Building on the growing popularity of climbing, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has launched a new initiative which will encourage young climbers and support their development.
ClimbScotland, launched at Scotland’s world-class international climbing arena EICA:Ratho on 19 October, will promote and develop climbing amongst a new audience of young people and build upon Scotland’s already successful climbing track record.
A growing number of young people are already passionate about climbing – an indoor and outdoor sport which offers a unique combination of all-year round adrenaline fuelled excitement, fun and healthy exercise, enjoying a chance to take on the best or climb at your own pace in a safe environment.
A ClimbScotland development team will introduce young people to climbing at schools, climbing walls and via youth organisations with a range of activities and events, while developing clubs and providing specialist support to parents, volunteers and teachers.
Climbing walls feature at a growing number of schools, with over 200 primary schools around the country now having low level ‘traversing walls’, where children can get a feel for climbing while at play or PE.
ClimbScotland will also provide an online gateway to the information families need to give their children a taste of climbing and signpost the training options young climbers can follow if they want to progress with both indoor and outdoor climbing.
Jamie Smith, ClimbScotland Team Leader said: “The introduction of ClimbScotland is a massive leap forward in the development of Scottish climbing. Climbing is an activity which kids take naturally to – after all, they can climb before they can walk! Many have an innate desire to clamber higher which, if nurtured with the right skills, can lead to the development of real talent. It’s a great sport for growing confidence, team and leadership skills, coordination and fitness, and has a very strong social scene too.”
Climbing has not only captured the imagination of youngsters in Scotland, it has become an international phenomenon, with a bid to feature as an Olympic sport at the 2020 games in Japan achieving more public votes than all the alternative options put together.
Jamie continues: “If climbing is accepted – and it came very close the last time it was nominated – then now is the time to start seriously developing young athletes for a GB team to be in contention for a place on the podium.” He continues “There are five Scottish climbers in the current GB Junior Climbing Team. With the support of ClimbScotland, we hope to develop many more promising youngsters in the future.”
The launch of ClimbScotland coincided with the Scottish Youth Climbing Championship with 150 young competitors from 7 to 19 years old and the Scottish Para Climbing Competition. ClimbScotland is supported by sportscotland, the national sport agency.
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