Video: Parkour business up and running as purpose-built facility gets set to open in Grimsby
A PURPOSE-BUILT parkour facility – the first of its kind within 80 miles of North East Lincolnshire – officially opens on Saturday.
The rise in interest in the sport is due to it appearing more often in films and adverts, according to local coach Neil Hutson, who says the new park will only accelerate young people's involvement.
Neil has established Elemental Parkour Coaching in association with the existing Team Reality coaching team.
The new business has got off the ground thanks to the Government's New Enterprise Allowance scheme and youth loan organised through E-Factor, and he aims to tour schools and youth clubs.
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He said: "People wrongly perceive it as a risk-taking sport pursued by hooligans, but it is more about using spaces in the environment which are rarely used.
"Parkour and free-running is the top most watched sport on the web. It is used in a lot of films and adverts.
"It is a growing sport and becoming more accessible. It helps reduce the number of young people becoming obese and lead healthier lifestyles."
Mr Hutson's classes range from introductory sessions or can last an hour long and spread over a number of weeks.
This Saturday sees the official opening of a parkour area at Grimsby's Duke of York Gardens between 10am and 2pm.
There will be practical demonstrations from some of the country's leading parkour practitioners, as well as local enthusiasts, and opportunities for people to try the equipment and learn the basics.
For nearly two years, the council's Specialist Health Promotion Service and Team Reality have worked with the community, councillors and other professionals to develop the project and gain £57,000 in funding from Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside Police for the facility.
Councillor Ros James, portfolio holder for housing and wellbeing at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "Local consultation amongst communities, local organisations and practitioners saw an overwhelming response for the need of such a facility.
"We are delighted that the young people who practise parkour now have a purpose built facility, and look forward to it going from strength to strength."
See your Telegraph for coverage of the opening. To find out more about parkour, visit www.teamreality.co.uk or call Neil on 07590 825612.