News

Recruitment: Teacher’s CPD Tutors

Parkour UK is at a pivotal point in its development and executive capacity has now been in place for 6 months to deliver a strategy which supports the community to thrive 

In relation to the ‘Grow our community’ outcome in our ‘Move with Purpose strategy we have developed new course material and content for our 1s4 Sport Introductory Award in Teaching Parkour/Freerunning.

This is a oneday course for school teachers to allow them to develop a parkour offering within their PE content. 

With high demand for these courses, we would like to recruit a team of approx. 6 Teacher’s CPD tutors based across the UK who can deliver this oneday course on a freelance basis to teachers.  

To Apply
Download the full Role Description and details here.

Send a CV and cover letter outlining your suitability for the role. The cover letter should refer to your key knowledge and skills related to the role. The key responsibilities, knowledge and skills are listed below. Please also include the region in which you would mainly expect to deliver. 

Please send applications and any questions to – [email protected] Development Manager, Parkour UK 

Closing date for applications: Midnight Sunday 18 April.

Applications Open for Development Associate Programme

We are pleased to announce that our next run of Development Associate Projects are open for application. 

As we move into the second year of implementing our ‘Moving with Purpose’ strategy, Parkour UK are seeking participants for the second round of our Development Associates (DA) programme which will run from May to October 2021.

During the first year of implementation we have made a lot of progress, a summary of which can be found here. This project will support the development of Parkour UK, the lifestyle sports sector and most importantly give you the opportunity for your own career development.

For this round we encourage applications to come from the Parkour Community – for those looking to develop their experience across multiple areas of the sports sector and within Parkour. 

In summer and autumn we will be delivering projects exploring the following areas:

Please register your interest by completing the typeform here.

As the Development Associates package is a voluntary programme, we offer a host of benefits which will support your development and help you to make the most out of your time working with Parkour UK. In return for committing around 5 days of time over a 3 month period on one of the projects you will receive the following support and benefits:

  • Experience working in a new and innovative national governing body and exposure to the working practices of the wider sports sector.
  • Free year’s membership for Parkour UK at Participant or Professional Level.
  • A reference / recommendation of your work.
  • An introduction to a leader in the sector who will be well placed to add value to you and your career.
  • We will share your details with group of senior leaders active in the sector.
  • Thomas International PPA profile with feedback (this has a financial value of £75)
  • Complimentary CIMSPA management membership (this has a financial value of £140).

 

 

Funding Directory Launches!

Parkour UK has today launched a funding directory to support our organisations to access information on funding support for their projects.
The directory was researched and build through our Development Associates Programme – Thanks to Sarah and Becky for their hard work on this.

If you have any feedback comments or additions for the directory please contact us.

Along with the launch, we asked Frazer Meek to write some thoughts on his own success with funding.

Hi there – I’ m Frazer Meek, a professional freerunner and parkour company director in the UK. Ive got 16 years of training behind me now, and for pretty much all of that I have been working with companies and groups we have set up here in Wales!

Over my professional career, I have worked in a wide variety of areas with the sport, from professional performances, media work in film , TV and advertising. As well as a whole host of grassroots pathways with our coaching teams running regular classes, workshops, tasters and creating youth groups in the community – this has all led to our main venture of running Fluidity Freerun Academy the last 4.5 years which has been our biggest mission yet!

This blog post is just to give some important information on the nature of funding and info from our experience over the years – in which we have received around 60K + over perhaps 10 successful grant applications – which is a phenomenal amount to help a coaching organisation flourish!

First I’ll start with the problems we faced – from about 2008 we at Fluidity were trying to tap into funding that would help us with our ventures (and the dream of setting up our own indoor space) . This unfortunately was a heck of a lot harder than we thought it would be.
This was for a few main reasons:

1: Parkour was not a recognised sport, so we could not access specific sport funding.
2: It was incredibly hard to get advice on how was best to set up our organisations to best get funding – CIC , LTD , Charity etc were all options, but figuring out what route to go down and what funds are better accessible was incredibly hard to decide back then. 

At the end of the day, being 17 and trying to figure out how to get money from thin air to set up these dream projects we had was pretty hard to navigate!

Every fund we looked at Parkour completely ticked all the boxes when it came to sport, engagement and motives , so it was frustrating to say the least to figure out how we could get funding or investment for our ambitious project , especially without already having tens of thousands of pounds in the bank.

