**FREE** Train Like A Woman Webinar

The Well HQ is hosting a free, online webinar called “Train Like a Woman” on 27th Septembe from 7:30pm-8:45pm.

This free webinar is for active women and those who coach them.

It features a whirlwind tour around menstrual cycles from puberty to perimenopause, coaching movement in developing bodies, returning to exercise postnatally, and strength training in midlife, as well as getting up to date on all the newest science and research.

You can sign up by clicking the button below!

Parkour UK Update July/August 2023

Saying Goodbye

We wish Dan the best of luck with the future!

As of June 30th 2023, Dan Newton will stepped down as CEO of Parkour UK, a role that he has held since 2019.

Dan started his Parkour UK journey as Interim CEO on a voluntary basis. After securing funding from Sport England to ‘build capacity’, he took on the CEO role in July 2020. Dan’s impact on the organisation has been significant.

In 2019, there was no outside investment and no infrastructure or capacity to implement a strategy. Since then, Parkour UK has secured system partner status with Sport England to work as an integral part of their mission of ‘Uniting the Movement’. This was a key milestone and places Parkour UK alongside other NGBs and at the heart of a collaborative partnership.

Since 2019, Parkour UK has secured £1.575 million through Sport England and has system partner funding secured until March 2027. Dan’s leadership through this process has been valued and symbolic.

We want to thank Dan for his dedicated contribution to Parkour UK and the sport and wish him well in his next adventures.

Parul Agarwal Steps Up as Interim CEO

We are pleased to announce that Parul Agarwal, Senior Independent Director of the Board of Parkour UK, is stepping up as Interim CEO. (Read the full statement here)

Parul has had a busy few weeks since stepping up as our interim CEO and has been acting as the glue during this transitional phase.

Parul is keen to meet members of the parkour community and attend some parkour classes while in the interim CEO position.

We’re Hiring!

During July/August, we were excited to announce that we were looking to expand our team, offering 7 job roles, including:

  • CEO (Full-Time)
  • Head of Development (Full Time)
  • Membership Lead (Part-Time)
  • Membership Support (Part-Time)
  • Connecting Communities Lead (Part-Time)
  • Connecting Communities Support (Part-Time)
  • Governance & Safeguarding Support (Part-Time)

With the applications now closed, we are looking forward to our recruitment surgery day to meet some of the applicants and grow our team!

Women’s Engagement Project

In early July, our second Women’s Engagement Project piece started filming in Brighton.

This project features Amy Harcourt, who was filmed by Sacha Powell and Silvija Vil. This project is currently in the editing stage and will be released on our YouTube channel soon.

You can watch our first Women’s Engagement Project piece below.

Isla Ramsay – A Journey into Parkour Coaching

Parkour UK Podcast – Parkour Coaching

Our next batch of podcasts is all about parkour coaching.

Simon from our Workforce Team joins Callun, and they discuss everything you need to know about the parkour coaching journey.

The first episode from this series of podcasts is now up and available for you to listen to.

The podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

Parkour Coaching Qualifications Outline

Level 1 Coaching Webinar

To address and answer the parkour community’s questions, in July and August, we hosted a series of webinars.

The first of these webinars was “Is Parkour Coaching Right For Me?” – In this webinar, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Parkour UK Level 1 coaching qualification and answer any questions the community may have about the course.

We are putting together a video of our “Is Parkour Coaching Right For Me?” webinar which will be released soon.

Budgeting For Success Webinar

In August, we also hosted our “Budgeting for Success” webinar.

This webinar was hosted by our interim CEO, Parul, and was delivered alongside members of the organisation. In this webinar, we discussed our budget spend, as well as our spending plans over the next few years.

We had members of the parkour community attend the webinar and ask some insightful questions regarding what was discussed. It was also a brilliant way for the community to ask any questions, or suggest ideas, to Parkour UK about the work we are doing.

Member Visit – Aspire Parkour Academy

In July, we also visited the new Aspire Parkour Academy.

Aspire Parkour Academy has recently opened their very own indoor space to run their parkour sessions.

Following a few years at their local leisure center, the team at Aspire Parkour Academy has now moved into their very own venue, enabling them to run sessions 7 days a week, without the restrictions of hall hire.

The new indoor facility is located at Orton Southgate, Peterborough.

“We are also working towards open jam sessions, as well as offering birthday parties, and other events spread throughout the school holidays.”

