Scott Jackson – Reflections on the Workforce Subcommittee

The Workforce Subcommittee – A Real Workhorse
I have been involved in Parkour for the last 14 years, both as a practitioner and as a Parkour coach/business owner. I have in previous years been an Elected Director on the board of Parkour UK. Following early conversations that I had with the executive team last year, where I highlighted the opportunity of bringing back together a workforce sub committee. I am pleased to say that has happened and following the recent meeting,  I was asked to write a short blog post on the progress that is being made.

The Workforce Subcommittee is made up of invited members, board members and the exec team and the focus is on developing all aspects of the workforce including staff development, qualifications and CPD. Subcommittee members have a focus on representing the needs and voices of the Parkour community and presenting ideas in the context of the wider sports sector. You can find the makeup of the Workforce Subcommittee at the bottom of the page here.

I’m really excited that the Workforce Subcommittee is coming together and really taking shape now. From previous Board experience, it did exist in some form; however, it was certainly not as organised as it seems now with Dan, Chris and Omar at the helm. This is music to my ears and I really do get the impression that this subcommittee can push things forward.

It is clear that the Workforce Subcommittee has been formed with the intention of bringing together the brains of the Sports Development world and the brains of the Parkour world. Both of these aspects are necessary for a properly-functioning subcommittee and both complement and inform the other on areas they are unfamiliar with. Jenny Buckham Hedges from UK Coaching and and Sion Kitson from Sport England are providing advice on our coaching pathways – we are steered towards audience-specific questions and queries such as a poignant question at the last meeting: “What is it that the participants actually want from CPD?” and giving us the background and context of a modern pathway vs. a traditional pathway to Continuing Professional Development (CPD); the importance of it being transformational not transactional.

What is heartening to see is that the Workforce Subcommittee was created with the thought uppermost in Parkour UK’s mind of receiving a diversity of opinions and viewpoints so that all aspects of the wider Parkour community are adequately represented. Having Chris Keighley on board with his vast experience of the tutoring process; Kirsten Altenbach representing the female viewpoint within Parkour practise & coaching and bringing her expertise of working with SEND groups; and myself representing the viewpoint of Parkour practitioners and Parkour business owners. There is a good generational spread and diversity of experiences attempted here with this group. Though there is lots that we do cover, I still feel that we are missing a younger, more contemporary Parkour voice which I feel none of the current subcommittee fully represents. Hopefully this is something that can be added in soon.

In November 2020 the committee was reconvened and the first meeting was somewhat reminiscent of several of my experiences at previous Board meetings; quite a lot of simply listening for several hours. In restarting things, there were a lot of leftover items to wade through and the usual bureaucratic stuff  (e.g. resetting the terms of reference).I didn’t leave that meeting feeling much of anything, however, the second meeting that we just had was a different story. This most recent meeting felt a lot more like we were really able to engage and shape the group view with our input. This was really positive to see and makes me feel like we are really on the right track with this subcommittee.

The willingness and commitment to being as transparent as possible is also comforting, with minutes being released for public consumption and blog posts like this being commissioned as a more palatable way to keep up with the subcommittee. This is something that Parkour UK has needed to engage in for a long time and I am so happy to see this now being pushed forward.

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming meetings and being able to help shape some of the aspects of the Parkour Workforce that I feel needs looking at further, such as the Parkour UK coaching qualifications. I want to represent people’s views as broadly and as accurately as possible and would welcome anything you feel you’d like me to bring to the table.

All in all, I really do believe that the future is looking bright for Parkour UK under its new leadership.