Ironically, in 2016 we had finally set the Academy up through other means, when shortly after in January 2017 Parkour had finally been recognised as an official sport, and with that there were grants finally accessible to us that we had been denied due to the sports recognition in previous years.

The most notable of these for us was a “Sports Development Grant” from SportWales.

A very important thing to remember here is that generally , limited businesses aren’t able to access most funds out there. Unfortunately we were set up as a Limited business due to the nature of our lease for our warehouse and the loans we took out to start the venture off, but we set up a not for profit organisation in the same name which we use for a lot of our community outreach and projects that we do out of the Academy. This allowed us to be able to still apply for these funds which help with the dual businesses.

In Wales, the sport development grant is up to 25k , and with years of pestering Sport Wales they were more than happy to start the process with us and have us as their first development grant in Wales for parkour.

We managed to get 17k which was for equipment, coach training and builds in the academy , with a 10% contribution from us (Ltd. businesses would have had to put in 50%!)

Other funds we accessed were regular rounds of Sports Community Chest funds , which were a max of £1500 and usually a few rounds of applications for  – these were paramount before we opened the Academy to help pay for coach trainings or to get equipment we used to take to classes.  The process on these grants with Sports Wales is incredibly easy and we have an amazing niche in the fact that Parkour in the community is still relatively new, so for most authorities they are very excited at the prospect of the application .

As well as your local authorities , there are a plenty of big UK funds going – Aviva Community Fund was one we got into the finalists 2 years in a row . Lottery Grants & Arts grants are all available and I’d say that the hardest thing generally is finding the funds and getting the ball rolling.

I am incredibly happy to see the Parkour UK Funding Directory being brought out as I personally know how invaluable it would have been for us over the years, especially in the beginning.  I’d like to reiterate that this money IS out there, and it IS designed to be accessible and useful for you , do not be put off or think you might not get it , like anything in parkour you just have to persevere and remember repetition is the key 😉

Good luck on your projects and I hope this directory can help set you on your way to funding your parkour projects (because lets face it , selling what we do is the easy bit here because parkour is awesome!)

Thanks for the read!

University Toolkit and Group Launch!

This week, our Universities toolkit launches – designed as a tool to support those who are  interested in the options for setting up a Parkour society at their university or college.

Alongside this, we have set up a facebook group for parkour university societies to connect here. 

The group will be supported by Hugo Knowles and Sonia Marshall – two practitioners both involved in the development of parkour while at university.  You can see their profiles below.

Photo Credit – Richard Marshall https://www.instagram.com/rmmarshall/

Sonia has kindly taken the time to talk about why she thinks that university parkour opportunities are important:

If you haven’t looked into it before, you may be surprised how many parkour clubs and societies are already set up in universities across the UK – at our latest count we have found 17 – all providing a way for students to discover the sport and find a community of like-minded people. With the support of Parkour UK we’d like to build stronger connections between these existing clubs, and help students in setting up new clubs and with any barriers faced when running clubs.

Often students arriving at university have moved to a new city and don’t know the area well or have any friends there. Parkour provides a way for students to get to know the city and own the space by exploring all the spots, and a way to make friendships that may last throughout their time at university.

Based on our experience at the Edinburgh University Parkour Club, there are a variety of ways students find out about the club. Sometimes people want to start parkour and assume there is already a club. Sometimes people don’t realise there is a parkour club, discover our stall at the sports fair and immediately sign up because they always wanted to try it. Sometimes people have never even heard of parkour before seeing us, get a bit curious and end up joining in. Some students join as a form of exercise once per week, some end up living the whole parkour lifestyle – watching videos, travelling to train in other cities and countries, attending bigger events… and wherever they are on that range, they’re a valuable part of the university parkour community, and the wider parkour community too.

The (usually) small parkour clubs and societies are a great way of introducing people to the wider community. Students can start training with the smaller university group, where lots of the others are new to the city as well, and can get comfortable with that. Then gradually they can get more involved through jams with the local non-student training community, club trips abroad, and meeting students from other universities. 

In April 2019, around 40 students from 14 different universities gathered for a weekend of jamming, classes and socialising. Students travelling from other cities were hosted by local practitioners. This was The Big Edinburgh JUMP – the first UK-wide inter-university parkour event. Although it must have been the rainiest parkour event any of us had ever experienced, that didn’t dampen our spirits and we managed to have a smashing time, and make some great connections. 

