By: Korie Marshall

Next to wanting a drop-in centre, Valemount’s youth say the biggest thing they wanted was a chance to learn parkour, says Darren Sparks. He’s the Youth Coordinator for V-Crew, the newly named youth program funded by Columbia Basin Trust. So he found Chad and Todd from Alternative Physical Education – or Ape Parkour – and brought them to Valemount for some demos at the elementary school and a workshop for the older kids in the evening.

“Who likes being creative?” Todd asked the kids gathered in the gym on Monday afternoon, and just about all the hands went up, from Grade 1 to high school students. “Parkour is really about being creative with movement, and being quick but safe.”

Most of the kids already knew the term parkour, and the young kids all know the game called “The Floor is Lava.” Todd says that is sort of like a form of parkour, in that you have to be creative about how you move around. The guys demonstrated things like shoulder rolls, dive rolls, and seven or eight different types of vaults, all movements you can use to climb on or jump over obstacles in the environment, wherever you might be, whether in the city or the wilderness. They say it’s all about bridging the gap where kids tend to stop playing as they get older, and recognizing the importance of staying physically active and healthy by having fun.

“Rocks, walls, rails – those are the toys of the next generation,” Todd tells the crowd. “But remember it’s your responsibility to make sure you are safe – you have to test the rock or the rail or the tree every time you use it.”