Parkour UK Announces New CEO

Dan Newton has been appointed CEO of Parkour UK, the officially recognised National Governing Body for Parkour and freerunning in the UK.

Dan is no newcomer to Parkour UK. Since September 2019, Dan has held the role of Interim CEO whilst on part-time secondment from his 9-year role as Development Director with Rounders England. During this period, Dan has worked closely with the Board of Parkour UK, the wider Parkour community as well as partners and stakeholders, to develop a strategy, built on solid governance foundations, that will enable the NGB to drive growth and sustainability.

“Parkour UK has reached a pivotal point in its development,” explains Newton. “Part of my remit, as interim CEO, focused on the recruitment, appointment and induction of two, Independent Directors in order to onboard new skills and expertise at the executive level. Both are now in place and, along with the incumbent Directors, will support me in our drive to achieve Tier 2 compliance of the Code of Sports Governance and deliver the next phase of our 2020 strategy – Moving with Purpose.” Commenting on the secondment “I am really grateful to Katherine Knight, Natalie Justice-Dearn and the board at Rounders England for their support to make the most of the opportunity; forward-thinking leadership that cares about the people.”

Dan Newton, CEO, Parkour UK

Having graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Development and Coaching, Dan began his sporting career as a Development Officer with South Yorkshire Sport. This led to a role as Governing Bodies Officer for Derbyshire Sport and from here he went on to play an instrumental part in the strategic delivery, funding drive and intellectual development at Rounders England.

Throughout his career, Dan has made a huge commitment to advancing his own skills and expertise, completing many renowned professional development programmes. Most notably, in 2015, Dan graduated from the highly acclaimed, Sport England Leadership and Management Programme, affiliated to the Cranfield University School of Management. He then went on to mentor others through a Sport England led Mentoring Programme.

Speaking of the appointment, Stephen Mitchell, Independent Chair, Parkour UK, says:

“Dan is perfectly placed to steer Parkour UK through its next, significant, development phase. His dedication to the professionalisation of sports governance and proven track record in securing funding and creating commercial partnerships, coupled with his comprehensive knowledge of the wider sporting landscape and passion to gain Parkour the visibility, professional recognition and commercial buy-in that the sport deserves, make him the ideal candidate for the job.

I would like to extend my thanks to Katherine Knight, Chair at Rounders England, for facilitating the initial period of Dan’s professional development and creating a game-changing opportunity for us to appoint an incredibly passionate and experienced CEO who will lead our executive team and the wider Parkour community through the next phase of the sport’s development.”

Stephen Mitchell, Independent Chair, Parkour UK

Dan’s appointment as CEO will begin on July 1, 2020. He adds: “I have been keen to secure a CEO position for a while and was just waiting for the right opportunity. The sport of Parkour is unique in many ways and while it is predominantly driven by youth, its core principles – exploration, adaptation and problem solving, delivered through the execution of functional movement patterns, gives the sport’s relevance across the whole life course.

“For children as young as 18 months, practice encourages creativity, confidence and independent thinking whilst in older adults the sport improves balance and agility, helping to guard against trips and falls. This, for me, extends the value of Parkour way beyond the field of play delivering benefits that expand into everyday life and is one of the reasons I am so keen to play my part in the ongoing professional development of the sport.

The community is very entrepreneurial, celebrating individualism, creativity and self-expression. As the officially recognised National Governing Body, we need to provide a framework that allows the sport to thrive and safeguards practitioners whilst also respecting the sports core values, spirit and ethos. This is a challenge I look forward to facing along with my colleagues on the Board and beyond.”

In addition to his CEO role with Parkour UK, Dan is also an Independent Director at Boccia England, Chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Development Directors Knowledge Sharing Forum and Lay Member of the South Yorkshire & Humber Recruitment Advisory Committee, responsible for recruiting magistrates to serve across the region.

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