Parkour Fit instructor Lee Sykes practises his parkour moves outside of Bear Mountain Arena at West Shore Parks and Recreation.

Parkour lands safely in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Rec course offers the basics for agile adults

Leaping, zipping or springing – with parkour there is no wrong way to get around.

West Shore Parks and Recreation is offering its first class in the activity, made popular after the James Bond film Casino Royale, as a way for patrons to get a workout in a whole new way.

Instructor Lee Sykes, who has eight years’ background in gymnastics, has been actively involved in parkour for a few years.

“Parkour came from military camps and obstacle courses,” he explained. “It’s about trying to find the most efficient way to get from Point A to Point B.”

The Parkour Fit class is aimed at beginners. Participants train in the fitness studio for fundamentals and outdoors on the 108 acres at West Shore Parks and Recreation for real life exposure to the elements.

“Parkour is all outside and just uses things that are in the environment,” Sykes said, unlike gymnastics training, which is all indoors and much more structured.

The course teaches proper ways to jump and land, agility training and beginner parkour movements.

“One of the biggest ways people can hurt themselves is from not landing properly,” Sykes said.

Throughout the six-lesson program, mini obstacle courses will be set up to allow participants to put their newfound knowledge into action.

“This is an awesome way to use critical thinking,” said Kristy Webster, fitness and wellness programmer. “Sometimes parkour can be seen as disrespectful, but we are showing people how to do it in a safe environment.”

The class is using areas around the facility on which participants can practise on their own.

Sykes is not teaching flips or how to leap across rooftops – a là James Bond – but will incorporate several techniques based on people’s abilities.

Parkour Fit is an adult course offered at the Colwood facility on Sundays. The six-week course began on July 7, but late registration is being accepted. For more information call West Shore Parks and Recreation at 250-478-8384.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com