Flipping between buildings and practising their moves in city streets, the Street Monkeys have been free running in Preston for the last three years. SARAH FIELDEN finds out more
Dismissed by some as antisocial, the talented Street Monkeys use urban acrobatics to get from A to B.
Now the group has launched an academy in Leyland, to encourage youngsters to join the latest craze.
Team manager Sean Delaney said they hoped the academy would teach people something new.
He said: “There’s no competition involved in free running. The aim of our sessions is that everybody learns something new, becomes more self-confident, or learns to work as a team. It’s not all about doing a flip.
“The line we go along is don’t try and be better than everyone else, try and better yourself.”
The team has worked on music videos and product launches, and now has a qualification to coach free running.
They have launched an academy in Leyland, which runs on Friday evenings in Leyland leisure centre.
Sean, 28, said the academy was trying to make free running and Parkour accessible to people.
He said: “The coaching really is going to be the key for us. We’ve had a lot of interest in it and it is growing and growing daily.
“We are looking at going into Penwortham leisure centre as well.”
He said the academy also aimed to get young people off the streets.
Sean said: “We want to go out and work with local people and get out there and in the community, and bring those young people in off the streets and give them something.
“We aim to show them that, with focus and determination, you can achieve anything.
“These guys were called anti-social a few years ago, and now they are working with Example and Sony Music.
“Kids really don’t want to go and play pool in a youth club any more, they want something completely different.
“We want to inspire young people that, although it’s hard out there, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
Sean said he had been involved with the Street Monkeys for about three years.
He said: “We don’t do gymnastics, and this year is really about educating people about the difference between gymnastics and free running.
“It is more about the efficiency of getting from A to B, looking at an area like a town centre and getting across that as efficiently as possible.”
He added: “Our sessions are coached, so a lot of people who do free-style gymnastics go and do what they want, but we do a structured, coached lesson.
“You’re being trained by professional free runners. We’ve not only got the qualification, we do it as a job as well and we’ve got so much passion.”