Development Associates

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.


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.


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.