One expert in parkour, or free-running, has made plans to bring the sport to Cornwall for the first time ever.
It is, as instructor and parkour lover Dom Brown described it: “Getting from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Traditionally, this takes the form of running, jumping and sometimes flipping between buildings as a form of travel.
Bude isn’t renowned for its urban areas, but that isn’t stopping Dom, who wants to set up a permanent parkour centre in the town.
Dom explained: “I’ve been doing it for about 13 years now. I started when I was a kid — when it was not such a well-known sport.
“I taught parkour as an after-school club at Budehaven school, but COVID put a stop to that.
“This new one will, I think, be the first parkour club in Cornwall.”
Dom, who lives in Barnstaple, said he has done parkour in Bude before — and has friends from the town who do it too.
To get his idea off the ground, he needs to secure funding for expensive practice and safety equipment.
He will not be advocating for anybody to actually go running around the rooftops of Bude, and will be pushing people away from getting into parkour the way he did: “When I was younger, we started off trying to recreate stuff from the TV show Jackass. We’d go down steep hills, and do jumps.
“I’ve been places I shouldn’t be, but I would never promote that to kids.”
For the centre, Dom needs crash mats, stride blocks, and other equipment to teach the sport of parkour, which he said is also a fantastic form of exercise.
“People who do gymnastics get it like that, others like me have to train for ages,” he said. “Parkour is a whole-body workout, and is especially good for upper body.
“It’s great for kids, too. Parents don’t want their children jumping over sofas or on the beds, so this can be a way for them to get it out of their system.”
Dom has plans to buy a unit in Bude, kit it out with parkour equipment, and invite anyone — no matter how experienced — to learn and practise the sport with him later this year.
He works for Limitless, a parkour company based in Barnstaple, and said he will bring his experience from there to the town — and to Cornwall for the first time.