New Parkour site for Norwich

Monday, June 27, 2011
7:42 AM

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.

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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

16 comments

  • Oh good, the freestyle-jump-nerds have been moved on to the suburbs. They can stop jumping all over the war memorial now then...

    Report this comment

    Partial Neil

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

  • I wrote a long reply that doesn't seem to have appeared... Gist of what I said, Im 18 and do Kung Fu and used to do Capoeira and am self taught in parkour. Popped over today and saw the equipment, was really rather awesome but a bit smaller than I had hoped but hey. In response to being Silly, it's no different to dance or martial arts because you improve fitness, discipline and self-awareness. Response to pushy guys, I'm often approached by girls and help them learn basic cartwheels or handstands or vaults etc and they love it just as much as guys so don't think your argument is a fair one to be honest. Lastly, Matt is there anywhere I can find out more about your organisations as would love to train with some other people sometime as I am virtually entirely self taught and mostly just apply capoeira and kung fu principles.

    Report this comment

    MonkeySST

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

  • Hi Monkey, I can recommend a few places. Where abouts do you train. If you are based in Norfolk you are welcome to come along with us. Our website is www.parkouralliance.com. Please feel free to join the forums and get involved.

    Report this comment

    Matt Dickerson

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

  • Haven't we essentially provided a training ground for this silliness before making it to the cities. ~ Smiffy

    Report this comment

    Smiffy

    Monday, June 27, 2011

  • Hello, I am an 18 year old that has been doing parkour and tricking on my own for a few years now having gotten started in the acrobatic side of life by training in Capoeira for a couple of years and, now my class has been closed, I now do Kung Fu. Many of the aspects of Parkour are mirrored in Martial Arts and Dances such as endurance, fitness and discipline. I have only ever once had a negative response to any form of parkour or tricking and that was on health and safety grounds in the big shopping Mall in bristol. On many occasions I have been approached by people to ask what I am doing and why, ranging from little children to O.A.P's to police officers and generally the feed back is positive. I have never broken a bone and while accidents do happen I know more people my age that have broken bones falling down steps than I do from anything parkour related. In response to Daisy, I am a male and yes I would use this service (I infact Visited it today) and my general experience is that normally it is the Girls that come up and ask you what you are doing and often they have a go. Whether it is just learning to do a basic cartwheel or vault or just clambering over things Girls often get involved and I very much doubt that the guys would have a monopoly on the equipment. (Lastly Matt, anywhere I can find out more about the organisations you are affiliated with? Any form of tuition would be apealing as I am entirely self taught Parkour wise and have merely applied skills I've gained through Capoeira and Kung Fu. Thanks)

    Report this comment

    MonkeySST

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

  • @Matt @MonkeySST Thank you for your eloquent responses to some of the petty mindedness that appears on these forums. Long may you enjoy your support - and the bigots can either remain grumpy or learn to appreciate the varied world around them!

    Report this comment

    Busy mum

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

  • Or you could say that a training ground has been provided so that the 'Silliness' you called it could actually be done safely so that when it gets to the city people don't just injure themselves, they have a full understanding of what they will be doing. Parkour as the people in this article view it is a discipline, not just hurling themselves at a brick wall and hoping not to end up in hospital. its a form of defence. The idea is to get away from a person using obstacles to slow the person being chased down.

    Report this comment

    Andy

    Monday, June 27, 2011

  • Fair enough Matt and Monkey -looks fun and anything that is not rigidly organised into teams and leagues fits in better with busy lifestyles so maybe women and girls will be able to enjoy a bit of challenging exercise with Parkour .

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

  • Partial Neil, Frankly I find your comments rude and offensive. You clearly are a very closed minded individual. To add clarity no one in our community touches the actual memorial. We may train in the gardens of the memorial which as I understand is not in breach of anything. We cause no more damage than someone who sits around in the gardens chatting and eating food from the market. It is odd how when people perform an act of freedom how bigots react to this. Lest we forget that freedom was what these people died for so who are you to define what they would deem unacceptable. Monkey, Please join our forums to disscuss training further.

    Report this comment

    Matt Dickerson

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

  • note: slow the person chasing down, not the person being chased *

    Report this comment

    Andy

    Monday, June 27, 2011

  • All this talk about finding places to play monkeys is fine if you ignore the fact that somebody lives in these housing estates and has to suffer the consequences of any damage done to property. I have often stopped people jumping on to the roof of my shed .Because the property is council owned it is badly maintained! I have tried to warn the "Parkourist" of the dangers only to be faced with the " it will never happen to me" attitude. Well one day it will and the residents will be expected to pick up the pieces. I dont believe that just because there is now a park peopl will stop using housing estates .

    Report this comment

    Oldmar Tintrill

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

  • Hi Smiffy, As a member of Parkour the Norwich Parkour for the last 7 yeas and Treasurer of Parkour Alliance I am very inclined to disagree. Essentially what we have done over the years is raise thousands of pounds for local charities, provide professional services to many large companies such as Disney, for which one of our students performed in the blockbuster hit The Prince Of Persia, taught many a disadvantaged child a new discipline and skill, mixed with many different age ranges, races and backgrounds, raise awerness of physical fitness across a game console orientated generation and enjoy something that we are doing. In summary the more people that train the better, so why not give them the facilities to do so at no expense to the tax payer.

    Report this comment

    Matt Dickerson

    Monday, June 27, 2011

  • Hi Daisy, This park is being used by both Genders. Parkour Alliance is comprised of both genders. The event on Saturday was mostly female orientated in terms of participants.

    Report this comment

    Matt Dickerson

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

  • @Daisy Roots Just how a forum should be used - put a question for clarity and respect the answer given.

    Report this comment

    Busy mum

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

  • @Matt, Train mostly around the derehamswaffham area but if in norwich theres a good area by the performing arts center on some kind of housing estate with different layers so thats always got something to experiment with.

    Report this comment

    MonkeySST

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

  • You can bet that this will be monopolised by pushy boys and men. Our councils should be forced to conduct a review of their spending on sports facilities and who they are aimed at and who they are actually used by. Many parents will be aware that young girls rarely get a look in at some "casual" facilities because they are a intimidated by teenage boys. A disproportionate level of funding on gender lines should be illegal, surely?

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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