Sheffield girl, 16, to compete with world's best freerunners on 'floating playground'

A 16-year-old girl from Sheffield will compete against the world’s best freerunners on a 'floating playground' in Greece after reaching the final of her first global competition.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 12:39 pm

Elise Bickley beat hundreds of entrants worldwide to make the final 18 of the Red Bull Art of Motion event after showcasing her freerunning skills at spots around Sheffield online.

The daredevil’s audition video sees her slide down a pole around 20-ft high before backflipping off walls and balconies.

“When I found out I was heading to Greece to compete in the Red Bull Art of Motion event I couldn’t quite believe it,” she said.

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"I’ve been doing parkour since I was 11 years old and so to be competing on this level, against athletes I have admired, watched and learned from since I was young is a dream come true.”

Set in the Greek harbour of Mikrolimano in Athens, the event, which takes place on 10 July, will play out across two huge yachts on a ‘floating track’.

Competitors will be judged on creativity, difficulty, flow, execution and overall performance.

The pair with the highest score in each heat will qualify for the final phase, and the six top athletes will go on to compete for podium places.

16-year-old Elise Bickley from Sheffield.
16-year-old Elise Bickley from Sheffield.

Freerunning originated in France and involves the runner attempting to pass static obstacles in the fastest and most direct manner possible - using skills such as jumping, vaulting, rolling, spinning, flipping and climbing.

The obstacles can be anything in their environment, from building roofs to fences, rails, and walls, and athletes often practice in urban areas due to the suitable structures.

Ellie has been doing parkour since she was 11 years old.