Parkour able to bid for government funds after officially being recognised as a sport
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Parkour able to bid for government funds after officially being recognised as a sport

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Parkour will be eligible to bid for government and National Lottery funding after the UK became the first country to officially recognise the activity as a sport.

The Home Country Sports Councils – made up of Sport England, Sport Wales, sportscotland and Sport Northern Ireland – approved Parkour UK’s application of recognition.

Also known as freerunning or Art du Deplacement, parkour is a “non-competitive physical discipline” which sees people run, jump and climb through any terrain available.

It promotes functional strength and fitness, balance, spatial awareness, agility and coordination.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch made the announcement alongside the founder of the sport Sebastien Foucan.

“I want people to get out there and find the sport and physical activity that appeals to them and parkour is a fun, creative and innovative option,” said Crouch.

The sport has a number of initiative, such as Parkour for Mental Health, Parkour for Older People and Family Parkour, which speak to ambitions laid out in the government sport strategy, unveiled by Crouch last year, such as combating inactivity and health problems.

Eugene Minogue, chief executive of Parkour UK – the body established in 2009 - said the sport had come a long way since it made its way to the UK in 2003.

“We have built a qualified workforce of more than 600 people, we have led the development of a British, and now European standard for parkour equipment. As a result, there are now more than 50 parkour parks across the UK,” he said.

“All this in just over seven years is an amazing achievement and testament to the unique and diverse parkour community in the UK, which is world-leading.”

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Parkour will be eligible to bid for government and National Lottery funding after the UK became the first country to officially recognise the activity as a sport.
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Parkour has been present in the UK since 2003, with the governing body being formed in 2009 / wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com
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