Grimsby's first parkour facility opens today

An example of someone practising Parkour Photo: ITV News

A parkour facility - the first within an 80 mile radius - will open in North East Lincolnshire today.

Parkour is the art of "forward movement". It's a method of physical training that develops one's ability to overcome obstacles physically and mentally. It's sometimes frowned upon as a "hooligan's sport" - but local coaches are keen to change the perception.

He said: "People wrongly perceive it as a risk-taking sport pursued by hooligans, but it is more about using spaces in the environment which are rarely used.

"Parkour and free-running is the top most watched sport on the web. It is used in a lot of films and adverts.

"It is a growing sport and becoming more accessible. It helps reduce the number of young people becoming obese and lead healthier lifestyles."

The £57,000 facility is at the Duke of York Gardens in Grimsby.

Plans have been in place for for the last two years. The council's Specialist Health Promotion Service and local Parkour group, Team Reality, have worked with the community, councillors and other professionals to develop the project and gain funding from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd) and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside Police.

Parkour itself has been developing locally for around seven years. The number of local participants, aged between 8 and 25, more than doubled last year from around 60 in 2011 to 150 in 2012. The majority train at least twice per week at community sessions and outdoors.

Local consultation amongst communities, local organisations and practitioners saw an over whelming response for the need of such a facility. We are delighted that the young people who practice parkour now have a purpose built facility, and look forward to it going from strength to strength.

– Councillor Ros James, portfolio holder for Housing and Wellbeing