Extreme sports are popular all over the UK. Not just in the mountains of Snowdonia or Scotland. But what attracts people to these sports? Is it adventure or danger?
People who enjoy fast and dangerous sports, like white-water rafting, are called thrill seekers or adrenalin junkies.
I’m at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham in the centre of England and this is the white-water course. Seven hundred metres of foaming water with drops or rapids. And the skill is to stay afloat in the rough water.
I’m here to meet Pas Blackwell, a white-water rafting expert, and to find out why so many people enjoy the thrills and spills of this extreme sport.
Carmen: Hi, Pas.
Pas: Hi, Carmen.
Carmen: So this is a specially built course, but you raft on rapids all around the world. What do you most enjoy about white-water rafting?
Pas: I really enjoy being outdoors and on the water. I really enjoy the freedom of just you and nature and I really enjoy the challenge.
Carmen: So why do people like dangerous sports?
Pas: I think people like to push themselves – to see how far they can go – to really test themselves, against the elements, water and air.
Carmen: So, are you an adrenalin junkie?
Pas: I don’t think of myself as an adrenalin junkie, but I do really enjoy the rush of trying to get from the top to the bottom and get through situations that occur out on the river.
In the countryside there are lots of wide open spaces and lots of extreme sports to choose from. But what do adrenalin junkies do in the city? Well, parkour, sometimes called free running, is becoming popular in London.
Parkour started in France. And the idea is to get from one place to the other as fast as possible; jumping and climbing over whatever is in the way. So I’ve come to a parkour class in West London to find out what it’s all about. Rebecca Ahmed has been doing parkour for more than a year.
Carmen: So Rebecca, why do you like parkour?
Rebecca: It’s really fun, it’s original and it keeps me fit. That’s why I come.
Carmen: Do you need any special equipment?
Rebecca: Not really, we just use what’s around us like steps, railings and trees, but as long as you’ve got a good pair of trainers, you’re fine.
Carmen: Is it difficult?
Rebecca: I wouldn’t say it’s difficult – it’s more about the fear. If you’re not scared you can do it.
I’m not sure I’ve got the balance for parkour. Extreme sports can be dangerous, but they’re also lots of fun.