We look forward to strengthening this network of clubs and societies, so each can support the other, and most importantly, outside of pandemic times, meet up and jam together. 

We encourage anyone who is training parkour at a university where there isn’t an official club to get in touch, ask for advice – and go ahead and start up that club! With the support of your university you’ll be amazed at how many new students you can reach, and spread the love of parkour.

Sonia

Photo Credit – https://www.facebook.com/jaronlevittpkfr/

Hi, I’m Hugo and I study for a BA in Theatre & Performance at the University of Leeds. I’ve trained parkour for 6.5 years and used to coach with Project Z Parkour in Manchester. As a bisexual parkour practitioner, I’m passionate about inclusion and diversity in the parkour community – my DMs are always open for anyone wanting a chat and/or a safe space to discuss these topics! Although Leeds doesn’t have a parkour society, I do research into parkour/space/performance as part of the Laidlaw Scholarship for six weeks every summer, and recently presented my research at the uni’s Undergraduate Research Experience conference. I’m buzzing to meet other university parkour people and (post-COVID) travel to your unis to train – we all know uni campuses have the best spots!

Photo Credit – https://www.donalddalziel.com/

Hello, I’m Sonia, a fourth year student studying Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. I started parkour aged 10 and I’m still just as excited about jumping around! I am the founder and president of the Edinburgh University Parkour Club, and a coach at Access Parkour. I love to travel to train in different cities and countries and meet other parkour communities. I can’t wait to get back to jamming and making more connections between the university communities across the UK.

Parkour in Schools – Guidance and Policies

Parkour has been taught in schools in the UK for over a decade and there are many coaches and schools across the country exhibiting best practice.

Training for Teachers

If you are interested in training for your Teachers please see our 1st 4 Sport Introductory Award in Teaching Parkour Freerunning CPD

Play Policy

Parkour’s inherent principles tend to support development through play for young people. Please see our Play Policy – Parkour in Schools for more details.

AfPE Guidance on introducing Parkour/Freerunning in Schools

Looking at how schools might safely introduce Parkour/Freerunning into their programmes.

The current 2016 edition of Safe practice in Physical Education and Sport, in ‘Outdoor and Adventurous Activities’. Many teachers and students would have come across different versions of activities similar to Parkour/Freerunning, and quite clearly they are very engaging and active pastimes.  In this article the specific activity of Parkour/Freerunning is discussed, and information is provided to help teachers who might be considering how to safely introduce Parkour/Freerunning into their programme.

What is Parkour/Freerunning?

The term ‘Parkour’ originating in France in the 1980s, was adopted from 1998. It derives from the French word ‘parcours’ meaning ‘route’ or ‘course’.  Used interchangeably, “Parkour, Freerunning, Art Du Deplacement, is the non-competitive physical discipline of training to move freely over and through any terrain using only the abilities of the body, principally through running, jumping, climbing and quadrupedal movement.” Whilst there is no set list of moves those that are often practiced are:

  • running towards a wall and then jumping and pushing off the wall with a foot to reach the top of the wall
  • moving from a position hanging from a wall-top or ledge, to standing on the top or vaulting over to the other side
  • Vaulting over obstacles
  • jumping and landing accurately with the feet on small or narrow obstacles
  • jumping and catching a ledge with the hands while the feet land on the vertical surface below.
  • using a rolling motion to help absorb large impacts

What does the activity do?

In sporting terms (as opposed to describing the philosophy of Parkour/Freerunning), it aims to develop the functional strength and fitness, balance, spatial awareness, agility, coordination, precision, control and creative vision that are required to achieve the movement, whilst at the same time aiming to build confidence, determination, self-discipline and self-reliance, and a responsibility for one’s actions.

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The footage and pictures I have seen show the activity as being highly dangerous. Is it really something that we can develop safely in schools?

Many students are drawn to this activity as a result of watching exciting clips and films on social media sites.  afPE members will know that a great deal of the safe practice guidance has been developed along side the national governing bodies (NGB) of many different sports and activities. Where appropriate, the guidance overlaps and agrees, and in other cases, whilst taking the NGB rules into account, adjustments need to be made to make the guidance ‘school appropriate’. An example of this might be where an NGB could insist on the wearing of certain items of personal protective equipment (PPE) whilst competing in an event led by an NGB, whilst a school could not make the wearing of PPE compulsory for school activities, unless it chose to provide the equipment for everyone.

