Parkour facility in Grimsby will be only one within 80 miles of North East Lincolnshire
GRIMSBY’S first purpose-built facility for practising parkour – and the only one within 80 miles of North East Lincolnshire – will be opened in March.
A waste recycling fund and Humberside Police has given £57,000 to build the outdoor park in the Duke Of York Gardens.
Parkour, or free-running, a discipline now recognised by Sport England, has been developing locally for about seven years.
The number of local participants aged between eight and 25 years has more than doubled to more than 150, from about 60 in 2011, and the majority train at least twice a week at community sessions and outdoors.
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For more than 18 months, local parkour group Team Reality has been working with the area’s Specialist Health Promotion Service, residents, councillors and other professionals to develop the vision.
Now, they have secured the cash from the police and Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (Wren), a nationwide grant-giving scheme, to build specialist facilities.
The graphic published with this article shows how the park will look.
Building work by the firm Freemove is expected to begin in early February, and it is hoped it will open to the public on the first weekend of March.
Team Reality is made up of trained coaches and traceurs, the name given to parkour practitioners.
The council’s Specialist Health Promotion Service is the main organisation which leads the local Parkour programme.
Workshops, sessions in schools and fun days over recent years have given many opportunities for people to try Parkour and to develop skills safely.
There are currently four indoor venues – Arena Airsoft, Nunsthorpe Primal Gym, Fix ’n’ Kix and Cleethorpes Leisure Centre, where scores of people take part in basic Parkour under instruction every week.
Councillor Ros James, portfolio holder for housing and wellbeing, said: “To progress from indoors and to provide the correct environment away from public places the obvious next stage was the development of an outdoor facility.
“Initial consultations highlighted the need for Parkour stations to be easily accessible, in open spaces, central and neutral to users from both Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
“The new park area in the Duke Of York Gardens is floodlit and has permanent security cameras, making it ideal.
“Also, the park has increased in popularity with children, young people and adults from all over and was seen as an ideal location for the facility.
“Wide consultation for this project with local organisations and the community started in the late summer of 2011 and ran up until last summer.
“It will give the young people a place to practise their chosen discipline, but also help in the reduction of stigmas and antisocial behaviour in the area.”