UK Schools Jump at Parkour Classes

Parkour classes are now being introduced to schools across London and the South East of England. The project comes as a bid to stimulate the Physical Education curriculum, engaging with traditionally disruptive pupils and promoting individual body confidence and self discipline.
Parkour emerged in the late 90’s in the Parisian suburbs, and came to fame through impressive acrobatic stunts as seen in films such as Casino Royale and on Youtube. Often described as getting from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible, the physical discipline involves various jumping, vaulting and landing techniques to creatively and safely move in a physical environment. 
The initiative, which started in schools in the Southwark area of London, comes in collaboration with London based freerunning team Run LDN, who coach both primary and secondary school age children. Run LDN coaches Barry He and Greg Ennis head the project, with Barry saying:
“We’ve found that children literally jump at the opportunity to run at an urban obstacle course, indoors or outdoors. Younger children especially tend to naturally interpret objects as playthings in their environment, and so a big part of the appeal comes from teaching them to do things they would normally be told off for doing, though in supervised conditions! It’s also fitting for schools as a very cost effective method of running activities, no equipment is needed at all to run a session.”
Parkour practitioners also claim that the activity is a great way to get fit. Greg then went on to say: “Every obstacle provides a unique challenge, whether it is balancing on a rail or jumping from wall to wall, it works all the major muscle groups as well as improving coordination and confidence. A big satisfaction comes from repetitive training, and being able to do a skill which you were unable to do the previous session.”
This sentiment was echoed by one parent from Southwark: “I have an 8 year old who’s been going for 2 months now. At first I was worried that he would be jumping off high walls and stuff but it’s the only sport he’s ever really got into, and at least now if he falls he can do it safely!”
About Run LDN: Run LDN was established in 2016 as a team and forum for the UK’s diverse parkour practitioners. With the aim of instilling a culture of engaging physical movement into the growing community, the team is notable for achievements in education and the filming industry.
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April 2018