This ‘Moving with Purpose’ strategy shares the intentions of Parkour UK through 5 clear objectives designed to build a sustainable and resilient future for the sport.
1. Grow our community – Increasing the number of qualified coaches, growing the number of communities and practitioners and sharing best practice and sustainable models
2. Communicate, educate and influence – Influence and advocacy, a media and communications strategy and Parkour parks and facility guidance.
3. Maximise culture and commercial opportunities – Leveraging investment for social, health and wellbeing interventions, a digital strategy and working with the leisure operator, health and fitness sector.
4. Build our capacity and resources – Securing continued capacity investment for a core team, working in partnership with other lifestyle sports and leveraging external investment through commercial and social partnerships.
5. Insight and impact – Developing an efficient and effective way of capturing participation data and understanding the community (workforce and participants).
The emergence and growth of parkour during the last 10 years represents a period of ‘justification’. Through this strategy we will transition to ‘amplification’ by leveraging necessary resources and effectively promoting, growing and developing parkour across England and the UK.
Parkour UK would like to thank Sport England and 4 Global for their support to develop this strategy.
Progress & Reports
We will update regularly on our progress to the board and the community through reports, consultations, blog posts and other forms of media.
February 2021 – Summary of 2020 Progress
February 2021 – Reflections on the Workforce SubCommittee – Scott Jackson
January 2021 – Thoughts on the January Board Meeting – Richard Marshall
January 2021 – Parkour UK Qualifications Statement
November 2020 – Enquiries Report Q3.
November 2020 – United We Stand – Equalities Work – Natasha Preville
October 2020 – Reflections on September Board Meeting – Hannah Holland
History – the discipline
Parkour and Freerunning as we know it today, originates from a holistic, person centered, highly physical discipline called Art du Deplacement. Art du Deplacement was founded in France in the 1980s by a group of nine young men, friends and family. The founders are Yann Hnautra, Chau Belle, Laurent Piemontesi, Williams Belle, Guylain N’Guba Boyeke, Charles Perriere, Malik Diouf, David Belle and Sebastien Foucan. Over the decades, the founders diversified their training styles, dissemination techniques, aims and applications, giving rise to three practices trained all over the word today, Art du Deplacement, Parkour and Freerunning, which although ultimately all belong to the Art du Deplacement umbrella, each have their own unique nuances and cultures.
The term ‘Parkour’ was first introduced by David Belle in 1998. Parkour derives from the French word Parcours meaning ‘route’ or ‘course’. The term ‘Freerunning’ was the creation of Guillaume Pelletier, a representative of a group of French practitioners involved in the production of a Channel 4 documentary, Jump London, in 2003. This term was used in order to communicate this amazing new sport to an English-speaking audience.
Parkour / Freerunning / Art du Deplacement is the primarily non-competitive physical discipline of training to move freely over and through any terrain using only the abilities of the body, principally through running, jumping, climbing and quadrupedal movement. In practice, it focuses on developing the fundamental attributes required for such movement, which include functional strength and fitness, balance, spatial awareness, agility, coordination, precision, control and creative vision. It is however, also inherently an art form – a means of self-expression, self discovery and ultimately a medium to grow physical strength and resilience to allow one to give this strength back to one’s own, family, wider community and beyond. It has often been described as a transformational sport and its uniqueness lies in the myriad of ways in which it serves to empower individuals globally, whether they use the discipline professionally, recreationally or in direct application for individual wellbeing, for social change or for community cohesion.
History – Parkour and Freerunning in the UK
Parkour/Freerunning has grown in popularity in the UK since the early 2000’s through the emergence of documentaries such as Jump London (2003) and Jump Britain (2005). Films such as James Bond: Casino Royale (2006), that featured Sebastien Foucan in the opening sequence, have helped to promote Parkour internationally. More recently, Parkour has formed a significant part of the popular culture through the gaming, TV and film industries with titles such as Assassins Creed, Mirrors Edge, The Matrix films and Ninja Warrior competitions. These platforms have raised the profile of the sport and increased the commercial appeal of and potential of Parkour.
History – Parkour UK
Parkour UK as an organisation was founded in 2008 and incorporated in 2009 by Eugene Minogue. Working as a sport development officer for Westminster Council, Eugene was inspired by the Jump London documentary and saw the huge appeal of parkour to engage people in an alternative sport and physical activity. He enlisted the support of two of the top parkour instructors working in the UK to incorporate parkour as part of the Positive Futures programme that Westminster Council Sports Unit was delivering in the city.
Positive Futures was a social inclusion project targeted at some of the most deprived areas that engaged and enabled young people to explore their full potential through sport and physical activity.
Parkour in the UK has seen considerable growth in popularity. In addition to the appeal of Parkour and its ability to target and engage disengaged communities, it is also well aligned due to its low barriers to entry to support many of the government and Sport England wider outcomes in relation to improving health, physical and mental wellbeing, individual, social and community development through sport and physical activity.
Community in the UK now
Parkour in the UK has seen considerable growth in popularity as well as the NGB seeing wider immersion into the sports sector and other related areas.
- Parkour UK being one of the first bodies to align to the Good Governance code;
- Parkour UK signed the Sport and Recreation Alliance Mental Health Charter and established a Mental Health Action Plan and recruited a Mental Health Lead;
- Parkour classes being delivered to harder to reach communities like at risk youths, people surviving homelessness and people struggling with mental illness
- Individual development from cradle to grave including working with the over 55s, the elderly, intergenerational Parkour, and classes where parents and children train together.
Working with the community, Parkour UK has also curated the European Standard for Parkour Equipment; created the first formal accredited Parkour coaching qualifications; and developed afPE endorsed guidance for introducing Parkour into schools.
The UK made history in 2016 by becoming the first country in the world to officially recognise Parkour/Freerunning as a sport and Parkour UK as the National Governing Body (NGB), by the Home Country Sports Councils (Sport England, Sport Wales, Sportscotland, Sport Northern Ireland and UK Sport). This was achieved through the incredible work and effort of Parkour UK, its CEO and board, and provides governance and regulation of Parkour/Freerunning throughout the UK, acting as custodians of the sport/art, protecting the rights & freedoms and promoting the interests of Art du Deplacement practitioners, Parkour Traceurs/Freerunners (practitioners), their member organisations & the UK community.