Jessie Simpson is getting ready to take Surrey on a parkour journey this summer, as her company partners with the municipality to create the City of Surrey’s first parkour summer program.
“Because there are two parkour parks — one’s in Surrey and one’s in Langley — it was just such a great opportunity,” Simpson said. “If there’s lots of kids and adults trying the parks and they don’t know how to use it, we don’t want them to get injured.”
Simpson is the co-owner and founder of Journey Parkour, a parkour training company based out of Vancouver. She’s been doing parkour — the art of getting over obstacles as quickly and efficiently as possible — for 10 years.
“I think for us, it’s more about efficiency because we just like to play. It doesn’t have to be so serious, like A to B, all the time,” she said. “It’s just learning how to play in the world, throughout whatever environment you can.”
“You don’t have to have any other equipment other than yourself,” she continued. “It’s just really simple that way. Just natural human movement.
“It’s very much just what we were, in a way, designed to do.”
For the first time this spring, Journey Parkour partnered with the Surrey and Langley to put on programs through the two cities’ parks and recreation departments. Although the spring break program didn’t see initial success in Surrey, Langley saw nine kids sign up. Another nine have signed up for Langley’s ongoing program.
Now, Simpson is hoping the program will take off in Surrey.
The City of Surrey’s summer program will be open to people 10 and up (Journey Parkour is waiting for approval to make the classes six and up). Classes will take place in Clayton’s Hazelgrove Park on nice days, and inside at Clayton Hall on rainy ones.
Each class will be separated by age, but all will focus on a few main components: basic jumping, landing and falling.
Learning how to fall is important, Simpson said, “so you’re not as afraid to try something.”
“Fear is a big thing in parkour,” she continued. “It’s up to the individual participant to decide and make a decision about making the jump or not … They can really self evaluate and learn how to think for themselves.
“Definitely a lot of life lessons for the kids too.”