A new sport is growing in Fife thanks to the support of a national charity.
Parkour, or freerunning as it is also known, is becoming a recognised sport with competitions, events and official teams around the world.
Fife Parkour Coaching is based in Kirkcaldy and has won the backing of Sported, the UK’s largest Sport for Development charity, which has awarded the group a grant of £7500 to expand their work across Fife and Dundee.
Fife resident Stuart Wilson set up the club in 2012 to teach Parkour to young people in the region and it has been growing in popularity ever since.
“Parkour is a brilliant sport for breaking down barriers to participation and building young people’s confidence,” Stuart explained.
“It encourages humility, respect for others and for one’s environment, community spirit and self-expression.
“We have young people of all ages, sexes and physical abilities attend our classes and flourish as a result.
“Thanks to the support we have received from Sported we will now be able to expand our programme and give even more young people from the Fife and Dundee areas an opportunity to try their hand at this great sport.”
The grant from Sported will be used to fund a new Parkour outreach programme which will see Fife Parkour Coaching deliver two new classes, one in the Menziehill estate in Dundee, the other in Glenrothes in Fife, with the aim of getting more young people involved in the sport.
The project will also enable six young people to gain training qualifications in Parkour coaching, thus increasing the capacity of the club and at the same time creating opportunities for young people to put their newly learnt skills into practice.
As a charity, Sported supports the growth of community clubs that use sport to change the lives of disadvantaged young people through the provision of funding and business-support, most notably its network of volunteer business mentors.
Stuart and Fife Parkour Coaching have themselves been the beneficiaries of a Sported business mentor in the form of Clackmannan resident, Alex Todd, who has been working closely with Stuart over the last six months, supporting him to develop a business and fundraising plan for the group.
Alex explained: “Stuart is the driving force behind Fife Parkour Coaching – I enjoyed working with him and was really impressed with his vision and professionalism.
“He has done an amazing job getting the group established, but they have now reached a point where they need additional coaches to be able to move forwards and grow.
“It’s fantastic and in keeping with the group’s ethos that they are creating opportunities for young people to develop these skills and gain recognised qualifications in the process.
“With the next generation of coaches coming through and with a robust business plan in place, Fife Parkour Coaching has an exciting future ahead.”
John Heraghty, Scotland Manager at Sported, added: “Sported believes in the power of sport to change young lives, so I am delighted that we have been able to support Fife Parkour Coaching through one or our business mentors and now through this grant.
“In a short period of time they have seen demand grow in the Fife area and in Dundee city. The nature of the sport means that it attracts young people who have not shown an interest in sport before or who have become disengaged from mainstream sports such as football and rugby.
“They are making a massive difference to the local community and this project will mean that more even more young people will benefit from their work.”
Fife Parkour Coaching currently runs Parkour classes in Anstruther, Cowdenbeath, Dundee, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Lochgelly and Methil.
For further details please visit www.fifeparkour.co.uk.