Parkour/Freerunning is a recognised ‘sport’ by the UK Sports Councils (Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland, Sport Northern Ireland & UK Sport) & Parkour UK as the recognised NGB for the sport, and has worked with afPE to develop appropriate professional learning to enable Parkour to be carried out safely in schools, delivered by teachers.

Additionally, Parkour UK has a comprehensive section on their website providing detailed information, advice & guidance on Risk-Benefit.

I would like to see some school based Parkour/Freerunning being delivered at my school. Could I bring in a coach, and if so, what can I look for as part of my competency assessment of the coach?

Parkour UK has various Awards, CPD & Qualifications for training and development.  The coaching strand is clearly outlined showing the different stages that a Parkour/Freerunning coach can go through.  As with most activities delivered by external coaches, for Parkour/Freerunning, schools should be looking for an individual to hold at least the Parkour UK 1st4sport Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Parkour/Freerunning (or the previous QCF equivalent).

In addition to this they should be registered as a Professional member with Parkour UK which provides proof of qualification/s (occupational competence) & Insurances of £10m. Additionally it is recommended a Disclosure and Barring Service check / membership is supplied (NB a DBS certificate is not always required unless the coach is likely to be working alone with a group of students). Parkour UK can provide this service for their organisations/members.

Does holding the qualifications outlines above, enable the coach to deliver the Parkour/Freerunning session alone?

In a curriculum setting, it is ideal for a (PE) teacher to work alongside a coach as part of their on-going professional development and as part of the process of them becoming qualified.  The teacher retains responsibility for the class the coach is working with. If therefore the teacher decides to allow the coach to work ‘at a distance’ from the them, this should only happen after a period of observation and competency assessment has been carried out. ‘At a distance’ means that the responsible teacher is easily and quickly on hand to intervene or help out should the need arise.  (See Safe Practice in PE and Sport for more information).

If as a specialist PE teacher I decide that I would like to qualify to deliver Parkour/Freerunning in school, what routes can I take?

As shown in Parkour UK’s Awards, CPD & Qualifications, qualified teachers (QTS), wishing to teach Parkour/Freerunning during curriculum time or as an extra-curricular activity, need to undertake the Parkour UK 1st4sport Introductory CPD Award in Teaching Parkour/Freerunning (QTS). This enables them to deliver the activity in private spaces such as the PE Hall or playground using appropriate equipment and/or purpose-built equipment.

Alternatively teachers can take the NGB coaching route by completing the Parkour UK 1st4sport Level 1 Award and Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Parkour/Freerunning (QCF).

So non-specialist PE teachers are able to access these awards?

Yes, as above, teachers with QTS can access the Parkour UK 1st4sport Introductory and/or Intermediate CPD Award in Teaching Parkour/Freerunning (QTS).  afPE is currently considering whether this award could also be undertaken by those practitioners who have completed the afPE Level 5 Certificate in Primary School Physical Education Specialism and Level 6 Award in Primary School Physical Education Subject Leadership.

What about non –QTS staff, could they safely contribute to the teaching of Parkour/Freerunning in schools?

As shown in Parkour UK’s Awards, CPD & Qualifications, Teaching Assistants/Lunchtime Supervisors who have completed ther the Parkour UK 1st 4sport Level 1 Award in Assistant Coaching Parkour/Freerunning (or the previous NQF or QCF equivalent), can assist teachers or coaches in school.

What about students’ progression out of school?

Teachers delivering Parkour/Freerunning in school, may wish to signpost students to the other awards which are available to them as shown in Parkour UK’s Awards, CPD & Qualifications, depending on their age.

Where can I access these qualifications, and how can I be sure they are being delivered by qualified staff ?

Any professional development in Parkour/Freerunning should be endorsed by Parkour UK and delivered by a Parkour UK Educator, who will hold at least the 1st4sport Level 3 Award for Tutors and Assessors in Sport or an equivalent such as PTLLS, DET etc.

For information about any of the professional development covered in this article contact [email protected].

Where can Parkour/Freerunning be taught?

