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Level up: The sports helping athletes reach new heights

Parkour, or free running - the combination of sprinting and gymnastics that has seen a boom in popularity over the last ten years.

It's long been regarded as an urban street craze, but now it's officially a sport.

And that's been welcomed by the users of a purpose-built Parkour centre in Milton Keynes, which first opened its doors four years ago.

"Setting up an academy for Parkour was one of my biggest dreams. It wasn't necssary for the Parkour, it's for the fitness side of it. The whole gym is designed around obstacles that can help you challenge the way you move your body."

– Rui De Costa, Paramount Parkour

So how will Parkour develop as a sport, and will this primarily non competitive activity become competitive?

Rui says there's plenty of scope for the sport to develop.

"Some people focus more on getting from A to B. Some people focus more on the flowing and artistic look of it, so in that case it would be judged like dance. And then some poeple focus more on the powerhouse movements, so then again it's a bit more like gymnastics. So I think that's one of the hardest things to figure out is how to judge this."

Gaining recognition by Sport England is one thing. Becoming an Olympic sport is quite another....

Indoor climbing now an official Olympic sport Credit: PA Images

..like climbing which will feature at the games in Tokyo in three years time. A shot in the arm for enthusiasts who hone their skills at height both outdoors and inside.

Its taken climbing a while to achieve Olympic recognition, Parkour enthusiasts hope it'll be more of a sprint for them to achieve their Olympic ideal.

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