Above the warm fireplace, a wall of televisions bathes onlookers in the blue glow of four different sports games, eliciting waves of cheers and whoops from an ebullient crowd. In the background, the muted click of billiard balls mixes with animated chatter at the bar to create a merry symphony that lasts late into the night. This is a typical evening at Legends Pub & Restaurant, which fosters a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere for families and sports fans alike.
Legends hosts a variety of activities and events throughout the week— game days beckon fans to ogle 20 TVs, and an outdoor patio festooned with hanging flower baskets invites guests to bask in balmy summer breezes. On weekends, live DJs or bands broadcast their sonic creations over an advanced sound system, prompting those in attendance to practice their dance moves with a partner or wig-clad coat rack. The spacious dining room has a separate section reserved for families to nosh on burgers, pizzas, wings, and British pub classics surrounded by burnt orange walls peppered in sports memorabilia.
Nimble players send shuttlecocks flying in gravity-defying volleys across Ace Badminton Centre’s 12 courts, guided by a team of highly qualified instructors. The centre’s coaching staff overloads its collective mantle with a wealth of awards and trophies, such as Ximing Yao’s1986 US Open Doubles victory, or Shawn Zhang’s 2010 British Columbia men’s championship title. Trainees and players hone their skills on the courts’ floating-floor system, replete with a triple-layered PVC buffer and high-density foam cushioning for absorbing shock—much safer than floors cushioned by subterranean lava pits. After studying under a professional badminton coach or practicing against a worthy opponent, students can join the ranks of Ace’s trophy-bearing alumni, who sport medals from junior championships at both the provincial and national level.
A member on the PGA Tour Canada since 1998, Matt Daniel calls upon the experience gleaned from 14 years spent competing against some of the world’s best golfers to help fellow players improve their game. Daniel’s professional portfolio includes playing in a PGA Tour tournament and winning the Canadian Tour’s TELUS Edmonton Open in 2002 with a score of 21-under par, after which his scorecard burst into flames.
Matt imparts his pin-hunting prowess in lessons that focus on the mental, physical, and technical elements of the game. In addition, he joins students on the course for playing lessons that present the unique challenges and game-management strategies encountered in rounds, such as how to hit out of a bad lie or manipulate other groups into letting you pilot their cart into a pond.
Callaway Golf Learning & Fitting Centre deploys a battery of digital tools and human instructors to improve individual golf games at the moment of impact between ball and club. In order for CPGA fitting professionals to accurately size up current performance, tee thwackers lace up in platform cleats and caddy their own drivers and 6-irons to each 45-minute consultation. Clients gain fairway wisdom and absolution for training squirrels to steal rival balls from Callaway Golf Canada's all-seeing Callaway Performance Analysis System, which aids amateurs with the same technology that serves PGA pros. This fully automated device measures angles, spin, and speed, and tracks the flight trajectory of orbs to determine the optimal club and luckiest cloud formation for each player. A sleeve of Callaway golf balls, a booklet featuring frame-by-frame photos of the swing, and online access to a video record of the session provide proof of skill potential and specs for ordering custom clubs.
The seasoned instructors at Fly Without Fear aim to prove that flying is one of the safest ways to travel, ridding passengers of airborne anxiety through in-depth seminars and practical simulations. In each class, instructors review the basics of airplane technology, from the inner workings of jet engines to the physics of wing flaps, rudders, and ailerons. After explaining the effects of inclement weather and turbulence, they demystify the process of a professional pilot’s training, which includes flight simulators and medical testing to determine whether they’re eligible to have wings grafted directly onto their backs. Within a capsule modelled after a Boeing 737 Next Generation cockpit, students take the helm of a virtual aircraft themselves, manoeuvring it through starting procedures, takeoff, cruising, and landing.
Giggling children tumble into pits filled with foam cubes, bounce on trampolines, swing on ropes, or roll around mats shape like doughnuts and cheese wedges. Across the room, older kids twirl, flip, and pace on Olympic-grade bars and balance beams. When designing Cartwheels Inc., founders Katherine Campbell and Lisa Lacamell wanted to provide a space for recreational gymnastics and cheerleading training as well as a place for children to have fun. They employed expertise from a lifetime of gymnastics training, with each serving as the national course conductor for Gymnastics Canada and board director for Gymnastics BC. They hold their staff––many of whom come from yoga, dance, and fitness backgrounds, and all of whom have either gymnastics or cheerleading experience––to high standards: each holds at least a level-one NCCP certification, child-safety-focused Respect in Sport certification, and first-aid certification. Cartwheels Inc's instructors coach children as young as 18 months in classes taught to the standards of the National Coaching Certification Program, giving them stylish ways to climb into bunk beds. Beyond tumbling and gymnastics classes, girls also combine gymnastics, dance, and stunting formations to hone cheerleading skills in recreational and competitive all-star cheerleading programs. In the summer, gym staffers lead day camps that combine gymnastics and arts-and-crafts instruction with off-site field trips, allowing children to visit water parks or meet the man who invented water. Recognizing that their gym spaces can also serve as a playground, Katherine and Lisa also organize birthday parties and kids'-night-out events to host hours of unstructured play.