Balance Brisbane’s Ninja program has had a refresh, and is ready for the next generation of Ninjas to lashay on. Located in Yeronga, in Brisbane’s southern suburbs, its Ninja course and program combines parkour, tricking and ninja obstacles.
“We realised gymnastics mainly appeals to girls, and we want to be part of the whole community. We therefore needed a program that was appealing to boys, yet still offered the physical and mental benefits of gymnastics. Our Ninja program was born!” says Neal McLennan from the Ninja team.
Balance Brisbane’s Ninja team spent hundreds of hours developing the progressive program. It starts at Bronze 1 and moves through Bronze 2 and 3 to Silver before achieving Gold. The Ninja program is suitable for children aged five years and older.
Creating the ninja course
“We’ve fitted out one of our two buildings — 450 square-metres — to be used as a ninja course,” Mr McLennan says. “The second building is set up for gymnastics.”
The fit-out includes six stations within the space that allow for a huge range of activities.
“We have three walls for running up, kicking off, chimneying up and cat hanging around. An area we call precision for accurate jumping and landing and balancing,” Mr McLennan says.
“Our tricking floor area is where [kids] learn safety rolls and cartwheels initially, moving onto flips and tricks as their skills develop. Vault is where they develop their parkour skills, bars for lashays, under catches and swings, and our Ninja Rig is for all of the ninja warrior-style obstacles.”
Mr McLennan says ninja is great for kids. It develops their strength, coordination, agility, balance and visual spatial skills in a fun but structured way, without the need to point their toes.
“They do it because they love it!” he says.
As well as the physical benefits, Mr McLennan believes Balance Brisbane’s Ninja is also a space for kids to grow emotionally.
“Balance Brisbane has the philosophy that everyone should be aiming to lift everyone else up. We encourage the children to celebrate each other’s successes,” Mr McLennan.
“The only person our Ninjas should compete with is themselves the week before!”
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