Jun 2014 11

4 Safe Sport Courses You Should Take This Summer in Vancouver

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Summer is just around the corner, so we should start thinking about what sports to take up during these warm, sometimes unpredictable, but overall sunny months in Vancouver. This article will focus on the sports that will wonderfully balance your daily routine and get your blood and endorphins pumping, with minimal risk of injuring yourself. Most of us enjoy sports dearly. However, most of us have jobs or family responsibilities that don't allow us to risk our health and a lengthy recovery after even a small injury. Energetic yet harmless badminton sessions, deeply relaxing yoga in one of the top studios in Vancouver, focus-sharpening archery, and my favourite — fun and relaxing golf — these are the sports I'm going to focus on this summer. What about you?

University Golf Club

Address: 5185 University Blvd., Vancouver
Telephone: (604) 225 2312

My absolute favourite is indisputably University Golf Course (UGC), located just minutes from downtown Vancouver in the heart of Pacific Spirit Park and the University Endowment Lands.

University Golf Club By Bill WilsonUniversity Golf Club By Bill Wilson

The UGC is close to the sandy beaches at Locarno and Spanish Banks, great shopping on 10th Avenue, and down the street from the University of British Columbia (UBC), with the UBC botanical gardens and the Chan Centre of Performing Arts. The University Golf Club grounds are also home to the BC Golf Museum, located between the 16th and 17th holes, and accessible off Blanca Street. Thanks to these amazing options, the golf course has become one of my most frequented weekend "getaways." Tara Ciecko from CK Golf Solutions Ltd., marketing director at the UGC, comments on their strengths:

Being located so close to downtown Vancouver is a great strength for us but it is once golfers arrive that they feel so far away from it. Being carved out of the forests of the University Endowment Lands, the old-growth trees and long narrow fairways make the golf course a favourite among regulars but it is one that any level of golfer can enjoy. We also have one for the premier instruction and fitting centres in BC and the only Taylor Made Player Development Centre in Canada.

The relatively level terrain of this 18-hole, par-72 course makes power carts optional, and a lot of golfers choose to walk around instead, enjoying a very pleasant stroll. The course is very beautiful in the mornings, with the sun just rising.

My top tip is to organize your corporate outing here. I asked Tara what the most popular Corporate Golf outing format is at UGC. She answered,

We host many full shotgun corporate and charity golf events each year but we also do a few Corporate Golf Outings that include a reception, customized lesson clinic and banquet services for corporate clients. Our most popular lessons are our Golf 101, 102 and 103 programs, which take golfers through all the stages of learning in a fun environment.

Get Golf-ready (five days in a new golf adult player development program), Golf 101(4–6 people, 3 x 1 hour for $90 per person), Golf 102 (4–6 people, 5 x 1 hour for $200 per person, 3 people, 5x 1 hour for $250 per person) and Golf 103 (a wide range of individual lessons rates) courses are available regularly.

Golf By Tord SollieGolf By Tord Sollie

The UGC also offers Junior courses, starting with golf 101 and continuing in three different grades. In summer, they also offer Junior Summer Camps, an ideal place to take your kids for some safe and fun experience. The camps are available in two categories, beginner (8 hours over 4 days for $250) and intermediate (12 hours over 4 days for $325), both in the 8–16 age range.

During classes, our instructors take care to acknowledge individual differences creating a positive and stimulating learning environment for all levels — always remembering too that if you're not having fun, you're not learning,

said Tara.

The UGC is also ideal if you just want to practice your swing on their driving range, with 20 covered stalls in the off-season and 30 mats on the grass in the summer. Or just come down for a pleasurable game of golf with couple of friends. Advance bookings are available for groups of two to four people beyond the regular seven days and up to six months in advance. A non-refundable fee of $15 (tax included) will apply for each person and will be charged at the time of booking.

Badminton Vancouver

Address: 110-13100 Mitchell Road, V6V 1M8, Vancouver
Telephone: (604) 325 5128

The Badminton Vancouver centre (BV) is the most advanced badminton facilities in Vancouver, and for fans of this sport, a 15,000 square foot, 33-foot-high paradise with world-class instructors. Its position on Mitchell Island makes it easily accessible from most of Downtown Vancouver, Burnaby, and Richmond.

Badminton Vancouver By Wyn LokBadminton Vancouver By Wyn Lok

BV is undeniably the facility with the best badminton instructors in the city. We asked Derrick Chow, BV's executive director, how they managed to assemble such a highly professional team of instructors to coach for them. Chow answered,

We were fortunate to open Badminton Vancouver just at the time when Canadian Badminton star and two-time Olympian Anna Rice was looking for a club to centralize her coaching and build a program to suit all ages and abilities. We consulted with Anna on the type of coaching team we wanted to assemble and in partnership with her we have steadily been building a staff of coaches that we believe is amongst the best in North America. At Badminton Vancouver, we pride ourselves on having a class for everyone — all ages, all levels, all cultures.