Kieran Wylde, Aspire Parkour Academy

Level 2 Face-to-Face

We want to say a huge well done to all of the coaches who attended our Level 2 Parkour Coaching Qualification in London in July.

It was great to see so many learners join us for our London course!

Well done everyone 👏

Grim Jam 2023

In August, Callun visited Grimsby for the Team Reality “Grim Jam” 2023 event and competition.

This year, Grim Jam was a two-day event. Day 1 started with the takeover competition format which has risen in popularity within parkour over the last few years. 50 skill challenges based around Grimsby, all within a five-minute walk from one another.

This was followed by the speed qualifiers and skill semi-finals at the parkour park later that day, with the finals taking place on day two of the event at the Team Reality parkour gym.

We won’t talk too much about this event here, there’s a full piece coming out on it soon – but we want to congratulate Team Reality on such a brilliant, inclusive, and well-organised event!

Sam Coppack in the Grim Jam 2023 Skill Finals

Parkour UK Courses Update

Our workforce team has been diving deep into updating our courses.

These updates include reviewing our policy on supporting learners with additional support needs and exploring new providers for Safeguarding courses for 2024.

We have also started consultation on our new CPD and we are having really interesting conversations to learn what would be beneficial for everyone in the community, and not just coaches.  

Parkour UK Attends The Project Next Gen Premiere

Towards the end of August, Lynn (Our digital lead) and Tracy (Our Independent Chair) visited London for the Project Next Gen premiere.

The Project Next Gen film, directed by Max Ward, follows 60 parkour athletes from 9 teams around Europe as they train around 1 city.

The film was premiered at the Genesis cinema near the Imax parkour spot. This was followed by a two-day jam and after-party hosted by the organisers.

The community came out in full force, and the energy of the event was unmatched!

The Project Next Gen film will be available to watch soon.

Last Chance To Book – Bedford Level 1

Finally, we would like to remind everyone that bookings for our Level 1 assistant coaching course in Bedford are closing soon!

Click the button below to book your space!

Parul Agarwal Steps Up Into Interim CEO Position

We are pleased to announce that Parul Agarwal, Senior Independent Director of the Board of Parkour UK, is stepping up as Interim CEO.

Parul is a qualified chartered accountant with a master’s in business administration and is passionate about the 3P’s (People, Process, and Performance).

Parul is a senior finance professional, six-sigma certified coach, and mentor with 25+ years of progressive global leadership experience as an auditor, business transformation leader, coach, and mentor, focusing on process, people, and projects for multiple B2C and Corporate financial services businesses across India, the US, and the UK.

Additionally, Parul is an avid sports enthusiast and has represented the district of Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh, India) in multiple Table Tennis Tournaments in her primary and secondary school years.

Parul has since been actively building a portfolio of work, including:

  • Senior Independent Director of the Board for Parkour UK
  • Portfolio CFO (supporting start-ups to scale, sustain and be profitable)
  • Speaker, delivering a masterclass on leadership and transformation frameworks and concepts.
  • Volunteer with Spear – Resurgo Employment Initiative for 16–24-year-olds, as well as a sponsor for other charities like Refuge & WalktheWalk: Uniting against Breast Cancer.

Parul lives in London with her husband Nick and her two daughters, Anika (18 years) and Arianna (13.5 years). She is a keen Indian classical dancer, and travel enthusiast who enjoys constant learning and has an active lifestyle with frequent treks and London’s hidden walks. She is hoping to attend her first Parkour lesson soon.

Tracy Rea, Parkour UK’s Chair says:

“I am delighted that Parul has agreed to step up as Interim CEO. Her facilitative leadership, ability to work with anyone, determination, resilience, focus on self-improvement, and constant learning makes her an excellent candidate to listen to and work with all stakeholders, including the Board, Sports England, and Parkour members, coaches, and community.

She will act as the glue during this transitional phase since Parkour is a sport that encourages self-improvement on all levels, and aims to build confidence, determination, self-discipline, self-reliance, and responsibility for one’s actions. It encourages humility, respect for others and for one’s environment, self-expression, community spirit, and the importance of play, discovery, and safety at all times.” 

Tracy Rea, Parkour UK Chair

New Parkour Facility Opens in Peterborough

Aspire Parkour Academy have recently just opened their very own indoor space to run their parkour sessions.

Following a few years at their local leisure center, the team at Aspire Parkour Academy has now moved into their very own venue, enabling them to run sessions 7 days a week, without the restrictions of hall hire.

