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Monthly Update – October 2022

Every month, we will be putting together a monthly update on our website to keep you guys updated with everything we have been working on at Parkour UK. Here is our monthly update for October 2022.

Upcoming Courses

This December, Parkour UK is running its second Mental Health First Aid England course, delivered by Parkour UK’s Head of Development, Chris Grant. The course will take place over two days, ( The 1st and 2nd of December) in Peterborough.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course that teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

You’ll learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe.

The course will cost £85, a heavily discounted rate, and is perfect for individuals, coaches, or members of organisations looking to learn something that may benefit their everyday life or workplace. You can find out more information and book yourself onto the course here.

2023 Course Dates

So far, no 2023 dates have been officially announced for any upcoming Level 1 or Level 2 Parkour UK courses. As stated in our last monthly update, we have mapped the dates for Level 2 courses through 2023, which will be announced once we are confident that the materials are going to be ready. Progress is being made, but we want to be 100% sure all the materials are there before we start announcing the course dates.

We will send out an email once these dates are confirmed and announced.

A photo from our latest Level 1 course in Peterborough

New Roles

Parkour UK is looking to recruit 2 more individuals in part-time roles for the organisation.

We are currently hiring for

  • Finance Support
  • Workforce Support

All the information can be found on our website (Click Here).

These jobs are part-time roles, this will offer the opportunity to fit around other commitments and give the flexibility to work on a variety of assignments. We want the organisation to reflect the society we live in and work across and would encourage applications from in and out of our community.

We are also holding a recruitment surgery on the 3rd of November at 4:30 PM.

Applications are open until 12 pm on the 7th of November.

Speaking With Our Members

Following the digital team coming on board earlier this year, we have now had the opportunity to sit down and have a discussion with some of our members regarding their work within parkour. You may have seen some articles being posted to our website, or shared on our Facebook & LinkedIn profiles where we dive into discussions with some of our Parkour UK members.

Recently, we have had the pleasure of speaking to Sam Coppack regarding his very successful “York Takeover” parkour event (Read Here.), and a conversation with Team Reality regarding a partnership with a local community project, and their efforts on tackling the public’s perception of parkour in their area (Read Here.)

We are really looking to elevate and tell the stories of our members, so if you have a story you would like Parkour UK to share, please get in touch via our Instagram and let’s get a conversation going.

Our Annual General Meeting Date

Our AGM (Annual General Meeting) this year is going to be Tuesday the 29th of November at 12 PM. The event will be held online in its entirety, and the following documents will be made available on November 18th, in preparation for the meeting.

  • AGM Agenda
  • 2021 AGM Minutes (Draft)
  • The Directors’ Report & Financial Statements for the year ended 31st March 2022.
  • Parkour UK – Proposed Memorandum & Articles of Association including a summary of the proposed amendments
  • Voting Form (Affiliate Member)
  • Proxy Voting Form (Affiliate Member)

More details will be released soon, but for now, save the date.

Parkour Coaches Become Finalists in the UK Coaching Awards

Some brilliant news to close our monthly update. Three parkour coaches have been announced as finalists in the UK Coaching Awards. The UK Coaching Awards offer the chance to celebrate great coaching with the entire coaching community, experience real-life coaching stories from across the UK, and be amazed by the people who transform lives. This is the first time parkour has been included in the UK coaching awards.

Parkour UK would like to congratulate,

Callum Windsor (Aspire Parkour AcademyParkour UK Affiliate Member)
Callum is a finalist for the “Young Coach of the Year” Award. Supported by Reading Room this award recognises the excellent work of a young coach who has helped and inspired people to reach their sport and physical activity needs and aspirations.

Sam Coppack (The Parkour Coach Companion Podcast – Parkour UK Professional Member)
Sam is a finalist for the “Coaching Podcast of the Year” Award. This award recognises a coach-led podcast that delivers, inspires, and informs #GreatCoaching.

Adam Romaine (Access Parkour)
Adam is a finalist for the “Change a Life” award, supported by Sport England. This award recognises a coach who has empowered and inspired an individual from a diverse community through #GreatCoaching.

That’s our update for this month. Please feel free to get in touch with us on Instagram. We would love to hear from you!

The Parkour UK team

Engaging The Community & Challenging Public Perception – Team Reality (Member Highlight)

TEAM REALITY LTD are Parkour UK Afilliate+ members based in Grimsby.

Team Reality is a parkour team first formed in 2007 originating from the Grimsby/Cleethorpes area, founded by the duo of Jake Harris and Neil Huston. Since 2010, Team Reality have been coaching their own parkour sessions to a range of individuals of all ages within their community.

