Whether people have heard the word or not, parkour is a sport growing in popularity all over the world. Even Langley has caught parkour fever; the city home to the largest course in Canada – constructed in 2017 at Penzer Park.
Now, Langley City has joined forces with Journey Parkour to show both kids and adults what the sport is all about.
“Parkour is about creating challenges throughout our environment using a common vocabulary of movement that is meant to be an effective way to get over your obstacles,” said Journey Parkour co-founder and director Jessie Simpson. “That includes movements such as jumping, vaulting, running, crawling, swinging, rolling, landing, and more.”
The sport makes use of various physical obstacles such as wood planks, beams, walls which participants must overcome through differing courses. Though the sport has been recognized and enjoyed since 1988, parkour has seen its most traction in the past ten years – particularly in the Pacific Northwest.
“Parkour allows you to feel accomplished and physically capable,” Simpson explained. “So many people say ‘there’s no way I could ever do that.’ Surprisingly after a couple classes those same people say ‘I can’t believe I just did that!’ It’s pretty exciting to see our students evolve and feel great about themselves.”
Journey Parkour has been growing in size and popularity in the past two years after Seattle’s Parkour Visions and Marathon Athletics constructed the course at Penzar Park.
Kim Hilton, director of recreation, culture, and community said the opportunity to try parkour is offered all year round through Langley City.
“Parkour lessons are indoors during winter months and moved out to Penzer Park in the summer,” Hilton explained. “It gives Langley a different outlet and variety for sports.”
Started by Simpson, David Baxter, and Niklas Pisko-Dubienski, Journey is currently Langley’s only parkour-centric company. Langley Cheer and Athletics and Flip City Gym additionally offer the sport, but alongside gymnastics and tumbling curriculum’s.
“I started 11 years ago by just trying it with a friend,” Simpson said. “Seattle’s community has inspired me the most. It’s actually where I found my husband. He’s also a longtime parkour guy.”
Journey Parkour travels across the Lower Mainland and teaches in Surrey, Port Moody, North Vancouver, and Coquitlam. Their classes and introductory camps are open to children six and up.
One hour classes for 6-9-year-olds and 10-14-year-olds are offered all summer long with the option of participating in four or six sessions.
One week camps are also offered for the same age groups, July 8-12, July 22-26, and Aug 12-15 which run for two hours each day.
Participants 16 years or older are also welcome to give parkour a try by enrolling in four beginner classes between July 6-27 and Aug 10-31. All camps and classes are held at Penzer Park.
“We start with basic foundation movement skills that are safe and step by step. We believe in functional low impact teachings for those who are thinking about preserving the body while being active,” Simpson said.
Anyone interested in learning more about the sport or registering for classes can visit www.journeyparkour.ca or register with Langley City by calling 604-514-2940.
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