To many members of the public, Manchester is viewed as a thriving urban landscape; but to freerunners, like 18-year-old Amy Harcourt, it’s a playground with endless possibilities waiting to be explored.
Parkour is a sport for adrenaline junkies, training in high-risk environments as they jump, flip and slide around any obstacle put in front of them – giving the phrase ‘jumping for joy’ a whole new meaning.
Salford-born freerunner Amy has been honing her parkour skills for the past six years: “What I’ve learnt is talent doesn’t come naturally. You have to work at something to be good at it.”
Despite feeling that society is looking down upon the sport, Amy is eager to end the stigma. “I think the general public look at it as something really weird. It’s got a negative reputation but I think this community really proves that we are just a bunch of young people wanting to have fun.”
The self-proclaimed Parkour addict explained how the local freerunning group Northern Parkour has played a huge role in her growth as an athlete: “Being surrounded by people who have the same interests as you is supportive, because otherwise you can feel alone.”
As a transgender athlete, Amy has felt held-back at times: “I’ve been more scared to succeed. It’s quite terrifying – the thought of winning a competition or getting my name out there, because there is a lot of backlash.”
However, the open-mindedness of the freerunning community has allowed her to feel accepted: “That is why the parkour community is so great; because it kind of surrounds me with like-minded people so I feel like I’m less of an outsider.”
In this male dominated sport, Amy is hoping to push the boundaries further and encourage more people from the LGBTQ+ community to find the confidence that she has found within herself as a result of practicing Parkour.
Amy expressed: “I want to inspire other people to get involved.”