Fast forward 12 years and Team Reality is thriving. They have a new partnership with Sidney Sussex Park, a group that is based within a local park who have been putting on events, functions, and activity days for the local community. 

I spoke to Jake Harris at Team Reality about the partnership, asking him about the partnership, who approached whom, and what the steps moving forward were.

Jake states:

They reached out to us. We’ve worked within the local community for many years. I think there were some mutual friends and connections, and we were recommended.  

Throughout the summer, we had the opportunity to join them for some fun in the park and give the local area around the park the chance to try parkour or just explore movement in a way they may not have before. 

This partnership wasn’t just for the summer holidays. Team Reality runs its own indoor facility, where they teach over 100 participants a week. Because of the access to this space, Team Reality has continued the partnership into the winter months.

No alt text provided for this image

As the weather has started to turn, we have been fortunate enough to bring the local community to our own facility to progress on the introduction to parkour and give them a greater experience in the sport. It also brings the community together, keeping warm and dry within our academy. 

Jake, and the other Team Reality coaches, have a very clear and passionate drive to want to make a positive change in their community, whilst also tackling the public’s general perception of parkour. Back in September, an article was published on the Grimsby Telegraph website about a group of individuals practicing parkour on the rooftops of the local area. (Read Here.)

A few days later, one of the Team Reality students, who was pictured in the article, approached the Grimsby Telegraph to explain his side of the story. (Read Here.)

The 15-year-old student highlights the positive change the Team Reality guys have made in his life growing up and in others in the community.

I’ve been coached by people with 20 years of experience in the sport and it’s a great way to become involved in a community. Everyone supports one another and we get on really well as a group.

I started at six and only got to where I am with the help of my coach’s constructive criticism. It boosted me in the sport and as a person in the long run.

In a further follow-up to this article, Team Reality took the responsibility of inviting a Grimsby Telegraph reporter down to their indoor facility for a day of parkour training. This was to help individuals outside of the sport gain a deeper understanding of how the sport is practiced at ground level and in a safe environment, before taking things up to height.

Jake states:

There was an article about ‘youths jumping roof gaps’ which happened to be one of our older experienced students. They then did an article with him about parkour and now they are coming to us to have a go

The article highlights Team Reality’s passion for instructing parkour to anyone at any age and tells the story of the reporter trying parkour for the first time. You can read this article here.

Parkour is still an incredibly new sport. It is also the only sport where you don’t need equipment, a facility, or an instructor to really go out and give it a try. It is also one of the first new sports to grow up in tandem with social media. Because of this, videos of people jumping off rooftops are attention-grabbing and tend to go viral, which, in turn, makes experienced parkour practitioners (traceurs – the French term) look like adrenaline junkies with very little prior experience.

The publics view is definitely more positive than its ever been, but we can always do our part to help educate others on the sport. Every sport has dangerous elements and we want to shine a light on the hard work that goes into practicing parkour correctly, and it’s not just about the danger.

It is people like the Team Reality team who are challenging the public’s perception of parkour by offering the local community new, exciting, and engaging ways to challenge the environment around them, promoting a sense of community, self-progression, and exercise.

To finish, I have linked Team Reality’s YouTube channel, where they upload weekly videos of their training, as well as highlight some of the students from their classes.

Monthly Update – September 2022

Every month, we will be putting together a monthly update on our website to keep you guys updated with everything that has gone on at Parkour UK.

A Full Team

In September, Simon Vardy settled into his role as Workforce Lead, taking over Kieran’s previous role.

Simon will be helping us accelerate the development of our Level One Coaching Qualification & our Level Two Coaching Qualification. Simon’s role will also look for new opportunities for the workforce. Simon is an experienced performance coach with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry and professional sports up to the elite level.

Our previous workforce lead, Kieran Wylde has moved positions at Parkour UK and will be working in our membership lead role, helping accelerate our memberships here at Parkour UK.

This finishes the employment of people from our employment day we ran back in June of this year, with a team now working in digital support, workforce, and membership

It’s really exciting and brilliant having a team now at Parkour UK. Chris Grant (PKUK’s head of development) is always ecstatic about logging onto the weekly all-hands meeting and seeing a team full of people working together.

Parkour UK Meets With The Board

In the closing weeks of September, the full team traveled to Brighton for the quarterly board meeting. We were able to report our progress in a way that we hadn’t before, with Lynn, Callun, Simon, and Kieran all presenting to the board in their area of expertise, following answering the questions the board had asked them.

We spent time discussing each of the areas that Parkour UK is currently focusing on, and spent some time together, before having some lovely food.

