Kingsland Primary School is an outstanding rated SEN school in Wakefield, Yorkshire, which caters for children with a range of learning disabilities. They asked HAGS to design and build play areas for each of their two sites.
22/01/2019 15:42:00Case Study Details
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Build a Parkour Park with HAGS
Parkour, also referred to as Freerunning, is a training discipline that focuses on developing the body and mind through movement, challenge and exploration. It combines running, jumping, climbing and rolling movements to enable a practitioner to overcome any obstacle in his or her path.
Parkour or freerunning is a fun and creative activity in which people of all ages, genders and abilities can participate. Practitioners explore their capabilities using any architecture available, constantly exploring to find new challenges and ways to adaptto their surroundings.
Parkour was started in France in the 1980s by a group of young men who called themselves Yamakasi. This group of friends took their childhood games and blended them with influences from the martial arts, military training, natural methods of physical fitness, etc, to develop parkour over a number of years. It had a wide and varied set of influences, but its core principles were to challenge oneself always, physically and mentally, to discover one’s own true potential.
Benefits of Parkour
Parkour is a highly advanced form of physical activity and therefore assists in combating cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancers. Physical activity in combination with a healthy balanced diet has a direct relationship with helping to prevent obesity or persons being overweight. The effect of physical activity on psychological wellbeing has been well documented to show a positive relationship. An increase in self-confidence and overall wellbeing can also have a positive impact on learning.
Parkour is proven to have a direct impact on reducing antisocial behaviour, as the discipline encourages cooperation between practitioners and fosters a sense of community.
A Parkour Training Facility is a positive use of an existing space and can enhance any existing facilities whether it is a play or fitness area. Parkour encourages community building, social inclusion, breaking down cultural barriers and gender stereotyping. With the risks and legal implications involved in practicing parkour on private property a Parkour Training Facility provides a space for practitioners both new and experienced to practice parkour in a controlled and safe environment.
What should a Parkour training facility include?
Constructed from steel and concrete, a Parkour Training Facility should offer as much variation in physical challenge as possible. Designed to recreate urban environments, they generally consist of a mixture of steel frame elements, steel bars, concrete walls, concrete platforms, rubber step posts and natural elements.
Signage is optional in a Parkour Training Facility, however we can provide you withexamples of signage and suggestions of what to include in one. We recommend that the information boards should provide an emergency contact, the site address, the contact of the owner and operator, and some health and safety guidelines.
For up to 3.0m high elements we recommend the following specifications of surfacing to comply with BS EN 1177 as long as it is not in conflict with the usability:
- Eco Surface recycled bound rubber mulch with the relevant critical fall height.
- Safergrass – Grass mats with the relevant critical fall height.
Other surfacing can be used but may be in conflict with the overall usability of the Parkour Training Facility.
Our Parkour elements and bespoke facilities
We provide pre-fabricated and bespoke Parkour training facilities, developed in collaboration with Parkour coaches and practitioners.
Health and safety requirements
Our range complies with the European standard for Parkour EN 16899 and every product or facility is independently risk assessed.
Our Parkour training facilities mainly consist of a mixture of steel frame elements, steel bars, concrete walls, concrete platforms and rubber step posts. Other materials and natural elements may be used in the construction of a facility.
Our parkour elements are usually maintenance-free. We do recommend however that a routine visual inspection is carried out monthly, operational inspection carried out quarterly and an Annual main inspection is carried out to ensure the safety and longevity of our Parkour parks.