Local traceurs from Havering have succeeded in managing to work alongside their council (London Borough of Havering), and Freemove to get a brand new state of the art outdoor parkour facility. The group of young traceurs originally had issues with not enough nearby facilities to practise parkour and wanted to have somewhere safe, and gave likeminded individuals the opportunity to learn, and build parkour skills.
Lead youth facilitation manager Richard Young, worked with the parkour group, to meet with the council and demonstrate the growing need for a dedicated parkour facility for the Havering area.
The local young traceurs, designed and printed a survey and had 108 respondents. The results were positive as 93 people`s responses ranging from those who would be interested in learning Parkour, to people who practiced it every day. Previous parkour installations were considered when deciding upon design concepts, and suitable parks in Havering for the installation were deliberated.
The group decided on Central Park, a local park which already has facilities for play. However there was nowhere for traceurs to practice in a safe, purpose built environment.
Susan Tidey, Youth worker for LB Havering, said about working with the local traceurs (Connor, Ryan and Shane) “We were really impressed with these young men because they had done research on different sites that they enjoyed using and had many good reasons why Havering should invest in the building of a Parkour park”.
Freemove helped the council and user group set up a consultation with two parts. The initial meeting consisted of gaining ideas and finding out what traceurs wanted to achieve from their parkour facility. This ensured a facility was designed which met the needs of the users who wanted it there.
The second consultation event invited traceurs to select which designs they would like to see in Central park, as well as having a demonstration from Parkour Generations on the Freemove portable parkour equipment. This was a great opportunity to interact with the traceurs and ensure the design chosen met their needs, along with experienced input from Parkour Generations, who were designing the structure.
Following these consultations, Freemove got to work. Now the installation will be finished by the end of March, with and exciting opening event lined up! There will be demonstrations, and coaching from world renowned Parkour Generations, as well as representatives from Freemove, and giveaways for all attendees.
A member of the core group, Shane, made the following comments on this incredible journey: ‘I simply cannot believe the feat we have achieved, the Parkour Park will serve as remarkable facility for the community in Havering and create a lasting legacy in Harold Hill. As a team of devoted practitioners, we recognise the impact this event will have on young people locally and for those that will inevitably travel to visit. We offer our undying gratitude to Susan, Bill, Richard, and Martin for enabling us create an area for people to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of Parkour, young or old’.
The opening event which will be held on the 10th April, will include attendance from Freemove partners, Parkour Generations who will be offering coaching. It’s sure to be a great day, so don’t miss out!