A Salford community project is holding weekly parkour lessons for young people as an alternative to engaging in antisocial behaviour.
Colin Richardson, the active community development officer at Sayo Sparky, believes parkour lessons could keep children from getting involved in crime.
He said: “It’s risk taking within a controlled environment. And also, it’s legal risk taking as opposed to illegal risk taking.”
Adam ‘Smithy’ Smith who runs the sessions is one of only two Level 2 parkour instructors in Greater Manchester.
He has been doing parkour for nine years and coaches various ages through his company, Project Z Parkour.
Mr Smith said: “These classes are great for kids because it helps build their confidence, not just in movement of the body but mentally as well.”
He believes the freedom with parkour is “unlike any other sport”.
The children learn everything from basic parkour movements all the way up to more advanced tricks and flips.
The classes also allow children to meet new friends and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Mr Richardson said: “It’s excellent exercise for them. It’s an all over body exercise so you’re not just concentrating on one part. It’s balance, control, strength.
“The instructors will also talk to the young people about their nutrition and what they need to be doing with regards to eating and drinking.”
Sayo Sparky is a young person’s project which has been running for nearly 20 years in the areas of Orton, Langworthy, Claremont and Weaste in Salford.
It hosts after school any holiday activities for children aged five and above.
Mr Richardson said:
“The best part of my job is creating things such as parkour, roller disco, and climbing wall experiences that we put on for people and then watching the young people enjoy that experience and grow from it.”
Sayo Sparky will also be hosting activities at Oasis Academy School during the February 2020 half term holidays.