Parkour student shares story in bid to inspire other teens in Sheffield
A Sheffield student turned parkour phenomenon has shared her story in a bid to inspire other teens to take up the sport.
Elise Bickley, from Meadowhead, has always been an active teenager; climbing, running and jumping off any surface she could find.
However, when the 14-year-old High Storrs student discovered parkour three years ago, she realised she could turn all three activities into something more thrilling – a sport which has now taken her all over the world competitively.
Parkour is the act of moving along a route – typically in a city – in the quickest and most efficient way possible, overcoming obstacles through the use of your own body.
Elise said: “My mum wasn't keen to let me try it at first, as she was worried that I would really hurt myself doing dangerous things.
“However, I think she's now fairly persuaded that I don't do random flips and things onto concrete and that I always prep each move and assess it for how safe it is.
“My parents are really supportive of what I do. They do lots of driving me to the gym, and my mum has come with me on all the trips I’ve done so far.
“I have hurt myself before, but it also comes with the sport. I’ve dislocated my knee and have suffered a few sprains. I try to be as careful as I can when practicing and am always learning from my mistakes.”
Elise, who has over 20,000 followers on Instagram, spends three nights a week training at NovaCity Gym in Rotherham and likes to use her weekends, where she can, to train outside in different towns and cities.
She added: “I often get to the end of a long training session and still haven't nailed a trick I've been working on for hours. Usually this then motivates me to go for it, so most of my successes come late at that point.
“Somehow I manage to train and also get my school work done - at least I haven't had too many complaints from my teachers! My school has also been very supportive in allowing me some time off for filming and competitions.
“However, it may get harder when I start my GCSE's next year.”
Parkour has enabled Elise to visit places such as Sweden for the 2017 Airwipp Challenge where she took first place in the women’s finals.
More recently she visited Mojav Desert, in the USA, after teaming up with renowned extreme sports director and YouTube influencer, DevinSuperTramp for Wix.com’s ‘Up for Anything’ web series featuring certain Wix users such as Elise who have turned their passions into a business or part of their lives.
As for the future, Elise is hoping to continue her passion after leaving school.
She added: “Parkour is hard work but great fun and there's always something new to learn and a new challenge to have a go at. It's exciting to see other athletes do amazing things and this inspires me to do more.
“I love the parkour community which accepts everybody at their own level and really encourages each other to be the best that they can be.
“I would really love to do stunts when I'm older. Having been to LA twice now I have been able to train with lots of amazing parkour athletes who are in the business. Maybe I'll have to move to America to do that but maybe I can do it here.”