The new indoor facility is located at Orton Southgate, Peterborough.

Callun from our digital team visited the new Aspire Parkour Academy.

Aspire Parkour Academy runs parkour sessions for kids ages 6+. They offer a wide range of sessions, including Sensory Friendly, which is a class designed with additional needs in mind, such as ASD, ADHD, and SPD.

Their Sensory Friendly class is limited to 12 and they have 6 coaches on hand, giving a coach-to-participant ratio of 1:2.

Callun, from our digital team, visited the Aspire Parkour Academy team, having a look at the space, and talking to Kieran, the owner of Aspire Parkour Academy, about their coaches and sessions.

A handful of their coaches have also recently sat the Parkour UK Level 2 coaching qualification, and had just finished their assessment days in London.

Callun also spoke to Kieran, owner of Aspire Parkour Academy about their plans and ideas to help the academy flourish in the future.

“We are also working towards open jam sessions, as well as offering birthday parties, and other events spread throughout the school holidays.”

Kieran Wylde – Aspire Parkour Academy

Want to learn parkour? Check out the website for Aspire Parkour Academy here.

Free Your Instinct / Esprit Concrete Statement – 30/6/2023

Esprit Concrete and Free Your Instinct announced that the organisations have entered into a strategic partnership that will support comprehensive delivery of parkour as an evidence based method of supporting mental health. This partnership seeks to establish parkour, freerunning and Art du Deplacement as a recognised means of therapeutic support.

The partnership will work to develop participant and coaching development pathways whilst establishing a recognised evidence base of parkour therapy that integrates place, space and person in line with recognised clinical and counselling psychology methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), within services delivered by Free Your Instinct and Esprit Concrete.

Esprit Concrete was founded in 2016 by Parkour Coach and Counselling Psychologist Dr Kasturi Torchia and Parkour Athlete Gogoly Yao, co-creating the Esprit Concrete Method (ECM) of parkour therapy. Esprit Concrete has led on reflective practice within sports practice, coaching and athlete development, working within the UK and internationally.

The ECM offers an integrated, embodied method of delivering evidence-based mental health interventions, fully supported by psychologists, and has been used to promote mental wellbeing awareness through performance, professional development pathways and grassroots community initiatives.

Free Your Instinct is a charity that delivers parkour coaching to those with a recognised mental health need currently in London and Bristol, supporting some of the most at risk, vulnerable populations who are most affected by the inequalities of mental health.

Changes that beneficiaries will see as part of this partnership is the inclusion of the esprit concrete therapeutic method within course design, the establishment of development pathways for both coaches and participants, as well as a new name, Esprit Concrete: FYI.

“From conception, we wanted to ensure the Esprit Concrete Method was accessible and affordable, reducing barriers to participation. I am extremely excited at how this partnership will see this dream flourish, whereby corporate and development ventures provided by Esprit Concrete will further support the sustainability of Esprit Concrete: FYI and its community aims. Having collaborated over the last few years, I am grateful for this new chapter and we at Esprit Concrete are energised by this unique opportunity to strengthen and further our aims”

Dr Kasturi Torchia, Esprit Concrete LTD

“We are really excited to be working alongside Esprit Concrete. Our courses have seen significant demand over the last few years as the mental health impact of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent cost of living crisis becomes realised. This partnership not only enables us to continue to fully and holistically support our participants, it ensures ongoing sustainability, enabling us to meet this increased demand.”

Charlotte Boenigk, Esprit Concrete: FYI CEO

Parkour UK Update – May/June 2023

Welcome to Parkour UK’s update for the months of May & June 2023. Take a look at some of the news that has happened within the organisation over the last few months.

Saying Goodbye

In May & June, we said goodbye to a few members of the Parkour UK staff team.

Kieran, who worked in our Membership Lead role, has left Parkour UK after an exciting work opportunity opened up for him.

Kieran previously worked in our workforce role and has been a valuable member of Parkour UK ever since he started.

Thank you for all your hard work over the years, Kieran. We wish you and your business the best of luck in the future!

In June, we also said goodbye to Chris Grant, Parkour UK’s head of development, who is taking a career break to focus on being a new parent

Chris has played a key role in the growth of Parkour UK over the last 2 and 1⁄2 years and we would like to thank Chris for his dedication, hard work, and positive impact on the parkour community.

Our Level 2 Summer Intake

In early June, we ran our summer cohort for our Level 2 coaching qualification. This started with the online section of the course, which went really well. Their face-to-face section of the course starts in July.

