Parkour has been officially recognised as a sport by the United Kingdom ©Getty Images

Parkour has been officially recognised as a sport in the United Kingdom after the Home Country Sports Councils approved an application made by the national governing body.

It follows the completion of the UK recognition process with the Councils, consisting of Sport England, Sport Wales, sportscotland, Sport Northern Ireland and UK Sport.

The formal process having begun back in March 2013, leading to their pre-application for recognition being approved the following year.

The full application was submitted in August 2015 and was recommended for approval in December of that year, with the final confirmation being granted in October 2016.

Parkour, also known as freerunning, is viewed by the governing body as a physical discipline in which participants "move freely over and through any terrain using only the abilities of the body".

"This is brilliant recognition for a discipline that started off as child’s play with my friends almost 30 years ago," said Sébastien Foucan, Parkour UK President.

"The beauty of parkour/freerunning is that everyone, of all ages, can do it respectfully in almost any environment.

"We celebrate activity and playfulness whilst constantly challenging our mental and physical limits.

"It is more than just jumping, it is a health driven way of life."

The recognition will allow parkour groups and organisations affiliated to Parkour UK to apply to the Sports Councils for National Lottery or Government funding to help develop the sport.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch joined Forucan at the LEAP Parkour Park, England’s largest outdoor parkour facility at Westminster Academy in London, to make the announcement.

"I want people to get out there and find the sport and physical activity that appeals to them and Parkour is certainly a fun, creative and innovative option," said Crouch.

"I am pleased that it has been recognised as a sport, giving it the platform for further growth in this country, with Parkour UK as its governing body.

"The sport promotes movement and using the great outdoors as a space to get active in and I encourage people to don their trainers and give it a go."