Spiral Freerun CIC is a community club, based in Bedford, that specialises in teaching parkour and freerunning to members of the local community.
The club has been growing steadily since its inception in 2012, with members of all ages and backgrounds coming together to practice the art of movement.
Their aims are to:
• Improve the physical/mental health of participants, by showing students they can overcome physical obstacles and challenges by building self confidence, strength, and having fun learning fundamental movements.
• Make parkour classes more inclusive and accessible to the local community by working with local groups and charities to create classes that are more financially accessible.
• Create a welcoming and safe environment to learn parkour in, with the help of our highly trained coaches and purpose built equipment.
Over the last year, Spiral Freerun have seen an amazing growth in members which allowed them to develop more staff roles, create more classes and work with so many wonderful people to bring parkour to all communities. However, they have come against some serious problems that are hindering their mission and expansion:
• Rent increase: the venue increased the rent of bookings to accommodate the new classes and general inflation.
• Space: they were rapidly running out of space for new members leaving some classes with long waiting lists to join. They also ran out of storage space stopping them from creating and purchasing more equipment.
• Equipment: Spiral has to build a lot of the equipment themselves so that it is purpose made for the classes. This is very costly due to the amount of material needed to make safe equipment and any repairs.
In order to fix all of these problems, they set up a Crowdfunder project to raise money to pay for the first years rent on a warehouse unit, allowing them to start construction on Bedford’s very first purpose built parkour gym and movement centre.
We spoke to Jesse from Spiral Freerun and asked them about their crowdfunding journey,
“Originally we started a crowdfunding project just because it was a prerequisite of applying for a grant we had found,” she said.
“After starting our project up and making it live we had a huge influx of support from, not only the community we had created but, businesses and other organisations approached us to help our journey.
“We didn’t expect to gain anything at all from the project we created and seeing how many people were willing to help was overwhelming.”
The crowd rallied around their project, with one supporter commenting: “We see how much joy, friendship and good exercise your club brings to our son. Keep the fantastic work going and good luck with the new premises!”
Another said: “My daughter absolutely loves Spiral Freerun! Thank you for everything you do for the community and mental health!”
In the end they raised £30,656 from 142 supporters, unlocking £10,000 of extra funding from Sport England to create a purpose built parkour gym and run more classes for the local community.
Jesse went on to say; “Unlocking the extra funding from Sport England really helped us to motivate our club members into helping out more and will allow us to obtain more equipment for our gym.”
“Since crowdfunding we have noticed a huge rise in member participation and communication. People are more aware and interested in our goal and they want to help and support in anyway they can.
“This has lead to more customers building relationships between each other, as well as becoming more incorporated into our free-running community”
After such a successful first experience of crowdfunding, and receiving the +Extra funding from Sport England, we asked Jesse and the Spiral Freerun team for their top crowdfunding tips.
“The only thing we wish we had done more of before starting, is planning. We didn’t expect much back from the Crowdfunder so it was quickly set up with a big goal. However, we soon realised that there was a lot more that needed doing to make our project viable and available for the Sport England funding.”
“Crowdfunding gave us the opportunity to create a permanent residence for our growing community without the constraints of our regular venue. It has also really brought our community together as a whole and brought new communities to us!”
Feeling inspired? Find out if you could receive extra funding for your sports project, whether you’re tackling the current cost of living crisis or thinking about facility improvements.