Orange's very own parkour park could be closer than you think and Conor England would be a big reason why.
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The topic was discussed at an Orange City Council meeting on November 7, where the Central West Gymsports worker gave an impassioned speech about why it could be a vital addition to town.
Speaking to the Central Western Daily afterwards, Mr England - who is part of a group trying to make this dream a reality - believed a park of this nature would be of huge benefit to the community.
"There's a big problem in Orange at the moment which I've noticed that there isn't enough for teens to do," he said.
"If you look on the council's strategic plan, they have clearly laid out they need more for teens to do."
Mr England grew up in Mudgee before he moved to Newcastle and then Orange two years ago.
Although he has a big gymnastics background, he gravitated towards parkour during year eight at high school because "pointing the toes and pretty dancing styles" weren't his forte.
"Parkour is great because there's no physical boundaries and unfortunately for gymnastics there is," he said.
Now, through his work at Central West Gymsports, he helps children learn parkour in a safe environment.
"The point of training them properly is for when they go out and do it themselves," Mr England added.
"It's about learning how to do it respectfully and safely."
But training costs money and that can be a roadblock for many wanting to get into the sport.
That's when Mr England had the idea of building a parkour park at the at the abandoned netball courts next to Moulder Park.
"Considering that most teens make their way into the city after school anyway, this would be a great option to them," he said.
Not only would the park be a place where people of all ages could access during the week, should they raise enough money to get the program off the ground, Mr England himself plans to run training sessions on Sundays free of charge.
"I'm at a point now where I'd like to do that in my community," he said.
"I know that if we get something that's free of access and no charge to entry then there will be more people doing it."
An investigation into the viability of building a parkour park at the abandoned netball courts was unanimously greenlit by councillors at the November 7 meeting.
Mr England wants to be able to help as many people learn the sport as he can.
"I don't want there to be a barrier to entry, because there shouldn't be," he added.
"Parkour is great as an athletic sport, but the things that come out of it with the community building are better."
The group is now trying to raise enough money for designs of a potential park to be created. If built, it would be the only park of its kind this side of the Blue Mountains.
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