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New Parkour site for Norwich

PUBLISHED: 07:42 27 June 2011

Daredevil acrobatics, swinging from poles and jumping off walls were just a few of the things that could be seen when the first parkour site in the county opened on Saturday.

The site in Breckland Road, Costessey, cost £20,000 and was funded by grants – a National Lottery windfall of £15,000 and an additional £5,000 from the South Norfolk Community Safety Partnership.

Parkour, sometimes known as free running, originated in France and is where people run through urban landscapes, while jumping, climbing and swinging from street furniture such as benches and lampposts.

The parkour site consists of walls to jump on to and metal bars to swing from.

Councillor Vivienne Bell, who represents Old Costessey on South Norfolk Council and is chairman of Costessey Parish Council, said: “It’s a good location because it’s urban and it is on a bus route. It is the first site in the county.

“It is good because it is challenging. It gets away from traditional play areas; you can do different things and you can express yourself.

“People can use it and not disturb residents. The council is fully behind this.”

The site was designed by the Parkour Alliance.

Treasurer Matthew Dickerson said: “I started doing parkour about seven years ago. We teach and we go to schools. We will be teaching lessons at the site in Costessey.

“We did the designs and helped put it all together.

“We teach moves such as the cat pass, when people use their hands to jump over a wall, a step vault, when you use one foot and one hand to jump over a wall and a dash, when you leap over something feet first.”

Councillor Laura Webster, Young People’s Champion for South Norfolk Council, said: “We asked the people of South Norfolk what their priorities were and they said do more for our young people.

“This parkour site is a direct response to that plea, and a first for South Norfolk Council and the county. It’s a great achievement and a clear sign of our commitment to young people.

“I hope they will take full advantage of it.”

The only other parkour site in the east of England is in Thurrock.

To see video of youngsters being taught how to take part in parkour, visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk

Do you take part in an usual sport? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk

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