Kids as young as five will have the chance to try out parkour and ‘ninja warrior’ when two Chilliwack coaches bring their event to a local park this weekend.
Brandon Duncan and Bailey Tsamantanis are hosting Ninja in the Park from May 27 to 29 at Townsend Park in Chilliwack.
The two have been teaching the sport for two years and just recently started their business Elite Ninja Development (END) in Chilliwack.
“The point of the event is to get us out in the community and have people see what the sport is,” Duncan said.
The three-day event will feature beginner ninja competitions, parkour courses and clinics.
Parkour and ninja warrior are both obstacle-based sports and they both complement each other well, Tsamantanis said.
“The difference between parkour and ninja is, ninja you learn to navigate the obstacle itself whereas parkour you learn to navigate yourself around the obstacle,” he explained.
There will be three separate events people can sign up for at Ninja in the Park: a 10-minute clinic with personalized coaching where participants learn 10 skills in those 10 minutes; an obstacle course that people can run three times; and a ‘fun run’ competition. Each event costs $10. The clinics and obstacle course runs are on May 27 and 28, and the ‘fun run’ competition is on Monday, May 29.
There will be balance equipment, obstacles to vault over and an army crawl challenge. Other equipment includes things like a platform that people jump onto where they need to stick the landing, and ‘Q-steps’ which are angled boxes that people run and jump from one to the other.
People will also be taught how to roll and fall properly, and they will have mats laid out.
Throughout the three-day event, there will be volunteers helping out with the course, all who are qualified and trained in the sport, the two said.
The ‘fun run’ is a judged and timed competition with a chance to win prizes, but people shouldn’t feel intimidated as it is a beginner’s course, Tsamantanis said.
“It’s going to be achievable. It’s an intro-level competition, so anyone that will participate in the course, we expect to complete,” he said.
The two are passionate about ninja warrior and parkour and both have years of athletic experience. Duncan was introduced to Chilliwack via the Valley Huskers where he played high-level football. Tsamantanis moved here from Thunder Bay, Ont., 15 years ago and has a background in rugby, amateur body building and martial arts.
Over the two years they’ve been coaching ninja warrior and parkour, the two have taught competitive teams and about half of them have qualified to compete at the world stage.
They said ninja warrior and parkour are both growing and niche sports in Canada, but there is “world of opportunity” which can result in a career in the sport, Duncan said.
“If you get into the sport now, it’s the perfect time because it’s still developing and the earlier you get in, the more advantage you’re going to have,” Tsamantanis added.
Ninja in the Park is open to anyone age five and up. Kids younger than five are welcome to try it out, but parents are asked to do the course with their child.
It’s also open to people of all levels.
“If you come in as a complete novice, we know how to teach you the fundamental skills in order to progress. If you come from an athletic background and you’re able to pick up those skills really fast, we do have the knowledge of more advanced, more challenging skills to teach as well,” Tsamantanis said.
Ninja in the Park runs May 27 to 29 at Townsend Park with three events to sign up for. The 10-minute clinics and obstacle course runs are on May 27 and 28 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The ‘fun run’ competition is on Monday, May 29 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Each event costs $10 and if people sign up for all three events, they get a free trial class this summer valued at $25.
There is no pre-registration, people can drop by and sign up for the events on the day of. They accept cash, debit, credit and e-transfer.
Also at the event will be a dunk tank, food truck, and other fun activities.
After this event, the two will be gearing up for their summer camps and classes which will be held at Central Elementary.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to provide this service to the community as well as being able to expand the sport of ninja,” Tsamantanis said.
For more, go to eliteninjadevelopment.ca.