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Last Updated: Friday, 3 September, 2004, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Free runners star in extreme film
Parkour boy
Free running is growing fast in Cambridge
A group of young people in Cambridge is to star in a new film about the latest urban fitness craze, Parkour.

This is the art of free running across buildings and walls.

It is enjoying such a surge of popularity in Cambridge a film has been made and it will premier next month at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse.

Those taking part in the sport call themselves traceurs reflecting the roots of the sport which was invented and developed by David Belle in Paris.

Artist Beverley Carpenter decided to capture the skill and excitement of this extreme sport in Cambridge by taking photos and shooting video.

Breaking restrictions

The results are now part of an exhibition at Cambourne Business Park.

Traceur Owen Covil of Cambridge said: "Parkour is about self improvement - you apply it to your life and there is a whole philosophy behind it.

We take up new challenges and find new routes and explore different ideas
Traceur Owen Covil
"People just walk through the city and they don't think at all about the landscape they just get channelled through by the roads and paths.

"We try to break the restrictions that are around us.

"We take up new challenges and find new routes and explore different ideas. And try to keep your mind open. Parkour helps you do this."

The key objective of parkour is to create a 'run' where a series of obstacles are overcome in a creative, athletic, fluid and acrobatic manner.

The runs are typically composed of jumps, vaults, aerial spins, and wall runs, but the only real limit is the ability and creativity of the traceur.

Parkour in the UK came to attention largely as the result of a BBC promotional film, Rush Hour.

This featured Frenchman David Belle who wanted an innovative way to exercise when he moved to a Paris suburb and so he started the extreme sport.


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