First urban sports centre for Leeds set to open featuring city’s only dedicated parkour park

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A new urban sports centre is under construction aimed at giving activities like parkour a purpose-built home in Leeds.

The Level Up Academy, in Lockwood Court, Beeston, is an 8,000sqft sports centre featuring a full-size sprung floor, a 4,000sqft modular parkour park, trampolines, a tumble track and foam pit.

An artist's impression of the Level Up Academy's finished interior.

An artist's impression of the Level Up Academy's finished interior.

Set to open in late February or early March, the centre will become the only purpose-built hub for sports like French free running craze parkour, cheerleading and breakdancing in Leeds and one of the only centres in northern England.

The not-for-profit community interest company is the brainchild of a trio of Leeds-based men passionate about urban sports, who want to bring affordable alternative pursuits to young people in West Yorkshire.

Martin Wan, one of the directors at the Level Up Academy, explained that cheerleading troupes Genesis Cheer and White Rose Cheer are already using the space which will soon be open to allcomers.

He said: “Physical activity is a great way of raising people’s aspirations and that was the base of our funding and objectives.

Jim Key and Martin Wan, directors of the Level Up Academy, with Coun Angela Gabriel (Lab, Beeston and Holbeck). Picture by James Hardisty.

Jim Key and Martin Wan, directors of the Level Up Academy, with Coun Angela Gabriel (Lab, Beeston and Holbeck). Picture by James Hardisty.

“Parkour’s core philosophy is about an individual’s development and making use of what you have around you and that connects quite well with the kind of personal and community development we want to be part of here.”

Joinery and plastering students from Leeds College of Building have been helping with the renovation of the building, which is a warehouse near to the John Charles Centre for Sport. In return students will be able to access the facilities as part of the college’s enrichment programme.

The Level Up Academy, which has been issued Big Lottery grant funding, will work with a series of partners to offer coaching and courses and is appealing to local groups to help it reach more people.

For further details visit golevelup.co.uk.