What The Hell Is Parkour?! Here's All You Need To Know About The UK's Newest Official Sport

Heard of it yet?

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It's best known for the breathtaking free running sequence at the start of Casino Royale, but now anyone can get involved with parkour.

The UK has become the first country to officially recognise parkour - or free running - as a sport from today.

Governing body Parkour UK says participants can "take part whenever and wherever they want" in the sport founded in France in the 1980s by a group of nine men.

Originally named l'art du deplacement, participants are required to "move freely over and through any terrain using only the abilities of the body".

If you're interested in getting started, Evolve Manchester welcomes newcomers to the sport.

Their website explains: "The art of Parkour engages the whole body and is a fantastic non competitive sport which helps users to improve their perception of risk and manage risk well."

Parkour UK says it "encourages self-improvement on all levels, revealing one's physical and mental limits while simultaneously offering ways to overcome them".

Freerunning has been adopted as a name to appeal to English language audiences.

And thanks to the president of Parkour UK Sebastien Foucan, most of us will at least be familiar with the death-defying stunts.

Foucan appeared in the Daniel Craig-starring Casino Royal as Mollaka, where the air conduct an elaborate chase through a building site and along a crane arm.

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Foucan told the BBC: "We celebrate activity and playfulness whilst constantly challenging our mental and physical limits. It is more than just jumping, it is a health driven way of life."

It's not without controversy, as many believe the sport can be dangerous, a fact backed up say critics by the death of prominent freerunner Nye Newman on New Year's Day.

The 17-year-old's parkour group, Brewman, says he died in an accident on the Paris Metro, but denied he was train surfing at the time.

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Written By

Kirstie McCrum

Chatty horror movie buff with a love for languages and puppies. Manchester blow-in who loves the city completely.