GPC winds down. (a bit.)

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As you may or may not have seen from the GPC website, as of this month I am minimising the education strand of the business.

Aside from our outdoor classes which will continue under Mick’s direction, the youth classes and other community groups will be passed to trusted partners and team members under other brands to ensure the students can continue their practice.

We’ve been having an ongoing discussion over the past year or so about how to change up GPC’s structure as I pursue other things and have found that it just doesn’t run the same with an absent manager as I now live in Shetland.

A number of new communities and companies have emerged around Scotland which are making ground in ways that GPC haven’t and I think it’s important for me to recognise that these people have the way forward. The GPC team have all developed their own way of working over the years, created their own practice and for the most part are finding a huge amount of their work and projects on their own. That’s why I’m confident at this stage that I can reduce GPC’s output without damaging the opportunities for the team and the access to Parkour for the students.

This is a big and poignant step for myself and I’m sure for the team as well. It falls almost exactly 7 years after GPC was formed and we met up on our first dark rainy night for Scotland’s first outdoor Parkour Classes. Personally over the past 7 years I’ve poured everything I can into GPC and had an absolutely incredible and chaotic time starting classes, meeting and developing a team of amazing coaches and growing a family around the brand. We’ve seen a few people come and go and everyone ever involved in GPC as a coach, student, advisor or anything else has made a lasting impact on the direction of the company and in my memory.

Through teaching Parkour I’ve have discovered a worldwide family, travelling to Europe, the US, the Caribbean and to every corner of Scotland. It’s been an absolute privilege to be able to do this as a career. What I’ve also discovered is a knack for collaboration with other organisations having worked with theatre companies, dance, architects, geologists, film makers and a whole host of other experts. I’ll be continuing to explore this and be staying open to teaching internationally and also drawing the team back in for bespoke creative and performance projects when they arise.

My other huge and unexpected passion which emerged through GPC is changing the lives of young people for the better. That’s how I’ve end up in Shetland, shaping a new job as Youth Worker within the high school. Without the work of GPC and the connections I’ve made, I wouldn’t have all of the good practice I now possess. I believe the best use of that is for me to try and transform and improve young people’s lives, setting them on a path and hopefully instilling some of our Parkour ‘philosophies’ along the way.

I’m extremely proud to have founded Glasgow Parkour Coaching and also Roots of Movement – I’m excited to see how their members, collaborators and followers can continue moving forward down their own paths, and hopefully I’ve been some small part of making that happen.

In the meantime I’m up here in the wilderness of a beautiful open place where I can channel my energy in a new direction, explore my own practice and still tap into the Parkour community with my ideas and projects when I can.

Keep training, Keep supporting your Parkour communities, and keep an eye out for me, I’ll never really go away……..

Chris

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