Derrick assured us that since they are experts in their field, they know how to break a subject down into simple parts that even a five-year-old beginner can understand, and their coaches enjoy working with all skill levels. BV has students ranging in age from four up to 64. Their courses range from Beginners classes all the way up to the International Masters level. BV emphasizes the highest-quality age- and level-appropriate instruction.

Because of the versatility of our coaching staff — currently, our coaches speak a combined seven languages — we are able to offer group, semi-private and private lessons to people from all cultures and walks of life,

said Derrick.

BV offers Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced/Elite classes as well as Competitive Singles Club in four age groups: Kids 5–7 and Kids 8–12, Teenagers (12–18), and Adults (18+). Kids classes take place on various days throughout the week. A class is one hour long, and the fee is $129.99. Adult and teenagers classes are also offered on different days These classes are one hour and a half long, and the fee is $209.99.

Katie loved the classes. I couldn't stop her talking about how fun it was to spend time with their instructor,

Andrew, father of two from Richmond, said. He was really happy with the services in BV.

Court booking prices range from $14 an hour Saturday and Sunday (after 6:00 PM, the price rises to $21 per hour) to $21 per hour from Monday to Friday. You can save a little money if you decide on a rental bundle. Rentals always take priority over drop-ins that range from $2 to $7 per person, depending on the day and time.

Badminton By DeeliteBadminton By Deelite

BV also organizes corporate events, so if you're looking for an unusual place to throw your teambuilding event, you should take a look at BV. Derrick explained how they view a corporate event at BV:

Vancouver realizes that corporate events need to be fun and engaging. Badminton Vancouver has specialized staff to assist corporate organizers in planning and executing eight-person team-building events or entire-company 150-person tournaments.

BV also overlooks a sushi bar and lounge, and for those who get bored with badminton, they also provide table tennis and electronic darts. It truly is a one-stop shop, and that's a huge advantage when planning a corporate event.

Chopra Yoga

Address: 451 Granville St Vancouver, BC V6C, Vancouver
Telephone: (604) 424 9422

This yoga studio in downtown Vancouver with a philosophy that integrates Deepak Chopra's "Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" is one of the most popular places to do yoga in Vancouver. It is just outside the West Hastings exit of the Waterfront Skytrain station. Chopra Yoga is not only a great way to find your inner balance, but it will also help you discover your own philosophy.

Chopra YogaChopra Yoga

The 8,000-square-feet studio is a very high-end, modern, clean, and fully serviced place to focus on your daily yoga routines or discover new and exciting yoga styles, like Hip Hop yoga with Chris Duggan! The studio offers top-notch showers and a sauna where you can relax after your workout, and also private massages if you're interested.

One of the biggest advantages is that this studio is open seven days a week and offers 75 classes each week.

It is open from very early in the morning until late evening, which is very unique, especially for the downtown area. I loved taking classes in the morning with just a few other yogis in the room with me and the instructor,

said Danielle, a freshman at UBC and a devoted yoga enthusiast.

Chopra Yoga offers a variety of styles to pick from, divided into four main categories: Strength Building (Ashtanga, Mysore, Breathe Flow Meditate, Yoga Barre), Relax and Restore (Restorative, Yin, Meditation, Private Meditation Instruction), Foundational lessons (Hatha, Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and Power Vinyasa Foundation) and Heated Practices (Hot Hatha, Power Vinyasa, and Hot Yin). Jenn from Toronto commented on the hot yoga lessons:

I appreciated the high ceilings and very efficient ventilation. Although the room was super hot, the staff still managed to keep it smelling nice. The whole studio was very clean and pleasant to visit. I'll definitely visit Chopra Yoga again when I'm back in town.

My top tip is the Power Vinyasa classes, where you can try one of most dynamic styles that integrates breath awareness while linking posture with an emphasis on arms and core balances. During the class, the room is heated to 32 degrees Celsius.

Yoga Class By Augusto Mia BattagliaYoga Class By Augusto Mia Battaglia

You can either get one of the memberships (a $153 base or $198 plus membership for one month, a $356 base or $448 plus membership for three months, with six- and 12-month memberships also available), a pass ($48 Two Week Intro or $100 Easy Pass, which lowers your drop-in fee to $15.75), or just drop in (the drop-in rate is $20 for most yoga classes, while rental items such as mats and towels are $2 per item). They also have a Happy Hour drop-in rate, which is $10 for classes during the quieter times of the day and all day on weekends and statutory holidays.

If your colleagues are interested in relieving some stress together, you can get 15% off the six- or 12-month unlimited memberships. A minimum of five employees is required to join.

Boorman Archery

Address: 422A East Columbia St., New Westminster
Telephone: (604) 524 1674

boorman archeryBoorman Archery

Boorman Archery is the place you want to visit every time you even think about touching a bow. They offer complex care for everything to do with bows, from tuning and repairs for the bows themselves to arrow fletching and straightening, custom string making (including strings for dual- or single-cam, recurve, or longbows as well as Flemish Twists), all the way to free advice when it comes to ordering the right bow for your body type!

Let's get to the main reason why Boorman Archery is such an exceptional establishment, and that is Ron Boorman himself — the president and founder of Pro-Am Archery School.

