News

Recruitment: Senior Independent Director

Parkour UK are delighted to open recruitment for a new role within our Board.

We are looking for a new independent director to
enhance the leadership, governance and
understanding of the sports landscape in the UK.

In addition applicants with skills and experience in at
least one of the following areas:
• Finance
• Legal
• Risk
• Income Generation

If you are interested please download the recruitment pack here. 

Job Description:

Reporting to: Chair – Parkour UK

Duration: An initial four year term, with the possibility of a second four year term

Remuneration: Voluntary position (reasonable travel and accommodation expenses paid)

Location: Parkour UK do not have any offices. Board meetings have been held virtually during the pandemic, a return to physical meetings will be considered by the new board and will likely centre on London. 

Frequency: The full board meet 4 times per year and sub-committees / working groups meet 2-4 times per year.

Role purpose: To support the chair to provide inclusive and inspirational leadership and guidance, stepping in when the chair is not available and supporting the executive team with sub-committee agendas.

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 are re-opening there are frequent changes to lockdown conditions – nationally and locally.  
Update 18 July – 

The majority of the UK movedto minimal restrictions or the removal of restrictions over July 2021. 

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.

Our COVID toolkit with in depth advice around coaching, classes and venues will remain available. If you plan to keep some restrictions in place and need advice please contact us. 

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. 

England – Updated 10 August

Live Updates:  

UK Government (England)   

Sport England  

Easing of Measures in England –

England has now carried out Steps 1- 4 with restrictions ending on 19 July. 

This is essentially move to the ending of restrictions and legal obligations in regards to mask wearing, social distancing etc. The UK Government recommends that:

“in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.”

At this stage: 

A return to mostly normal practice and use of venues.

Social distancing measures no longer have to be in place. 

Indoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Outdoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Parkour practice:  There will no longer be limits on the number of people you can meet so jams can go ahead. 

Schools/Youth Work: If you are teaching in a school – the school may make the decision to bring you in for after school or in school lessons and following their guidance we would advise that you can do this.

If you are working in a youth club or after-school club which is registered for childcare provision, this venue may be open and following their guidance we would advise that you can deliver sessions as part of formal wrap around childcare.

Scotland – updated 10 August

Live Updates 

Scottish Government 

Sports Scotland 

Scotland has now moved to a Levels system. The whole of Scotland has moved beyond Level 0 on 09 August. There is a possibility that local authorities can still move between the levels and so we have continued to include Level 0,1 & 2 advice below.
Find out more info here.

As of 9 August: 

A return to mostly normal practice and use of venues.

Social distancing measures no longer have to be in place. 

Indoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Outdoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Parkour practice:  There will no longer be limits on the number of people you can meet so jams can go ahead. 

Schools/Youth Work: If you are teaching in a school – the school may make the decision to bring you in for after school or in school lessons and following their guidance we would advise that you can do this.

If you are working in a youth club or after-school club which is registered for childcare provision, this venue may be open and following their guidance we would advise that you can deliver sessions as part of formal wrap around childcare.

Level 0

Indoor/outdoor sessions as per previous levels and referring to general COVID guidance where appropriate.

Considerations for your venue for those not attending class: 

  • Mask wearing is still mandatory in indoor public places but do not need to be worn during exercise.
  • Social distancing in indoor public places is reduced to 1 metre. 

Parkour practice: A maximum of 15 people from 15 separate households can meet outdoors for training. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number. 

Level 1

Indoor/outdoor sessions as per Level 2.

Parkour practice: A maximum of 12 people from 12 separate households can meet outdoors for training. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number. 

Level 2

Indoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Outdoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Parkour practice: A maximum of 8 people from 8 separate households can meet outdoors for training. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number. 

Schools/Youth Work: If you are teaching in a school – the school may make the decision to bring you in for after school or in school lessons and following their guidance we would advise that you can do this.

If you are working in a youth club or after-school club which is registered for childcare provision, this venue may be open and following their guidance we would advise that you can deliver sessions as part of formal wrap around childcare.

Northern Ireland – Updated 10 August

Northern Ireland 

Sport Northern Ireland 

The NI Government have now eased almost all measures in regards to social distancing, indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Please bear in mind that when delivering sessions in any environment,  any behaviour which may encourage the risk of transmission such as car sharing, congregation of people at venues and sporting celebrations, should be considered. 

Indoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Outdoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Parkour practice: Outdoor gatherings are allowed to take place for up to 500 people. Any gathering over 30 people requires a risk assessment. 

Schools/Youth Work: If you are teaching in a school – the school may make the decision to bring you in for after school or in school lessons and following their guidance we would advise that you can do this.

If you are working in a youth club or after-school club which is registered for childcare provision, this venue may be open and following their guidance we would advise that you can deliver sessions as part of formal wrap around childcare.

Wales – updated 10 August

Live Updates:  

Welsh Government   

Sport Wales  

The restrictions in wales have now been eased to the minimum

At this stage: 

A return to mostly normal practice and use of venues.

Social distancing measures no longer have to be in place. 

Indoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Outdoor Classes: These can now go ahead for all age groups

Parkour practice:  There will no longer be limits on the number of people you can meet so jams can go ahead. 

Schools/Youth Work: If you are teaching in a school – the school may make the decision to bring you in for after school or in school lessons and following their guidance we would advise that you can do this.

If you are working in a youth club or after-school club which is registered for childcare provision, this venue may be open and following their guidance we would advise that you can deliver sessions as part of formal wrap around childcare.

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.