The Strand in Medway
CLIENT: Medway Council
PROJECT: To design and install new parkour equipment and safety surfacing on a former pitch and putt site in Gillingham, Kent.
Medway Council set out a public tender opportunity for a Parkour park. The facility would be located on a former pitch and putt site within the grounds of The Strand Leisure Centre in Gillingham.
We felt the area was an ideal space for a facility of this type, as it also allowed room for expansion should future funding become available.
Upon being successfully awarded the project, Natural Sports were keen to meet with the local community to discuss our designs further. It was important that we installed a facility that was going to create interest but more importantly be a challenging facility for practitioners of all ages.
During our first project meeting, we were introduced to John-Daniel Scullion ‘Skully’, a local coach and the owner of Retraceuring steps. Skully had been training in Parkour for over 16 years and was coaching people of all ages. It was his passion to promote Parkour and most importantly have a facility installed in his hometown.
When designing the facility, the only area we thought could be restrictive was the height limit of 2.5m. We felt this could take away some of the challenge for some of the more experienced practitioners. However, the attraction of Parkour is being able to adapt to the surroundings and the obstacle’s that are situated before them. We were able to overcome this by making some elements of the facility more technical. We also ensured that the facility had good flow lines, allowing practitioners of varying levels to find different routes around the facility.
We listened to Skully’s views from a coaching perspective and were able to be be flexible with the design and reposition some of the elements to be specific to meet the needs of the local Parkour community.
We produced a facility that not only challenges a practitioner’s physical abilities but also their mental abilities. Not only overcoming or breaking jumps but also to find new challenging routes.
“Parkour has made a big difference to the community; it has now been accepted and I feel that the hard work that has been applied has really cemented that parkour is important – it’s been amazing. It has taken me a long time to get the backing and support to be able to work with the council to achieve this. We are seeing lots of new people attend the park. I’m so happy – thank you Natural Sports.”John-Daniel Scullion, Retraceuring Steps