A Parkour experience launched by Freedom Leisure and Crawley Borough Council has won the ‘Active Sussex Sportivate Project of the Year Award’ at the prestigious Sussex Sports Awards which were held on Friday November 21st at The Grand Hotel, Brighton.
Now in its 12th year and organised by Active Sussex, the event welcomed back regular host, BBC Sussex DJ Danny Pike, who was this year joined by special guest, former freestyle and butterfly swimmer Mark Foster, who provided attendees with inspiration tales of his own sporting success. Amongst the evening’s entertainment was a Commonwealth Parade which welcomed some of Sussex’s top athletes including Lucy Wood from Crawley who won a silver medal in the Hockey at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The titled ‘Sportivate Crawley Parkour’ experience provided unique access to an activity that is popular with young people but still unknown in mainstream culture. Utilising Crawley’s outdoor Parkour facility during summer and the gymnasium at K2 Crawley during winter, participants were taught key Parkour skills; safe, efficient, fluid movement combining mental discipline, spatial awareness and confidence.
Parkour is an emerging activity and practised by individuals who don’t engage with team sports. This means engaging and sustaining attendance is difficult. This project was able to engage with 54 participants, with a core group of 34 attending workshops; including nine female participants and 16 male participants aged 14+. The high numbers, consistent attendance and sustained interest led to 25 young people attending summer drop-in sessions and a summer holiday workshop in 2014. Regular and committed attendance by participants is demonstrated as the forthcoming autumn programme of workshops reached capacity within 48hrs of being promoted.
Freedom Leisure and Crawley Borough Council’s strong and successful partnership has enabled all-year round provision, by sharing venues. Further successful partnerships have been forged with one of the UK’s leading Parkour providers - Brighton-based Urban Playground Team (assisting with sessions) - and Parkour UK (facilitating Young Parkour Leader training workshop and level 1 accredited coaching course).
Sadie Mason MBE, Active Sussex Chief Executive said: “I would like to congratulate both Freedom Leisure and Crawley Borough Council on their wonderful achievement this year. The awards ceremony rewards quality, achievement, determination and commitment to those involved in sport across the county. Hearing their stories was truly inspirational and they are a credit to their sports and themselves. I hope that the winners, and of course all of those shortlisted, use this as a platform to push-on and strike gold throughout 2015 and continue to inspire more people to get involved in sport.”