Young people in Inverness are being offered the chance to have a go at ‘freerunning’ as part of a series of events taking place across the country.
The activity – made famous in the James Bond movie Casino Royale – marks the latest phase of the Scottish Government’s Know the Score campaign, which raises awareness amongst Scotland’s young people of the dangers of using cocaine.
A freerunning event, in association with Know the Score, will be held on Friday (April 23) at Eden Court in Inverness from noon until 4pm.
At this event, 30 young Scots aged 16-25 will get the chance to try out freerunning (also known as parkour) free of charge. It is a non-competitive sport that combines physical strength and endurance with critical thinking and is about moving through any environment regardless of obstacles.
They will also get the chance to see a freerunning demonstration by two of Scotland’s premier instructors, Chris Grant and Scott Houston. Both trained with Sebastien Foucan – the French founder of freerunning who appeared in the opening scenes of Casino Royale with Brit actor Daniel Craig.
Having launched in Glasgow last month, freerunning sessions have already also taken place in Kilmarnock, Dumfries, Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
To take advantage of the 30 places available, young people in Inverness are being encouraged to register now at http://knowthescore.info/talk/freerunningwithkts to reserve their place.
Further information is also available by visiting the campaign’s Facebook page at http://facebook.com/freerunningwithknowthescore.
The 2010 Know the Score campaign, which was launched in January, is aimed at informing young people about the dangers of using cocaine and empowering them to make positive choices in their lives. The increasing popularity of freerunning demonstrates one such activity which many young people are enjoying.
Chris Grant of Glasgow Parkour Coaching, said: “We’re delighted to be taking part in the 2010 Know the Score campaign.
“You need a healthy body and mind to do freerunning and anything which alters your mind set or physical ability isn’t going to help you when it comes to trying new moves and getting about.”
He added: “We’re seeing more and more young Scots take up freerunning, which is great because it’s a really positive lifestyle choice.”
Many young Scots are misinformed about cocaine, believing it to be glamorous and safe. In fact it is highly addictive and can cause real problems.
Immediate effects from using it include increased heart rate, palpitations, sweating and chest pain. Users can also become agitated and anxious, which can turn into panic or paranoia as well as increasing their chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
Added to this, cocaine is now thought to be only 10% pure and cut with agents including benzocaine or Levamisole, which can lead to life-threatening conditions.
The message behind this year’s Know the Score campaign is that you really don’t know what you’re getting with cocaine and it’s just not worth the risk.
Fergus Ewing, Community Safety Minister, said: “The Know the Score campaign continues to offer credible and non-judgemental advice to young people about the dangers of drugs.
“By using innovative and exciting activities such as parkour, we can raise awareness of the dangers of cocaine use and encourage young people to make positive life choices in an environment relevant to them.
“I am delighted to welcome parkour to the Highlands and hope many young people take the opportunity to get involved. It is activities like parkour and many others which can form a significant part in a young person’s life.
“In Highland, we have established strong local partnerships working together to tackle local issues.
“The education authorities, Northern Constabulary, the voluntary sector, NHS Highland and Highland Alcohol and Drug Partnership embrace a strong partnership approach to tackling drugs use including prevention methods such as working in schools, with families and in communities.”
Jaci Douglas, chairperson of Highland Alcohol and Drug Partnership, said: “Young people aren’t always aware of the risks involved in cocaine use, but by giving them the information they need in a way they appreciate and trust, it means they can make informed, positive choices based on knowledge of the dangers.
“Cocaine isn’t the safe and clean drug some believe it to be; it is highly addictive and can have a serious impact on your short and long term health.”