Anna Kournikova gets a demonstration of Parkour at a youth center in Russia.
Photo: Evgeny Zakharov/PSI
PAGE 8
My last activity of the day before hopping on the plane to Moscow is a visit to a world-class sports center. There is so much energy in the room, and our group has front-row seats. We are about to watch a Parkour performance and training for at-risk youth. I actually shot a commercial with K-Swiss a couple of years ago that used Parkour athletes. It was my first introduction to the sport.

For those of you who don't know about Parkour, it looks like a mix of gymnastics and dance, where the performers use skills like jumping, climbing and flipping. It is mostly practiced in urban areas, so you use buildings, rails and benches as apparatus. It is very cool.

I even get to participate in part of the warm-up and training. Well, the kids are doing most of the training. I just help with the warm-up.

Parkour is really an excellent exercise for your body and spirit. Like most sports, it helps developing coordination, strength, endurance, self-awareness and self-esteem. PSI will pair this activity with HIV education and helping kids learn skills to make healthy choices that will last a lifetime.

All in all, more than 20 kids from the Youth Social Center participate and then get passes to another Parkour show and to participate in training classes—such a great and creative alternative to time spent on the streets.

It's time to speak up for the people I've met

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