For kids who climb trees…
It’s Sunday morning at Airborn Academy and in front of me unfolds an inspiring and innovative set of classes. The kids taking part are all eager to get going as the parents hand them over and take a step back for the warm up to begin. It is no secret that we should all be aspiring to a healthy lifestyle for ourselves and our families but how to embed fitness into kids schedule when they don’t have a passion for the more obvious sports can be tricky.
In front of me today groups of young people are being allowed to run, jump, vault, flip and tumble all over the space as they take part in structured Freerunning sessions. The manager of Airborn Sarah Needham comments how for a kid who loves to climb trees this place is a haven! All around us is risk, danger and challenge but it is managed with expertise and control. The Freerunning coaches all hold World Freerunning Parkour Federation Certification ensuring their practice is as safe as it can be.
The classes encourage young people to push themselves outside their comfort zone whilst improving their fitness and all over you can see the reward of them doing so. The youngest group of 4-5 year olds are led across Modublox, a purpose-built Parkour obstacle course of varying heights, taking it in turns to jump from one to the other and back to the floor. For a moment a young boy who is part of the class considers the jump, you see him weighing up the risk, wondering whether he can make it. To us the leap looks small, but to him it’s a huge step. For a minute I expect him to retreat, he looks at Ant the instructor and back at the jump. Ant holds out his hand without saying a word and the boy takes it and makes the leap. It was a tiny moment I was lucky to witness amidst the other business going on around us but it summed up the value of the sport, even for kids as young as 4 and 5. Seeing this happen helped me to understand how Freerunning creates a positive mindset where reasonable risk is followed by reward.
On my first visit to Airborn Ant, one of the owners, told me my initiation was to drop from a platform into the airbag… 6 weeks after giving birth I let my sensible head get the better of me and opted for the safe response ‘maybe next time’. I left Airborn that day kicking myself for not taking the plunge and will be back to keep my promise soon!
Still not sure exactly what Freerunning is…? Watch this- https://www.airbornacademy.com/freerunning/