We’ve had a number of questions and inquiries over the last few months regarding our Level 2 coaching qualification.

If you’re looking for more information on the course, you can check out the podcast episode we did below.

UK Coaching Week 2023

In early June, Parkour UK celebrated UK Coaching Week, organised by UK Coaching.

UK Coaching Week this year had a focus on “Duty of Care”.

During this week, we put together an article (Read Here) where we celebrated a handful of the amazing coaches seen within the parkour community.

We think it’s crucially important to highlight the positive work that parkour coaches are doing to support individuals within their communities, and UK Coaching Week is a brilliant way for us to do this.

This follows our attendance at the UK Coaching Awards back in December of 2022, where 3 parkour coaches were nominated as finalists in the “Change a Life”, “Coaching Podcast of the Year” and “Young Coach” awards.

Parkour UK at the UK Coaching Awards in December 2022

Action Sports Gathering – Sheffield

In late May, Callun and Simon visited Sheffield for the Action Sports Gathering, organised by UK Sport.

We were joined by other sports, including Skateboard GB, GB Snowsport, British Bobsleigh and Skeleton, British Cycling, & GB Climbing.

This led to some amazing discussions with those organisations, including their competitive coaching pathways and experience in the Olympics.

We also told stories about how Parkour is unique as a sport, addressing some of the misconceptions about parkour being a high-risk sport, and what we are doing as a National Governing Body to serve, elevate, and add value to the Parkour community.

A huge thank you to everyone involved at UK Sport for making this happen, and we are looking forward to the next one!

Our Second Podcast Recording

Not long after the Action Sports Gathering, Callun and Simon met again in Brighton to record our next batch of podcasts.

This round of podcasts covers everything you need to know about starting your parkour coaching journey and includes information about how to get your coaching hours signed off.

These podcasts will be coming soon to YouTube, Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

You can check out our latest episode below. How can Parkour UK help you?

Women’s Engagement Project – Isla Ramsay

Isla Ramsay – Shot by JMS Films

In June, our first piece from the Women’s Engagement Project was uploaded to our YouTube channel.

This piece follows the journey of Isla Ramsay, who recently took part in our Level 1 Parkour UK Coaching qualification.

It was an absolute pleasure to visit Isla Ramsay in Glasgow for the first of many video projects to promote female participation in parkour, and encourage more women to take up space and be part of this wonderful community.

Thank you to Johnstone Macpherson-Stewart for filming and editing the video.

Women’s International Parkour Weekend Takeover

We would like to say a huge thank you to Katie McDonnell, who hosted a takeover on the Parkour UK Instagram account during the Women’s International Parkour Weekend, hosted by Parkour Generations.

Katie attended and gave insight into the event, which included speaking to a number of different participants from all over the world and sharing their stories on our Instagram story.

The takeover was a huge success, and it is something that we would love to do more of in the future.

If you would like Parkour UK to cover your event, please reach out to us. A member of our team will be able to organise a visit or have someone do an Instagram story takeover on our account to document the event.

Katie McDonnell – Shot by Scott Bass

Further Event Coverage

As well as Katie running our Instagram during the WIPW, we also have been highlighting a number of competitions and work that has been going on within the parkour community.

Our recent long-form written content includes a post-interview with Generic Parkour, who hosted the Liverpool Takeover back in April, and a conversation with Queer Parkour, who are working within our community to create a safe space for individuals and communities who identify as LGTBQIA+ within parkour.

You can read both of those articles by following the links below.

Generic Parkour – The Liverpool Takeover

Queer Parkour – Creating Safe Spaces within Our Community

Further Learning & CPD Development for Parkour Coaches

We understand that there is a demand among parkour coaches to have the opportunity to further learn and develop their coaching skills.

Caroline, a member of our workforce support team, is in the early stages of developing some further learning courses for parkour coaches. This is something that we will be working closely with the community, and we encourage current parkour coaches, and those who are thinking of becoming coaches in the future, to get involved and have a discussion with us regarding this, so we can further add value to the parkour community.

Upcoming Webinars for Parkour Coaches

We are currently in the process of planning some upcoming webinars regarding our Level 1 Parkour UK Assistant Coaching course.

These webinars will run around 6 weeks before the courses are due to start, and we will be looking to run one of these before our Bedford Level 1 course.

Keep your eyes peeled on our social media to find out when this is, and have your questions ready!