Local couple Shell and Oli Ward are getting ready to open a new centre that will flex, stretch and have people jumping for joy
Stone Business Park is to be the location of UKCF Academy Stoke, a Parkour, Free Running, Acrobatics, Tumbling, Freestyle Trampoline Wall, Foam Pit, Power Tumble Tracks, Aerial Trapeze, Silks, Hoop centre!
The couple, from Loggerheads, explained to A Little Bit of Stone about their new venture:
“In the past, we’ve both worked as acrobats, aerialists and live stunt performers. We have performed on a number of blockbuster films and TV series, including BBC Tabboo with Tom Hardy, BBC Hollow Crown with Benedict Cumberbatch and even as power rangers in a live action stunt show in Dubai!“We both regularly perform in the Middle East and on commercial/corporate projects for private engagements or product launches. We’ve even been on CBEEBIES Justin’s House as an acrobatic stunt tumble group.“Shell has also performed incredible aerial hoop acts for events such as Formula F1 Secret Celebrity parties.”
The couple met at Circomedia, a circus school in Bristol, in 2011 while they were studying for Degrees in ‘Contemporary circus, aerial and acrobatics and physical performance.’
A lot of work that the couple have done has been overseas, working on big corporate jobs for large events, and they hope to be able to integrate this with the park participants to provide them with an opportunity to perform.
Shell was born in Wolstanton, while Oli grew up in Essex and later moved to Oxford. The couple have lived in Stoke for the past 4 years and decided to take their experience of running their academy in Oxford to this new purpose-built facility.
The park will have a mixture of youth and adult-focused sessions which help participants develop their skills and abilities.
The new park will add another dimension to Stone’s growing popularity as a leisure destination. With FlipOut and Clip ‘n Climb already in the town UKCF Academy will bring parkour, free running, acrobatics and aerial skills to the leisure table!
We asked Oli why they chose Stone for the new park:
“Stone is a great central place as it offers us two target audiences of Staffordshire and Stoke.“Stone was also the only area offering the size and style warehouse that we needed for our ambitious plans.”
There will be a mezzanine cafe and viewing area integrated into the centre which will allow participants to relax with a snack and a drink after a hard session in the park.
The new centre will open in August 2018 with a number of youth free trials scheduled in for the 5th and 19th August. There will also be an official opening day before this for adults/professionals to meet VIP celebrities in parkour, free running and acrobatics.
On the parks offering Shell added:
“Our youth program will run alongside the term time, and adults sessions will be weekly.“Our purpose-built park will include trampoline, tumble tracks and fast tracks into a foam pit, a freestyle trampoline wall, viewing area, full size sprung floor, parkour built city stretching 20metres in length, flying aerial apparatus such as trapeze, silks, and aerial hoop.“We will be offering a guaranteed space for the first 300 kids that sign onto our trial to go straight onto our course without the need for a waiting list. Our motto is ‘No Waiting lists. No Excuses.’“With a 7000 sq ft space, we are confident that we can accommodate everyone that wants to join.”