Summer's been full of action at Parkour Visions! Nearly every week since late June, we've been running parkour summer camps from 8am-3pm, reaching new groups of kids and reconnecting with kids we only see during the summer. Kids come in sore and happy on day two, and by day five, they've got a great grounding in parkour fundamentals. I've even heard reports that kids have been known to have ridiculous amounts of fun, too.
In order to get more of our adult students training outside, we launched a unique summer-long outdoor class membership and are running 3 classes per week at various parks throughout Seattle. The classes have helped people learn how to find challenges appropriate for their level, how to see their environment in a new way, and how to challenge themselves mentally and physically as they overcome obstacles out in the real world.
Speaking of the real world, we're working on some secret and not-so-secret parks projects. The one we can talk about will be an installation at the Seattle Design Festival running in early September. If you're in Seattle, come by and play with us! The ones we can't talk about now, we'll talk about later :)
Our big summer event, the Parkour Visions Classic, brought parkour practitioners from all over the US and Canada to Seattle for 3 days of parkour training. This year, instead of focusing the event on a big speed competition, we opted for a more community and games flavor. On the first night of the Classic, we ran a parkour challenge event (check out the video!) that got people testing their skills against some creative obstacles in the gym. The second day found over 100 people playing an epic game of Assault at Freeway Park, then going to Volunteer Park to train and chill and learn capoeira in the trees. We took it easy on day 3, with training and a barbecue at Gasworks Park. It was a great time!
We've got a month of summer left, and as we wrap up our parkour camps and outdoor classes, we're looking forward to the school year, when we'll relaunch our parkour after-school programs to reach a whole new set of kids with parkour, as well as a whole new set of projects.
As always, we thank all of our donors and supporters for helping us advance our world-class parkour teaching program, build equipment to help our students advance, and share good information with the public and with the parkour community. We couldn't do it without you.
The days have been getting longer and warmer here in Seattle, and we've started opening up our bay doors again so our students can soak up some sun as they sprint past.
Our programs have grown so much that we've finally had to open up on Fridays to accomadate all the kids. Some of our parents have been asking for this for years so we're excited to finally be able to say yes!
After months of waiting, the Airtrick we'd been saving for nearly half a year finally arrived. Essentially a giant, bouncy air-mattress custom made in the Netherlands, the Airtrick is enormously fun for kids and adults and is definitely our favorite new toy. If you're in Seattle, its definitely worth a trip to PKV to jump on the Airtrick.
With the Airtrick, we've been able to expand our freerunning program to reach both kids and adults at beginner and intermediate levels. We're glad to finally have the capacity to teach the more acrobatic elements of parkour in a safe and approachable way.
We've also been busy in the workshop building more obstacles and coming up with new ways to secure them. Lately we have expanded our scaffolding set up by anchoring it into the wall, created an adjustable high-bar, and built a new floor-anchored box that we call the Monolith. Using the new bar mounts from the cage, the Monolith will allow us to closely integrate scaffolding and climbing elements with the existing wooded shapes of the Freeway area.
We're so grateful to everyone who's supported us and allowed us to experiment with different programs and obstacles. Thank you, and we'll see you at the gym!
Kids and adults in the Puget Sound region have been running from the SADness of dark northwest winter at our Seattle gym and on their own elementary and middle school campuses.
Our after-school program is running strong, with a new middle school program running this term in addition to the middle and elementary school programs we ran in the Fall. Kids are braving the rain and training fundamental parkour skills on their own school playgrounds and adjacent parks, learning to see their environments and themselves in new ways.
Our building team has been busy coming up with all kinds of new obstacles like Bowser, a mini-cage, weird little turtle-shaped stride/precision trainers, and have been recombining our structures into really interesting configurations that allow for fresh exploration every time people come to the gym. You can see some of our stuff in action in our Always Changing gym showcase video. This past week, we built a squishy staircase to learn the intricacies (and fun!) of falling down stairs.
The new schedule at PKV has allowed lots more people to learn parkour in a structured way from our world-class instructors, and more importantly, your donations have helped build equipment and recharge our scholarship and outreach funds, which has allowed even more people to explore the discipline of overcoming obstacles.
Thanks for all you’ve helped us do so far. We’re looking forward to expanding our offerings in the Spring. Stop by next time you’re in town, and in the meantime, keep training!
This past Fall has been a really exciting time at Parkour Visions, and thanks to your support, we've been able to extend our reach, build some cool stuff, and open more classes!
We've been sending our coaches to three local elementary schools and a local middle school regularly for after-school parkour programs, and the kids have been loving it. The programs run outside in the real world on and around school playgrounds, so the kids are learning to see and interact with their environment in creative, fun ways.
In the gym, we've built low and high wall sections that are more analogous to obstacles we see outside every day (complete with concrete coating!), and have made interesting springy toys and new boxes that open up lots of parkour possibilities and allow us to teach particular movements more effectively. You can see some of our new equipment in action in the video from our Halloween Obstacle Course event.
This December, we're rolling out a major schedule change at the gym that opens up addtitional classes in our young kids (ages 6-8) and regular kids (ages 8-13) programs, increases the number of adult basics classes, and changes the flavor of our intermediate and advanced-level classes to allow more focused training.
As we enter the season of gratitude, gifts, and new beginnings, we thank you, our donors, for helping us get where we are today. Your continued partnership with us will help us keep expanding our reach and teaching safe, effective parkour practice to people in the Seattle area.
This summer, we've seen lots of new faces at our gym and at local parks. Our series of half-day summer camps brought kids ages 6-18 from all over the Puget Sound region to learn basic and intermediate parkour, and our 2013 Parkour Visions Classic (check out this great video from the event) event brought parkour practitioners from all over North America to run obstacle courses at our gym and at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island.
Thanks to your donations, we've been able to keep adding to our gym! We've been installing portable rails and wall sections, new boxes (like the slidey fun Shimzilla and modular Toad), adding new strength training equipment, and building huge indoor/outdoor platforms that offer tons of movement possibilities. Parkour Visions community members donated (and installed) a set of traveling rings, which you can see in action in this quick video clip.
This Fall, we're looking to get involved with local after-school programs, build a low concrete-coated wall in the gym, and launch some new programs to expand our reach to a wider population, both young and old. We couldn't do it without you, so please continue supporting our gym! If you're in the area, stop by and say "Hi," play with us, and see what you've helped build.
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