Check out this story from Children & Young People Now:
Youth groups struggle to meet demand for free-running craze
Youth groups are battling to keep up with young people’s demand for free running because of a lack of professional guidance.
Free running, or parkour, is the practice of jumping obstacles in the surrounding environment, such as walls, buildings and rocks.
The activity is growing in popularity but is not officially recognised by Sport England and currently has no national governing body, which means youth groups setting up parkour projects are struggling to get help or guidance.
Neil Ramshaw, sports development officer at Newcastle City Council, said he wanted to set up a parkour club because of its growing popularity but a lack of guidelines was getting in the way.
“The problem is that there’s no national governing body for parkour,” he said. “We have bodies for football and rugby and there are networks for qualifications that you can go through in order to be able to lead an activity. But there isn’t one for parkour because it’s such a new concept.”
Liz Lee, chair of Sussex regeneration project Regen, is helping to set up the UK’s first dedicated free running site. She said guidelines would soon be needed because of the cult following of the sport, popularised recently in the film Casino Royale.
“Parkour is really taking off,” she said. “Councils will need to open clubs and more people will be looking to do a qualification in parkour training.”
A spokeswoman for Sport England, the government agency responsible for community sport, said it had received no applications from any groups asking for parkour to be recognised as a sport.
I recall stuff like this happening in my bboy and skating (youth) days… kids wanted to train, yet schools and youth centres couldn’t accomodate it, because… well um.. because of… uhh… what was it again? … uhh.. yeah organisation, research contacts and cash.
You and me all know that sorting a session out of this type for kids is a piece of cake, research your chosen field and local area to find a decent respected peer that the kids respect and look up to and arrange (with a cash incentive) for that person or crew to come and session with the kids for a few days and everyone goes home happy. That’s what should happen. What actually happens, is clearance for a facility is required (taking months), health and safety is required (months), parental permission is saught (weeks), a training document or ‘course’ is needed (months), adult attendee’s and trainers require to be CRB checked (months)… maybe the St Johns Ambulance would be called into attend? Dempgraphics will need to be measured, forms filled out, and post session reports completed.
What a nightmare. But is it all worth it? damn right. The kids will never forget it, if the right traceurs and free runners are found and brought in. I hope they can sort something out. But as for Liz Lee setting up the UKs first dedicated free running site…. uhh… c’mon lady (I hope you’ve been misquoted), please do you homework, because that already existed long before you ever thought about it.
Anyways… Freerunners and traceurs? Get organised and get paid, there’s money being made available if you can structure a decent session for kids to learn. Not rocket science is it?