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The Parkour group dividing opinion

The Shelley Fountain aside, nothing divides opinion in Horsham town centre quite like the Horsham Movement. This collective of young men aged 16-20 practice the art of Parkour, a form of urban free running which involves jumping, swinging, climbing and vaulting.

Visually, it’s enormously impressive, and the Movement’s awe-inspiring sequences (you can search Horsham Movement on Youtube and view one of their excellently compiled videos) are magnificent to behold.
But it’s also something of a guilty pleasure.

For every one person who stops and smiles, there’s another that looks on in disdain. Skateboarders benefit from a purpose built facility in Horsham Park, but we can hardly build an artificial town centre for the benefit of a few free runners. Imagine the risk assessment form at Horsham District Council!

So instead they ply their trade around us. And needless to say, some don’t like them using the Carfax bandstand or St Mark’s Church as a somersaulting platform, and few would invite them to jump along the walls of their own home or business.

Which is why, during this shoot for AAH, it took about seven minutes for the police to arrive. Are the Movement simply victims of a society threatened by teenagers, unfairly tagged with claims of anti social behaviour while simply attempting to do what they love doing Or do they invite trouble with their choices of jump sites?

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