World freerunning parkour federation master trainer Chris Bogdanski teaches a level one and two recreational parkour certification course in Kelowna during the Christmas break. (Annie Glanville photo)

Parkour classes to start February in Williams Lake

Parkour, or freerunning, is on its way to Williams Lake.

Parkour, or freerunning, is on its way to Williams Lake.

But what is it?

According to the World Freerunning Parkour Federation (WFPF) “parkour is the act of moving from point ‘a’ to point’b’ using the obstacles in your path to increase your efficiency.”

During the Christmas break, Williams Lake Gymnastics Club instructor Annie Glanville travelled to Kelowna to complete her level one and level two recreational parkour certification course.

“Gymnastics BC offered the recreational parkour coaching certification in partnership with the World Freerunning Parkour Federation,” Glanville said. “I was trained by instructor Jesse James Pierce from Vancouver and WFPF master trainer Chris Bogdamski from Miami.

“Both of these guys are stuntmen and work in various movies and TV series.”

She said it was an active course with the hardest part keeping up with the physically-demanding part of it.

“I had to learn and try the skills and progressions throughout the course,” she said. “I am a former artistic gymnast and have been coaching artistic gymnastics in Williams Lake for the past 18 years so this is a new and exciting venture for me,” Glanville said

“Learning the parkour skills was so much different compared to the very linear and sharp skills that I’m used to.”

She added two of the main attractions of parkour are the elements of freedom and fun.

“I want to be able to provide a controlled, safe and structured environment with appropriate equipment and obstacles for kids to practice on,” she said.

“I wanted to obtain my parkour certification when I realized how many kids in our community were interested in learning about parkour at our gym. In a world where kids are more connected to their phones and technology I jumped at the opportunity to attend the course.”

The class will be offered starting Wednesday, Feb. 7 at the Williams Lake Gymnastics Club from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For anyone interested in registering, or for more information, call the WLGC at 250-398-7331.

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