With the Olympics still fresh in the nation’s minds, a new parkour site has opened to inspire young people to take up a different kind of sport.
The £42,000 site in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, was built by Lappset, a leading designer and manufacturer of sports and playground equipment, and funded by Fenland District Council.
Also known as freerunning, parkour originated in France in the early 90s and is one of the few non-competitive sports. The aim is to travel from one point to another, negotiating obstacles along the route as efficiently and nimbly as possible.
Mark Chapman of Lappset commented: “An estimated 40,000 people regularly take part in parkour or freerunning but unlike many other street sports, there are currently very few dedicated parkour facilities in the UK. We hope to change this as it’s perfect for those who may not be interested in conventional sports as it allows them to exercise without competition or judgement.”
Officially opened by Cllr Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder responsible for parks and open spaces, the facility at Wenny Road Recreation Ground will enable both novice and experienced parkour practitioners to practise their skills.
The site’s launch was marked with an open day where professional parkour trainers Team Reality demonstrated their skills and were also on hand to teach local youngsters some of the basic moves involved.
The facility includes equipment known as a spider cage, climbing wall, gibbon swing, precision bars, vault box and vault balls, all surrounded by rubber surfacing. The Lappset Parkour Solutions range will help develop skills such as vaulting, balancing, under-bar and over-bar movements and cat leaps.
Lappset Parkour Solutions was designed in conjunction with parkour professionals and was voted Sports Product of the Year 2010 in Finland, home of Lappset. The range currently comprises 37 products, including five pre-designed courses, and is designed for unsupervised use with accompanying signage to educate users on the basic parkour movements.
For more information on the parkour equipment visit www.lappset.co.uk or search ‘Lappset Parkour Solutions’ on YouTube and Facebook.