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Freerunning royalty to launch revamped Avenue Park

A Bond villain who lived to die another day is set to help launch a revamped Hounslow sports hub featuring London’s only purpose-built outdoor “parkour” course.

Enigmatic Feerunning founder Sébastien Foucan personally designed the obstacle course, which will be one of the centre-pieces at Avenue Park in Cranford, which is set to be re-opened on Monday 3 August with members of the public being offered free taster sessions in a slew of sports.

Thanks to a £150,000 facelift by Hounslow Council, the much-loved park now boasts:

  • a purpose-built parkour circuit
  • a 10-station outdoor gym
  • a multi-use games area for five-a-side football, basketball, netball and more
  • two revamped tennis courts
  • rugby posts
  • a top-class full-size football pitch

The enigmatic Mr Foucan, who was blown up in the Bond film Casino Royale in 2006, established the Freerunning movement in 2003. The sport shot into the public limelight with the release of the ‘Jump London’ documentary, in which Mr Foucan plotted a death-defying course over some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks.

Hounslow residents are invited to meet him and get active at Avenue Park in Cranford from 11am on Monday 3 August as new, state-of-the-art sports facilities, including the Freerunning course, are unveiled.

The launch will include demonstrations and instructions from experienced coaches, who will show attendees how to get the best from the equipment, and tours of the park facilities.

And, to encourage local people to keep active, every Tuesday and Thursday throughout August there will be free activities for adults and children in the park, delivered by Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust.

Councillor Ed Mayne, Cabinet Member of Public Health and Leisure, Hounslow Council, said:  “We’ve transformed Avenue Park to provide top-notch sports and exercise facilities plus a range of exciting new activities.

“No doubt it will attract visitors from far and wide but it is a place that will nurture new, local sporting talent too, so it really is a fantastic place for local people to enjoy.”

Mr Foucan said: “I am very pleased to see west London’s first outdoor parkour and Freerunning facility open. This facility is a big plus for anyone who is interested in my discipline and all of the people who want to find a new way of moving their bodies.

“Freerunning is about expressing yourself and challenging mental barriers.  I hope residents enjoy Avenue Park and congratulate Hounslow Council for seeing that people of all ages need to have playtime.

“I would love to see many more of these built throughout London.”

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