Lift-off in the park

Jumping Group: Members of the group of young people pictured in Endcliffe Park.

Jumping Group: Members of the group of young people pictured in Endcliffe Park.

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AN ENERGETIC group of young people want to add another dimension to Endcliffe Park.

They have launched a petition in the hope of being able to launch themselves in a corner of the park – practising skills such as jumping, vaulting, handstands, rolling, flips and climbing.

Jumpers: Members of the group of young people pictured in Endcliffe Park.  In the foreground are l/r: Tom Cottam, Omar, Ahmed and Ali Saricicek.

Jumpers: Members of the group of young people pictured in Endcliffe Park. In the foreground are l/r: Tom Cottam, Omar, Ahmed and Ali Saricicek.

Followers of the discipline of Parkour, the group of 14-to-23-year-olds are gathering public support with a view to also getting the council and the police on their side.

“What we really need is a set of bars and walls,” said Ahmed Saricicek, aged 20. “There is nowhere for people to develop their skills.”

Developed as an ‘Art of Movement’ in France in the 1980s, and sometimes described as freerunning, enthusiasts often aim to develop their balance, strength and dynamism in an urban environment, using precincts and public buildings.

However, the result in Sheffield is that they tend to find themselves being moved on by civic ambassadors, security staff or caretakers, said Ahmed, adding: “We can’t train anywhere.”

He said there were more than 100 enthusiasts in Sheffield – up to 15 are keen to have a special area in Endcliffe Park.

The petition attracted more than 500 signatures in one day.

Ahmed, who works at the Pullins fairground rides in Endcliffe Park and at the boating lake in Millhouses Park, said the activity “gets rid of people’s negative energy. If we build this, it would be something to focus on and it would reduce any trouble in the park.”

Jon Pullin, who runs the fairground rides, has donated £100 to start the ball rolling and the young people have the full support of his father, Bob, who has recently been given a five-year lease to continue the fairground business in Endcliffe Park after the backing of a big community campaign.

“They are a group of young people who are training in acrobatics and they are phenomenal,” said Bob.

“They are young people wanting to do something positive and healthy.”

He hopes the council, the police and the voluntary group, the Friends of Porter Valley, will support them.

lA duck race organised on Easter Monday by the Friends of Porter Valley raised more than £6,400 for the restoration of the Shepherd Wheel.

Hundreds of plastic ducks were released into the river, with people who bought winning ducks receiving prizes donated by businesses.