Oak Bay grad rises to the community challenge

UrbaCity Challenge, June 12, raises money for the Prostate Centre

Oak Bay High grad Jonathan Willcocks invites the community to this year’s Urbacity Challenge

Oak Bay High grad Jonathan Willcocks invites the community to this year’s Urbacity Challenge

Oak Bay High grad Jonathan Willcocks credits much of his high school experience with where he is today.

The former Oak Bay class president came to the local community a little later than many of his classmates, moving from England as a teen to live here with his grandparents.

Finding ways to connect with school and friends wasn’t always easy, but soccer helped ease the transition, he says, crediting coach and mentor Martin Collins, a University of Victoria professor, for his influence.

“For me, it’s been about having different mentors in life, different teachers,” he says.

Willcocks also recognized early on that he wanted to take those experiences put them to work with people, promoting enjoyment and exploration of the outdoors.

Today, the “founder and chief visionary” of Pinnacle Pursuits, Willcocks is the force behind the UrbaCity Challenge, returning to Victoria streets, sidewalks and businesses Sunday, June 12.

“The last 25 years of life has been so connected through values of leadership, adventure, play and community impact – I realize these have been common values throughout my whole life,” he says.

“It’s also about being curious and open to opportunity, making key choices, and then just having a super awesome attitude and approach as I – or one – jumps into the unknown.”

Willcocks graduated in 1989 and now makes his home in Vancouver. About seven years ago, he was looking to complement his work with youth and corporate team-building, and thought, “let’s see where we can go with the whole idea of a charity challenge,” he says.

Combining the idea of a fun adventure “race” with charity fundraising, “people have just been eating it up,” he says.

“It’s about stretching people outside their normal environment.”

The urban adventure race – think a localized mash-up of Amazing Race and Survivor, with a charity twist – is filled with challenge stations that test both brain and body. UrbaCity offers brain, brawn, ultra and corporate face-off categories, “each offering a fun and challenging race with its own unique twist.”

The race begins and ends at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, but takes in the entire city centre. Challenge locations are hosted by local businesses and include Victoria hot spots, hidden gems and landmarks.

Stations could feature brain puzzles, like word games, maps or visual clues, or displays of brawn, like paddle-boarding, gymnastic feats and even carrying your teammate.

Or, combine the two for an extra-long Ultra course. The corporate face-off division features a taste of everything, custom-tailored for four people and a perfect team-building opportunity.

“You’ll see a whole new side of the city – and your teammate, because teamwork is the order of the day: brain, brawn and ultra categories each include two team members who will have to work together to conquer the race. This is doubly-true for the corporate face-off.”

Activities might have participants learning about legends and storytelling at First Nations sites, solving puzzles at a game and puzzle store, or doing partner poses at a yoga studio, for example.


Each UrbaCity team raises funds for Island Prostate Centre, located at the Oak Bay Junction. Minimum pledge levels and incentives for high fundraisers motivate

UrbaCity racers to give more to this vital community resource. Last year, UrbaCity racers donated over $50,000 to Island Prostate Centre – this year, they’re aiming even higher.


“It really is all about raising awareness and funds for the Island Prostate Centre,” while celebrating downtown Victoria and the community, Willcocks says.

Making the event possible are the volunteers from Maximus Canada, who were also looking for a team-building opportunity and a way of giving back.

Learn more and register at urbacitychallenge.ca.




Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

The WHL’s Victoria Royals will compete in a 24-game season starting March 26, <strong></strong>based out of a Kamloops and Kelowna B.C. division bubble (Kevin Light/Courtesy Victoria Royals)
‘Important to cherish every moment’: Victoria Royals not taking bubble season for granted

The Victoria WHL team’s coach and GM calls the season a ‘privilege,’ expects fierce rivalries

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

The Victoria Fire Department was able to contain a fire to one room after a bed placed directly against a heater ignited. (Black Press Media file photo)
Early morning Victoria balcony fire causes $20,000 in damages

Victoria Fire Department said nobody was injured in the fire on View Street

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Most Read