In most cases, where Parkour /Freerunning is delivered in schools, it takes place indoors. This will also be dependent on the type of qualification that is held by the teacher/coach.

Whilst some existing indoor PE equipment can be used, purpose built Parkour equipment can be purchased from a number of suppliers.  Purpose built and ‘portable’ Parkour/Freerunning facilities are also available, these should comply with the European Standard for Parkour Equipment, BS EN16899:2016. Teachers should avoid improvising with existing equipment other than those items that have been deemed suitable for this activity. Guidance on this can be sought through enquiring to Parkour UK or attendance at one of their courses, or from a qualified Parkour/Freerunning coach.

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(Updated March 2018)

Development Associates Pt.4 – What’s Next?

Dan Newton

Keep the momentum.

As we continue to implement our Moving with Purpose strategy we are keen to maintain the momentum that we have built up since July 2020, and in particular through our Development Associates Programme. We are planning a second round of the programme for the summer of 2021 with the same two ambitions. Firstly increasing our capacity / resources to make a start on key areas of work. Secondly to invest in the next generation of sports development professionals by offering the opportunity to gain experience of lifestyle sport.

Project design

In a second round of the programme we will cover areas which align to the series of work strands which our board recently agreed to pursue to bring our ‘Moving with Purpose’ strategy to life. These are:

  • Storytelling
  • Space / Place
  • Digital
  • Workforce
  • Mental Health
  • Life course
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Economy

The six projects that we are working up will each have briefs that have been jointly designed with an organisation in the sector who shares an interest. The projects that we are preparing are based on the following:

Workforce – A platform to connect coaches / practitioners to share their practice and learn from each other.

Lifestyle Sport Roles – Explain the range of roles that exist within lifestyle sport.

Mental Health – Capture best practice & review research which explores the relationship between parkour & mental health.

Strength & Balance – Explore the routes to use parkour for strength and balance / falls prevention

Digital Roadmap – First steps along the 7 League produced Parkour UK digital roadmap.

Women’s Empowerment – Telling the story of women’s parkour perspectives.

Parkour Parks – Overview of the Parkour parks built across the UK and an explanation of their strengths.

The organisations that we are working with include Sport for Confidence, Snowsport England, Stack Sports, UK Coaching, Women in Sport and Yorkshire Sport Foundation.

People

For each project, we are keen to recruit a team with passion / ambition and experiences to complement the organisations involved. The model that we will work to for each project is to recruit a team of three associates, who will each be asked to give 5 days time in May, June and July. Parkour UK and the partner organisations will add their specialist knowledge to the mix by collectively overseeing the project and adding value (sharing insights / facilitating introductions) where necessary.

Benefits

The programme will remain pro bono/voluntary, looking to attract people who are keen to forge a career in the sports sector. Also those interested in lifestyle sport and keen to help a young governing body continue to lay the foundations to be a modern and inclusive organisation of the future.

Though the programme is pro bono, we have a benefits package which is unique and will include: reference / recommendation, professional introductions and a personality profile. We are delighted and thoroughly grateful for the fact that CIMSPA have agreed to offer a complimentary one year membership to each associate that completes the programme.

The participants in our recent projects had the following to say about their experience

“As a student, participating in the programme has improved my confidence within a professional environment. From gaining feedback on ideas and learning from others, I have increased my sport development knowledge and confidence in the industry. I have also improved my remote team working and communication skills.”               Lara Kirwin

My involvement in the development associate programme has given me a newfound confidence to take on challenges that put me outside my comfort zone and has shown me that you do not necessarily need previous knowledge of a sport to help make an impact. The culture entrenched in the Parkour community is something I will be looking to replicate when continuing to work across community level sport as I believe it can lead to many desirable outcomes.         Mark Cordeaux

“I have really enjoyed the work I have been a part of over the past few months. The Parkour UK team are kind and supportive and have really acknowledged the work we have done and how it will support the organisation. I believe that not many other organisations would have offered this type of opportunity so for Parkour UK to provide this type of experience is really positive. Parkour UK have been supportive and so helpful throughout this experience and really embody the importance of personal development.”         Izzy Perry

How to get involved

If you would like to get involved in the programme and be one of the associates, please get in touch by emailing us here. We want to find people who are passionate about the difference that sport can make to change people’s lives and are naturally curious to ask why again and again until they understand the full picture.