Work on a new £90,000 parkour facility in The Walks is set to begin in early September once the school holidays have finished.

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The facility, which will dramatically enchance the provision for parkour and free running in the east of England, has been made possible thanks to funding from WREN.

David Pope, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for assets, said: “Parkour is becoming increasingly popular with young people and at the moment there are few bespoke facilities around for them to practise their sport. The design of this scheme has been influenced by parkour enthusiasts and has been amended following comments from the Friends of the Walks so that it fits in with its surroundings in the historic park.”

He added: “It’s in the ideal location as it will be easy for people to access if they are coming in by bus or train and it will encourage people in to The Walks.”

Parkour is a sport which particularly appeals to teenagers and the skills involved are not dissimilar to those used by gymnasts – strength, balance, co-ordination and speed. It is hoped that people will go along to The Walks to watch the spectacle of people performing parkour.

Elizabeth Nockolds, council cabinet member for wellbeing, added: “Over its history The Walks has been used for a number of diverse activities and I am delighted that we are introducing another new activity to follow the tradition.

“Parkour is an exciting and thrilling sport to watch and one that requires a great deal of athletic ability. I hope it will encourage people to take up sporting activities as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.”

The King’s Lynn Free Runners have been working closely with West Norfolk Council to develop this scheme and many of their ideas have been incorporated into the final design by Freemove, the company contracted to build the park.

A King’s Lynn Free Runners spokesperson said: “The new parkour park is going to be suitable for people of all ages and for users of all abilities.

“We’ll be offering coaching sessions to encourage people to try the sport and entertainment by showing people what parkour is all about and what we can do.

“We are absolutely delighted to be involved in this project and hope that people will come along to see our skills once it’s built and to see what a positive, proactive bunch we are.”

Peter Cox, managing director of WREN, added: “WREN is committed to funding projects that make a real difference to local communities.

“This is only the third Parkour system which we have funded in the UK, and will provide a fantastic space for those interested in free-running to have some fun.

“We’re delighted to support the Borough Council to make this happen and look forward to its completion.”

Work is set to commence on the project in early September and it is hoped that all works will be complete within four weeks.

In readiness for the opening of the new parkour park, a series of classes are being held at the King’s Lynn Discovery Centre with coaching led by the King’s Lynn Free Running team.

The opening session, which takes place on September 22, between 6.30pm and 8.00pm, is free of charge and open to people aged 8 years and over. After the opening session, classes will cost £2.50 per person, per session.

For more information about the Parkour classes contact the sports development team on 01553 818018 or visit the King’s Lynn Free Runners website at www.klfr.co.uk.

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