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.
When the competitive career of two-time Olympian and five-time Canadian National Champion Anna Rice came to an end, she never considered hanging up her racquet. Instead, she became the program director at Badminton Vancouver. Here, she and her fellow instructors teach students of all levels the sport's ins and outs, from basic shots and strokes to refining footwork.
Lessons take place on the facility's 12 indoor courts, which are outfitted with the same brand of scuff-resistant Mondo flooring used in the Olympic games. Thirty-three-foot-high ceilings accommodate even the loftiest lobs, and anti-glare lighting ensures that players can’t blind their opponents via the strategic use of wristwatches. Along with lessons, the courts host camps, birthday parties, tournaments, and drop-in games.
The pro shop equips players with racquets, shoes, apparel, and other gear. Overlooking the courts, The Mezz Cafe & Lounge beckons to guests with sandwiches, pastries, specialty coffees, and the latest sports on big-screen HD televisions.
Canadian Hapkido President Master Michael Lok has traced a circuitous route to his current position as one of Canada’s highest ranked practitioners of hapkido, a Korean mixed martial arts style that claims millions of black belts worldwide. Born in Hong Kong, Lok studied in Regina, during which time he became interested in the fighting style's intricate kicks, strikes, and joint locks. After winning the Canadian Open Sparring Championship and amassing enough trophies to fill a tiny inflatable swimming pool, Lok decided to go to Korea—hapkido’s birthplace—for several years of intensive training. Now a seventh-level dan black belt, Lok passes on decades of martial-arts wisdom in his Richmond studio, which he proudly claims is Canada's largest dedicated hapkido facility. Open since 1996, the studio and its seasoned instructors help practitioners of all ages progress through hapkido's traditional belt system. In addition to boosting self-confidence, honing discipline, and improving physical fitness, the studio also inspires loyalty; current and past student alike helped honor Master Lok and company with a Richmond News Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts Studio multiple times over the past decade.
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.
Recipient of a British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association award for facility excellence, Watermania shelters aquatic attractions and swimming areas that drench bathing-suit-clad attendees of all ages. Patrons can practice backstrokes in a 57-metre competition pool, leap from 1- and 3-metre springboards, or use a pair of slides to drop into the water with more ease than an inflatable submarine. A wave pool enthralls tykes with a giant play structure boasting sprayers and a large seahorse that dumps water into a massive tipping bucket. Visitors aged 15 and older can relax in the steam room, whirlpool, and sauna. Rigorous workouts come to fruition in Watermania's 3,000-square-foot fitness centre equipped with 20 cardio units, Olympic weights, and exercise balls.
Located in Richmond on land that was once home to an 88-acre organic farm, Mylora Sidaway Golf Club is a peaceful getaway just a few minutes from downtown Vancouver. The course itself is short—in fact, players encounter just three par 4s, including the sixth hole, which is the only hole that stretches past 300 yards. Facing such compressed distances, golfers have an unique opportunity to focus on their short game or drive their way into Mylora's hole-in-one club.
Course at a Glance