UK becomes first country to recognise Parkour as a sport

The UK has become the first country in the world to officially recognise parkour as a sport.

Parkour, also known as freerunning or art du deplacement, involves negotiating terrain using only the natural strength of one’s body, principally through running, jumping and climbing surrounding features.

Recognition from all five UK sports councils, including Sport England, means organisations such as Parkour UK, which led the initial application for its recognition in 2009, will now be able to apply for government grants and National Lottery funding.

Eugene Minogue, the chief executive of Parkour UK, said in an interview with the Guardian: “Recognition is a thing in its own right and that is what we are celebrating today, that the sport has been recognised as a sport. That’s no mean feat.

“Yes, it does give us the ability to apply for funding, and there are a number of other benefits that come out of it, but the biggest thing for us is how it will give the public an understanding of what parkour is and what benefits it has.”

Tracey Crouch, the minister for sport, welcomed the announcement. She said: “I want people to get out there and find the sport and physical activity that appeals to them and parkour is certainly a fun, creative and innovative option.

“I am pleased that it has been recognised as a sport, giving it the platform for further growth in this country, with Parkour UK as its governing body. The sport promotes movement and using the great outdoors as a space to get active in, and I encourage people to don their trainers and give it a go.”

The sport has often been deemed controversial since its inception in the late 1980s as a result of some participants’ use of techniques to scale urban structures without the aid of safety ropes.

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