At the young age of 72, Ron won two Gold Medals at the Can-Am Fire and Police Games held in Spokane, Washington.

Ron has over 45 years of archery experience and even more stories to entertain the visitors of Boorman Archery. All the staff at the academy are trained and highly experienced professionals who will take care of your archery needs and skill in a way that seems absolutely effortless. All staff, full- and part-time, are NASP-certified instructors who compete in archery regularly. Jess from Richmond comments:

I do it for focus and fun. Archery is an excellent way to learn to slow down and focus. I was initially inspired by the Hunger Games movie, but Boorman Archery taught me to love [archery].

Boorman's offers two main programs — one for children and one for adults. They offer a four-day program (1.5 hours a day) called summer archery camps, taught by certified instructors, where students have the opportunity to try recurve and compound bows, learn to score a target, and develop the basic skills needed to become a safe and consistent archer. All the equipment is provided. The camps are available for all youths aged 9–18 and pre-registration is required, as space is limited to ten students per class. The course costs $95, so be sure to bring cash, as they are not equipped for cards.

archery final round by Ferruccio BertiArchery final round by Ferruccio Berti

The Archery range also offers classes for adults. Lasting ten hours (one night a week for five weeks), the course is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary for all competency levels. Classes run from 7:15 PM to 9:30 PM, and the whole set costs $95.00 plus tax, with all equipment provided.

Boorman's Archery is the place where you'll experience a lot of fun but also find your focus and concentration while practicing a sport whose popularity increases more and more every day.


10 Responses to “4 Safe Sport Courses You Should Take This Summer in Vancouver”

  1. Adrian Jacob

    Thanks for these excellent suggestions! Another idea for those who enjoy riding motorcycles but want to do so in a safe, controlled environment is to consider a track day such as those put on locally by West Coast Superbike School.

    Here you will find a wide variety of men and women who take seriously the safe enjoyment of the sport. Riders are grouped by skill level so there are no large differences in speed. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced racer there will be a group for you! The track days are run at Mission Raceway, which is outfitted with many safety features including air fences. There is no need to worry about traffic and other dangers. The WCSS provides corner marshals and track management with a keen eye on safety and they monitor the event very closely.

    A full day at the track costs $190 which will probably get you around six on-track sessions of 15-20 minutes. You will leave at the end of the day tired, trust me! It’s an excellent way to sharpen your skills as well, and the camaraderie in the pits is really fun. A big advantage of the non-competitive atmosphere is that everyone realizes that “we’re all here to have fun”. Other riders are more than willing to talk about technique and offer tips. The track days go rain or shine. I encourage all motorcyclists to give it a try!

  2. Jay Banks

    Hi Adrian,

    Thanks for stopping by, but I can’t really imagine how riding a motorcycle on a racing track can possibly be a safe sport. There’s only one thing more dangerous than riding a superbike on a racing track – and that’s riding it anywhere else, so please don’t do it if you have any respect for your health and the health and safety of everyone around you.



  3. Vancouver Custom Homes

    Have you tried stand up paddling?

  4. Jay Banks

    No, I haven’t, although it sounds like fun… I think I saw some stand up paddle surfers the other day near Garry Point. I’m preparing a blog post about the best kiteboarding schools, though, so stay tuned!

  5. Sua Truong

    Although hiking is not a sport but it’s great outdoor activity. Leisurely beginner level hikes are available all over the lower mainland. I enjoy taking my family out every now and then. Even my 3 year old daughter enjoys them. Indoor activities inside such as those found in Extreme-Air parks are fun and burns major calories while being safe as well.

  6. Brent J. Morgan

    Golf is good, and UBC is a great course!

  7. Jay Banks

    Hi Sua,

    Thanks for the suggestions! I wanted to pick something less traditional and maybe something you wouldn’t think of in the first place. I hope you liked my suggestions as well!

    Brent, UBC is really a great golf course, hope to see you there some day!



  8. Chantel Le

    I do BIKRAM Yoga at least 3 times a week. I have been going for over 3 years and I swear by it.. Each 90 minute class consists of 26 poses practiced in a heated room, approx. 40 – 45 degrees Celsius.

    The Benefits:

    Regulates sleep cycles, helps insomnia
    Reduces stress
    Increased energy and vitality
    Slows down the aging process
    Increases lung capacity, improves breathing control
    Provides an intense cardiovascular workout
    The heat encourages sweating, which detoxifies and cleanses the body
    Strengthens the immune system
    Strengthens your mind to allow for greater willpower, self-control, concentration and determination.
    Highly therapeutic for many other health conditions including asthma, arthritis, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, tension/migraine headaches, anxiety, depression, sports injuries, back pain, scoliosis.
    Weight Loss: helps obesity/weight control (the heat allows your body to burn fat more efficiently)
    Increases metabolism
    Muscle toning and strengthening
    Increased flexibility and balance.

  9. Jay Banks

    Hi Chantel,

    BIKRAM Yoga sounds like a must-try! Thanks for the suggestion. Have you ever been to Chopra Yoga?



  10. yoga school in Rishikesh

    thank you for information

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