Development Associates: Storytelling lifestyle sport in 80 days

We are pleased to be launching the second round of our development associates programme this week, which will run during May, June, July and August. The initiative that we started last year has two primary aims, firstly to give Parkour UK some additional capacity to make headway in our Moving with Purpose strategy. Secondly (and most importantly) to help lift people up, give some hungry, motivated and ambitious people the opportunity to make a difference and complement their CV with an experience of lifestyle sport.

This next batch of projects will propel us forward in the areas of insight, space / place, diversity & inclusion and storytelling. The people with contribute eighty days time pro bono which if framed within our organisations structure would be a member of staff for nearly 19 weeks or if we paid on a consultancy basis we would be looking at costs of around £11,000. The associates will all receive a benefits package that includes a reference / recommendation, an introduction to a leader in the sector who will be well placed to add value to their career, a Thomas International PPA profile with feedback and a complimentary CIMSPA management membership.

The programme has evolved from the first round of projects that we co-ordinated between November 20 and January 21, within the second round:

  • We will work in partnership with other organisations, the projects will be collaborations that work on shared problems. Surfing England and Snowsport England are joining us on a project that will explore the commonalities of roles in lifestyle sport. Women in Sport will help us tell the story of prominent female practitioners from the parkour world. A central part of our vision is to work in collaboration with likeminded and similarly motivated organisations to share services and contribute to a modernised sports sector which is more financially sustainable, better uses resources and relies less on government / lottery funds. 
  • Associates have been recruited from the parkour community to ensure the projects connect with companies, brands and practitioners so that the results are authentic. Another central part to our vision is to build a structure that is underpinned by the community, incorporating voluntary effort through ex oficio roles and professionals / specialists through paid roles recruited against sector standards.
  • We are working with Sheffield Hallam University to offer their students a lived experience in lifestyle sport. The opportunity is part of an applied learning module within the MSc Sport Business Management course and the international students will bring a different perspective to the projects.


The five projects that the associates will work on all respond to gaps in our insight or challenges experienced by the parkour community. Over the coming weeks we will share blogs authored by practitioners which explain the problem and why the solution is important, for now though the projects are:

Parkour Parks – Overview of the parkour parks built across the UK and an explanation of their strengths and the preparation of a toolkit for groups and organisations that would like to commission or build a park.

Movement Card – Extension of the Movement Card to England, Wales and Northern Ireland with a communications plan to articulate what parkour is and isn’t.

Lifestyle Sport Roles – Explanation of the roles that exist within lifestyle sport which include coaching / instructor roles, company administration, content creation, athletes and elite performers, park designers, fashion and the media.

Empowering Women – Telling authentic stories of women participating in parkour through blogs, articles and media which outline entry points and barriers to participation.

Unstructured Insight – Listening to practitioners and brands from the unstructured community to explore their business, income streams, barriers and challenges, campaigns and causes, services and support, quick wins and immediate concerns.



The associates have been recruited from a wide range of backgrounds:

Sports Development Intent – This group are Charlie Broughton, Matt Hinchley, Carly Jones, Beth Marriott, Aislin O’Kelly, George Relf, Sam Strickson and Matt Watkiss, all share  a passion for sport and the impact that it can have on people’s lives. Collectively they draw experiences from governing bodies, national sports bodies and healthcare and all are keen to develop themselves in the areas of service improvement, business functions and operations / risk management.

Parkour – This group are Sam Coppack, Hugo Knowles, Chris Martin, Angus Uren, Louiseanne Wong and Kieran Wylde, all active practitioners and bring with them many years of training. Their experiences include coaching, running companies, performance, content creation and podcasting and they are keen to experience sports development and the operations of a national organisation.

Students – This group are Eleni Giagmouroglou and Foteini Tsoutsoura who are students at Sheffield Hallam University. They are engaging as part of an applied learning module through which they will submit a piece of work (12,000 words) which outlines the impact of the project on the host organisation (Parkour UK) and gives some reflections on their own development.

We look forward progressing each project and will plan to share the outputs in August / September.

If you would like to discuss the development associates programme; you may be interested in partnering with Parkour UK, supporting the benefits package or being an associate. Please get in touch via any of the following ways.