Saturday 19 October 2019

Rehearsal injury forces member of Ireland's Got Talent parkour trio to pull out ahead of semi-finals

One Clan Island will perform as a duo

One Island Clan
One Island Clan
One Island Clan
One Island Clan
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

A member of parkour and free running trio One Island Clan has been forced to pull out of Saturday's Ireland's Got Talent semi-finals after injuring himself in rehearsals.

James Dickson, from Belfast, was attempting to run up a wall and backflip when he twisted his knee and tore tendons.

His injury will require several weeks of recuperation, ruling him out of the rest of the competition.

James and his fellow One Island clan performers, Dubliner David Willis and Paul Allen from Belfast, were understandably gutted.

"James is one of those people who's not particularly expressive but he just sat there and said, 'I'm done'.  He didn't seem to be in pain but he said, 'I'm out' - he knew he was done straight away," reveals David.

"At first we were just concerned to get him to hospital really quick and at first I thought we would just throw in the towel because we only had one week to go [before the semi-final]."

However, David and Paul decided to continue and perform as a duo.  James is hoping to join them in the audience for the live show on Saturday night.

The audience won't notice any difference in the speed and momentum of the act, says David, but the performance will be much more challenging for him and Paul.

Physically, he says, it is a "massive leap" to go from three to two performers.

"We basically had to re-plan our entire routine over a couple of days and really just fill in the spaces where James was doing his stuff so its definitely much more taxing on our bodies and even our minds to remember those extra moves to throw in."

"We're going to work twice as hard for everything.  It sucks for us, but after doing our rehearsal tonight I think it'll look really good for the audience."

The men wowed the judges with their energy and creativity in their initial audition and, should they make it to the final and even win the cash, James will be included.

"James is really gutted, really disappointed, but he'll still be cheering us on," adds David, "And if we win the cash it will be split three ways."

James, Paul and David have been training in parkour for seven years at home and abroad.  Training in Ireland is difficult due to the lack of suitable parkour facilities and environments so their aim is to set up a Movement Academy to cater for movement based sports.

"If we won the money we would do a tour of Ireland and potentially build a parkour park or gym of some kind," says David.

"They're cropping up all over Europe, there's 20 or 30 in the UK.  Paul owns a small parkour gym in Belfast so we would like to build something like that.  We would put the money to use in the field we're working in now."

Parkour, also known as free running, is hugely popular on YouTube, which is where many enthusiasts learn tricks and skills and more and more young Irish people are interested in getting involved.

"I think for a lot of people they just don't know how to start," says David.

"It's intimidating to just go outside and start jumping in an urban environment and that's where a gym would really draw people in and let them practice in a safe environment before they bring them outside."

When he does train in Ireland, David hits the city centre and Dun Laoghaire.

"The city centre is best but you can only do that on a Sunday really," he says.  "Security guards sleep on Sundays.  It's their day off so that's when we swoop in!

"I also go out to Dun Laoghaire and the coast because there's a lot of older and more interesting architecture out there and nobody really bothers you at those spots."

Tune in to Ireland's Got Talent at 7.30pm on Saturday on Virgin Media One.

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