It was really great having the full team together, in one place, to discuss Parkour UK’s current path, projections, and areas of focus.

The Parkour UK Team – (left to right) Callun, Lynn, Kieran, Chris, Dan, Simon.

Below, we have summarized some of the topics of discussion, and steps going forward in different areas of the organization.

Membership: We spent a large chunk of the Tuesday discussing what our membership might look like, trying to categorize the community to look at what we might be able to offer in terms of knowledge and services across the whole of the community. This includes improving what we have already (such as coaching), but what we can also do to help support content creators, freelancers, athletes, etc. It was an exciting conversation that we are excited to get the ball rolling on. This is where Kieran, our Membership Lead, will be focusing his work in the next 6 months to a year.

Digital and Story Telling: Callun and Lynn reported to the board about our socials with really good statistics and measures. Our socials have received a tonne of engagement, interaction, and positive comments since the digital team came on board back in mid-July. On top of this, Lynn has also been working on a huge mapping document trying to capture the name, location, and purpose of different parkour teams, organizations, groups, and freelancers across the country within the parkour space.

Workforce: With the new school year starting, we are getting back into schools, and running Teacher CPD courses. We have also mapped all the dates for Level 2 courses through 2023, which will be announced once we are confident that the materials are going to be ready. Our plan is to announce the courses for the whole year to allow some flexibility to allow you to book. We will, eventually, work towards this for the Level One courses also.

Toolkits

Something that did pop up during our discussion was the toolkits we have on our website. We have a bunch of free toolkits available on our website, which you can find here. There is a range of toolkits, including “How to start a university society”, a “Business” toolkit, and “Risk Assessment” toolkits, all available to you, so please check them out.

Email Updates and Facebook Group For Members

We are currently working on building up our email newsletter for our member organizations and individuals again. This had some traction before, but earlier this year it dropped off a little bit. Now, with the digital team onboard, we have the capacity as an organization to fill these tasks to a standard we are happy with.

Storror’s Big Wall Open

Of course, we couldn’t do an update of September without mentioning Storror’s monumental street event, the “Big Wall Open.” – Callun visited the event, watching it all unfold.

The event was brilliant. It was amazing seeing how many people turned up. Not just parkour practitioners, but young children and their parents, many of who don’t train in parkour, they have just come down and appreciate the sport, speaking with the community, and getting to know more about the sport. Storror’s impact on the sport we love has been incredible, and I know this event has cemented itself as one of the sports’ best, but as a stepping stone to get so many other people into parkour.

Callun speaking about the Storror Big Wall Open

Community Posts

At the start of September, we started rolling out a weekly post of some movements from the parkour community. The feedback from these posts has been amazing, with the community loving the idea of us using our platform to show the progression and practice of those within our sport. Make sure you use the hashtag #ParkourUK so we can see your clips! Remember to also follow us on Instagram, @ParkourUK

Building networks & throwing yourself in at the deep end

Building networks & throwing yourself in at the deep end

As part of the benefits package that Parkour UK offer Development Associates, last week we invited Ian Braid and Preeti Shetti to share some of the things that they have learnt during their careers.

Preeti Shetty is CEO of Upshot, a monitoring, evaluation & learning system to help you evidence your impact. Preeti spoke about her career with a particular focus on insight and data, building networks and the importance of acknowledging failure.

Some of the insights were:

  • Learnt the importance of monitoring and evaluation through writing grant applications and producing annual reports.
  • Obsessed with the idea of failure, particularly the concepts of Black Box Thinking which considers how in the aviation industry the learnings drawn from the black box are shared with the whole of the sector so that everyone can learn.
  • During interviews many candidates underestimate the need to understand ‘this company, in this sector, at this time’.
  • Building networks is what it comes down to. A peer network that you can grow with, is the strongest thing. Building trust with a group of people who are going through similar things and who will encounter many of the same problems that you do.

 

Ian Braid is MD and founder of DOCIA Sport Ltd (Duty of Care in Action) who offer independent, expert advice on all aspects of duty of care in sport. Ian shared thoughts on personal development and possible approaches to help improve the duty of care in the sports sector.

Some of the insights were:

  • Two catch phrases have helped me realise what I should do when I grew up. Firstly that ‘everything is worth the price of a cup of coffee’, its an opportunity to listen to a perspective which may lead to an opportunity. Secondly, ‘throw yourself in at the deep end’ as the greatest learning always comes from those incidents.
  • Keep your head up, open your eyes, listen to others with a view to helping.
  • Build the confidence to challenge others over time. We are learning all the time and we shouldn’t be afraid to say what we think.
  • Linking it all together you need to understand who you are, what your values are and stick to them no matter what happens. Create a personal coat of arms and hold yourself to account every day.

