Parkour UK, the officially recognised National Governing Body for Parkour and freerunning in the UK, has bolstered its Board with the appointment of two, new Independent Directors.
Independent Chair, Stephen Mitchell, explains: “These latest appointments have resulted from natural evolution and will play a vital role in the successful delivery of our new 2020 strategy – Moving with Purpose. The additional skills, expertise and professional perspectives delivered by these new Board members will also support our ambition to build a progressive, high performing organisation that epitomises best practice in modern NGB governance as outlined in the Code of Sports Governance.
Natasha Preville (BSc, MSc, Dip.) brings with her 20 years cross-sector experience, including more than a decade in media production where she delivered numerous award-winning campaigns for the BBC and Red Bee Media. As a keen advocate for the vital, transcending role education, sport and culture can play in transforming lives, Natasha launched a consultancy business focused on helping young people to identify and access opportunities to thrive within the culture, media and sports industries.
“I have always been impassioned to create environments where young people can reach their full potential,” explains Natasha. “Everybody deserves a chance to shine and demonstrate their skills, irrespective of their background or experience.
“This is why I feel so passionately about joining Parkour UK. Parkour is an incredible and versatile sport. In fact, for me, it is more than a sport. It offers unpreceded access to a community that transcends culture, with individuals connected by a drive to continually overcome limitations, through creativity, skill and determination.
“The growing, global popularity of the sport is driven by a youth movement. This creates its own challenges. In part, there is a natural desire to impose restrictions in order to manage perceived risks, however, the sport’s ethos of freedom and self-expression, ‘To Be and To Last’, presents an interesting balance of Risk-Benefit. I look forward to supporting the provision of a safe practice framework that protects and preserves Parkour’s ‘free flow’ movement and creative foundations. I am also keen to use my experience to heighten positive awareness of Parkour, moving beyond limiting beliefs and ultimately drive effective future growth and sustainability.”
Natasha has been joined by Hannah Holland (BA Hons, CIM), a marketeer with more than 20 years’ experience, managing domestic and international projects, both in the public and private sectors.
Between 2015 and 2019, Hannah was a member of the senior management team at Rounders England where she oversaw the delivery of ‘Profile’, one of three strategic pillars underpinning the NGB’s vision and mission. During her time in post, Hannah secured and implemented significant Sport England funding to facilitate the brand creation of ‘We Are All Rounders’, a consumer-facing campaign designed to drive participation and form a closer connection between the rounders community and the NGB. Hannah also re-modelled the membership programme, creating the Rounders England Members’ Club.
“At Rounders England I was constantly challenged by the fact that we had huge ambitions for the NGB in terms of participation but very limited resource. I will bring learnings from my experience at Rounders England and beyond to extend the reach and influence of Parkour UK across the country.”
“The organisation gained official NGB status less than three years ago. I believe, through amplifying the sport’s success in engaging under-represented groups and uniting young practitioners from across a broad range of social-economic backgrounds, there is an opportunity to significantly grow participation numbers and attract commercial support in order to build a solid, financially sustainable future for the sport.”
Hannah is a passionate runner and weekend triathlete. As an active member of Run Wednesdays, a large community running club in Eastbourne, Sussex, Hannah has a personal appreciation of the benefits sport delivers. She adds:
“The physical and mental benefits of regular involvement in sport are well documented and I truly believe that the key to encouraging mass participation is good accessibility and diversity of activity. One size definitely, does not fit all.”
“Parkour or free running is unique in many ways. Whereas many sports are built on the development of formulaic techniques and skills, Parkour is much more free form, enabling practitioners to create their own definition of success and to challenge their own individual boundaries. I intend to help raise the visibility of this incredible sport, ensuring as many people as possible are provided with an opportunity to get involved.”
Parkour UK would like to publicly acknowledge and thank Sport England for their investment into the board diversity programme which was delivered by Perrett Laver and RimJim Consulting – who actively supported the recruitment process for Natasha.
Hannah and Natasha join Steve Mitchell and Tracey Crouch, MP, as Independent Directors on the Board.