News urban acrobatics Parkour has been officially recognised as a sport could propel a Preston-based group to new heights.
Street Monkeys, which is based at Energi Trampoline Park in Preston and operates in leisure centres across South Ribble, is now looking to expand into school academies and attracting new equipment funding.
Director Sean Delaney said: “We’ve done a lot of work with Blackburn Youth Zone and Wigan Youth Zone. We’ve grown a lot and now we’re hoping to create a school academy.
“When you look into it there’s lots of evidence showing it keeps kids focused and determined, because its new and different. We’ve heard a lot of real-life stories about the behaviour of kids changing.
“The problem we’ve had is we’ve struggled to get funding because Parkour hasn’t been recognised as a sport. So we’ve had limited space and equipment. We can go somewhere where there’s a horse block that’s 30 years old and a trampette that’s unusable. It’s difficult to engage with that.
“People think we’re gymnasts, but we’re completely different, and we need different equipment.”
Recently Street Monkeys has struck a deal with Accrington-based Gymnnova to develop free-running equipment, which will involve two free van-fulls of apparatus that can be taken into schools.
Sean added: “This is the next big step for us and we’re looking for schools to approach us.
“We can make it completely bespoke. It’s been a hard slog, but this is a really exciting time.”
Street Monkeys has 1,000 students across Lancashire aged from six to 19.
Anyone interested in the school academy should call 01772 440401.