 

Thanks to both for their time and effort. If you would like to contact Preeti or Ian you can do so through the following links:

Upshot – Contact Us

DOCIA Sport – Contact

Movement Card – Development Associates Project

As most practitioners of Parkour know, the discipline can challenge the social conventions and perceived rules of the use of space. This can result in positive interactions where relationships with communities are built and those outside of parkour are educated about the sport. It can also result in potential conflicts with security, property owners and authorities. While Parkour UK would always encourage its members to behave politely and rationally in these situations, we also recognise that sometimes these various authorities can act outside of the law and prevent the legitimate right that someone may have to the use of a space.

And in rolls the Movement Card created by Ukemi Project and Parkour Outreach for Scotland, our latest Development Associates project works to research and create a similar resource for the rest of the UK’s nations. We caught up with Gordon from Parkour Outreach to understand some of the basics of the rights to space, and the messaging the movement card provides.

 

1) What is the common challenge that parkour practitioners have in relation to use of spaces?

Gordon: People generally see a clear distinction between public property and private property. Public property is seen as a space that the public can freely use, whilst private property is seen as a space to be used only by the property owner. Private property is clearer in residential properties, but the distinction has become less clear with commercial property. Particularly, we have seen the development of a grey area in which private property appears open to the public – some of these areas are even defined by the property owner as “public space”.

Parkour is often practiced that in these areas, i.e. public spaces that are privately owned. This has resulted in parkour practitioners facing a common challenge: being moved on by property owners and/or security guards despite the space being open to the public. The reasons given by property owners usually have no proper basis.

For example, in Scotland, property owners may say:

  1. This is private property, you cannot be here (even though it is a public space and there will usually be public rights of way and/or a right to roam that applies. The property owner can request for you to move on, but cannot force you to do so without raising legal proceedings)
  2. If you hurt yourself whilst doing parkour on our property, we will be liable (legally, this is not true)
  3. You are on CCTV (this simply is not a reason to be moved on.)
  4. If you do not move on, we will call the police (If the property owner does not want members of the public peacefully using their land – it is a civil matter. The police deal with criminal matters, not civil matters).

We have set out the above in further detail on the Movement Card website: www.mvmnt-card.com

Furthermore, parkour practitioners have experienced property owners being aggressive due to a misunderstanding of the rights available to the public in these “public spaces”. Even when the above has been explained to the property owner, they continue to be aggressive and at times risk committing an offence themselves. This has been a particular issue when dealing with security guards.

For example, I was balancing on a rail at height and a security guard forcefully kicked the rail in an attempt to intimidate me. Thankfully, balancing is one of my stronger skills so the security guard’s actions had no effect on me. However, if I had fallen off the rail and injured myself as a result of the security guard kicking the rail – the security guard would have lost his job and the property owner would have been at risk of facing serious liability. 

 

2) What would represent a landmark in the future that would symbolise the success of the Movement Card?

In the short term, it would be a landmark of success if we had Movement Cards in situ all over the world and parkour practitioners feeling welcome everywhere. This would help to encourage what is already known as the “parkour passport” across the global parkour community, but it would help practitioners to better understand and appreciate the local laws that apply in each country so that these can be respected accordingly.

In the long term, it would amazing to establish a baseline for the Right to Move in public spaces and for this to be applied globally. This would mean that there was a global shift in the appreciation for the Right to Move and the benefits that come with being able to move freely in public spaces. The benefits would clearly extend beyond parkour – people would feel comfortable using public spaces without questioning what can or cannot be done in those spaces. This would create more cross collaboration and a greater sense of community in those areas.

Thanks to Gordon for his insights, and we look forward to working with our team of Development Associates – Hugo, Sam and Matt – to develop the work.

Natasha Preville – Being The Change We Want To See…

As we near the halfway mark in 2021, I reflect on my journey as an Independent Director at Parkour UK. Entering my second year of service, I remain in awe at the resilience, growth and transformative power of our Sport and practice. We have all experienced a year like no other and the team have worked tirelessly to provide guidance and support to our communities and practitioners in any way they could. We have strived to build sustainable ecosystems through widening engagements, participation, strategy and investment that continue to enable Parkour and the dynamic and adaptable nature of its practice, to thrive, ‘Moving with Purpose’ through 2021 and beyond.

