HE is the 15-year-old daredevil who uses Bournemouth as his concrete playground.

Freerunner Max Barker was inspired to master parkour – jumping, flipping, spinning and performing acrobatics across the urban landscape when he was just 11.

Now the Ringwood Waldorf School pupil has won the youth Air Wipp Challenge in Sweden and is preparing for an international parkour event in Copenhagen.

Last week it was announced the UK became the first country in the world to officially recognise Parkour as a sport and Max is determined to be the best and promote his passion.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to competing more and I’d love to encourage as many people as possible to try it.”

Max’s love for the sport started after lessons at Bournemouth's Pavilion Dance South West led to him training most days around the town.

Parkour UK, who say the sport was founded in France by a group of nine men in the 1980s, describe it as a physical discipline in which participants "move freely over and through any terrain using only the abilities of the body.”

For enthusiasts, a seemingly non-inspiring urban landscape becomes an exciting playground and paved walkways, concrete steps, metal railings, bollards, benches and walls have endless possibilities.

Max, from Southbourne, explained: “A lot of people aren’t too sure what parkour is but hopefully that will change now it is a recognised sport.

“Some people call it a sport, some an art form. It’s just a way to express yourself through movement.

“People have different styles but it’s a way of getting from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible. I love it.”

Max, who is sponsored by The Motus Projects and Train Hard, dreams of a career as a Parkour athlete or trainer and hopes to encourage others to give it a go.

“Older people could do it, even young children could do it. You develop your own style. All you need is a pair of trainers. It’s just about movement, about exploring your boundaries, challenging yourself and knowing your limits.”

For Max, knowing his limits is vital.

“I’ve only ever pulled my shoulder and knocked my shin from landing against a wall. People think it’s really dangerous but it’s all about knowing your capabilities. If I don’t feel sure and my friends aren’t sure, they will say and I just won’t do it.

“It’s my passion. I feel free, it keeps me fit, it’s all outside, it’s escapism. The feeling you get when you have mastered a certain move or conquered a jump is just amazing.”