturing participation data and understanding the community (workforce and participants).

If you would like to discuss either of the roles, please contact

Parkour UK Announces New CEO

Dan Newton has been appointed CEO of Parkour UK, the officially recognised National Governing Body for Parkour and freerunning in the UK.

Dan is no newcomer to Parkour UK. Since September 2019, Dan has held the role of Interim CEO whilst on part-time secondment from his 9-year role as Development Director with Rounders England. During this period, Dan has worked closely with the Board of Parkour UK, the wider Parkour community as well as partners and stakeholders, to develop a strategy, built on solid governance foundations, that will enable the NGB to drive growth and sustainability.

“Parkour UK has reached a pivotal point in its development,” explains Newton. “Part of my remit, as interim CEO, focused on the recruitment, appointment and induction of two, Independent Directors in order to onboard new skills and expertise at the executive level. Both are now in place and, along with the incumbent Directors, will support me in our drive to achieve Tier 2 compliance of the Code of Sports Governance and deliver the next phase of our 2020 strategy – Moving with Purpose.” Commenting on the secondment “I am really grateful to Katherine Knight, Natalie Justice-Dearn and the board at Rounders England for their support to make the most of the opportunity; forward-thinking leadership that cares about the people.”

Dan Newton, CEO, Parkour UK

Having graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Development and Coaching, Dan began his sporting career as a Development Officer with South Yorkshire Sport. This led to a role as Governing Bodies Officer for Derbyshire Sport and from here he went on to play an instrumental part in the strategic delivery, funding drive and intellectual development at Rounders England.

Throughout his career, Dan has made a huge commitment to advancing his own skills and expertise, completing many renowned professional development programmes. Most notably, in 2015, Dan graduated from the highly acclaimed, Sport England Leadership and Management Programme, affiliated to the Cranfield University School of Management. He then went on to mentor others through a Sport England led Mentoring Programme.

Speaking of the appointment, Stephen Mitchell, Independent Chair, Parkour UK, says:

“Dan is perfectly placed to steer Parkour UK through its next, significant, development phase. His dedication to the professionalisation of sports governance and proven track record in securing funding and creating commercial partnerships, coupled with his comprehensive knowledge of the wider sporting landscape and passion to gain Parkour the visibility, professional recognition and commercial buy-in that the sport deserves, make him the ideal candidate for the job.

I would like to extend my thanks to Katherine Knight, Chair at Rounders England, for facilitating the initial period of Dan’s professional development and creating a game-changing opportunity for us to appoint an incredibly passionate and experienced CEO who will lead our executive team and the wider Parkour community through the next phase of the sport’s development.”

Stephen Mitchell, Independent Chair, Parkour UK

Dan’s appointment as CEO will begin on July 1, 2020. He adds: “I have been keen to secure a CEO position for a while and was just waiting for the right opportunity. The sport of Parkour is unique in many ways and while it is predominantly driven by youth, its core principles – exploration, adaptation and problem solving, delivered through the execution of functional movement patterns, gives the sport’s relevance across the whole life course.

“For children as young as 18 months, practice encourages creativity, confidence and independent thinking whilst in older adults the sport improves balance and agility, helping to guard against trips and falls. This, for me, extends the value of Parkour way beyond the field of play delivering benefits that expand into everyday life and is one of the reasons I am so keen to play my part in the ongoing professional development of the sport.

The community is very entrepreneurial, celebrating individualism, creativity and self-expression. As the officially recognised National Governing Body, we need to provide a framework that allows the sport to thrive and safeguards practitioners whilst also respecting the sports core values, spirit and ethos. This is a challenge I look forward to facing along with my colleagues on the Board and beyond.”

In addition to his CEO role with Parkour UK, Dan is also an Independent Director at Boccia England, Chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Development Directors Knowledge Sharing Forum and Lay Member of the South Yorkshire & Humber Recruitment Advisory Committee, responsible for recruiting magistrates to serve across the region.