 

Sport England Award:

Since our last update earlier in the year, we are delighted to announce Parkour UK will be a recipient of continued Sport England funding, testament to their support in the development of Parkour UK as a National Governing Body. The award of £120,240 will help sustain our Executive capacity in 2021/22; prioritising areas such as strategy, financial sustainability, insight and governance.

 

Extension of Sub Committees and Working groups:

One of the many reasons I love my work as an Independent Director for Parkour UK is the unwavering commitment of my fellow peers, our Exec team and expanding Workforce Committees, Partners and Supporters; they bring to life the ambition and demonstration of a modern, progressive governing body: One that is customer facing and works collaboratively to coproduce with and through the community.

Our ‘Moving with Purpose’ strategy has continued to meet fruition as we build and grow in the following areas: Digital Workforce, Space & Place, Economy, Mental Health, Life course (all age / intergenerational activity), Inclusion & Diversity and Storytelling. I am particularly excited to be involved in driving forward our work in the realm of Diversity & Inclusion. As a society and as a human being within it, if this year has taught us anything, for me, there is no place for division, we ALL know that in authentic unity, there is strength.  To this end, during the Summer, we plan to bring together four more Sub-Committees and Working Groups to strengthen our work in Diversity & Inclusion, Space & Place, Digital and Storytelling.

 

Unstructured Insight:

We want to build on the insight report on the structured community launched in September 2020 by David Butler. In response, we have commissioned a second report for the unstructured community, working again with David Butler.  In addition, Rob Young (RY Consulting) will work with us to build capacity in order to help us gain an independent view / perspective.   We endeavour to initially speak with 15 – 20 Companies to explore; their brands, businesses, income streams, barriers and challenges, campaigns and causes, services and support, quick wins and immediate concerns (not a short list).

Parkour UK is also cognizant of our structured communities and to that end, we want to take a deep-dive approach to gain a comprehensive insight into some well-known Parkour names and brands within the unstructured world: Our initial work will include brands such as Ampisound, Jimmy the Giant, MOTUS etc.

 

Observations on the Digital Roadmap:

Digital literacy, marketing and engagement is important now, more than ever. We are living in a normalcy where the video call is king. As Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease, Parkour UK have kept the lens on the development of our Digital Roadmap, produced by 7 League and first shared in February 2021. As part of our due diligence, we looked at a variety of lifestyle Sports and it quickly became apparent we had numerous similarities with Skateboard GB.  With this identified, March 2021 saw us convene meetings with Lewis Wiltshire and Lenka Istvanova (7 League) and Adam Freeman-Pask (Sport England) to explore the next steps… Unity is strength, once more, through shared insights around community engagement, areas for development and sustainable growth. The outcomes of the meeting concluded the key areas of focus would be; digital strategy, systems and processes and content and community engagement. We are thrilled to be in a position to continue working with 7 League and wider partners to further develop our Digital Strategy… Watch this space for updates.

 

Progress with Community and Stakeholder Relationships:

Our most recent CEO Report, by Dan Newton continued to make encouraging reading, particularly in reference to structured and unstructured relationships monitored between September 2020 and April 2021; all of which showed growth, improved engagement, where numerous relationships were viewed as “positive with intent to support”. This is humbling news as we continue to grow steadily and we very much look forward to building on our new and existing relationships during the next phase(s) of our development.

 

Diversity and Inclusion: Women’s Empowerment

Last, but certainly not least, I want to highlight a(nother) area close to my heart and the shared ambition of Parkour UK and our communities.  Giving a platform, giving a space and place, giving (back) of power and reflecting and learning, then doing better, is the order of the day, when I think of empowering women in sport. Entering the second round of the programme, we are working in tandem with Women in Sport, to look at the perspective of women in Parkour and the stories they tell; including, but not limited to, the lack of female role models, lack of representation in Parkour media, barriers to entering / engaging with Parkour to name a few.  When exploring the lifecycle of sporting activity, it was found ‘girls tend to stop doing sport as they reach their teens’, furthermore, ‘women doing sport want to feel included and integrated into their communities and want do sport as part of their lifestyle’We all have a commitment to make this happen.  We continue to proudly work with Women in Sport to help us eradicate inequality of access, experience and participation with Parkour, through storytelling, content creation and media; promoting equitable access, positive role models, all within safe and inclusive environments. 

As we all adapt our lives and overcome unforeseen challenges, we gain insights, we learn, we grow and we do better. We have entered unchartered territory with boundaries constantly shifting in the world around us, however, Parkour UK remains stalwart in our commitment and we continue to work tirelessly to ensure, as a National Governing Body, we uphold and demonstrate the change we want to see.

 

Natasha Preville

Independent Director

Parkour UK Board