Following a successful application to Sport England, Lancashire Mountaineering Club was awarded funding to establish a Satellite Club Scheme to encourage more young people, especially in the 14-25 age range to participate in mountaineering and thereby also increase the number of younger members of the club.
The Satellite Club Scheme has been developed with the aim of making the transition from organisations such as schools, colleges, youth organisations, climbing walls to community sports clubs, such as the Lancashire Mountaineering Club (LMC), much easier.
At the heart of every Satellite Club is an established community sports club, called the “hub club”, i.e. LMC. The idea is that the hub club will establish extensions of itself (satellites) in outside organisations. Together they will focus on the development of sport, in our case mountaineering, and enable young people to make the transition into the hub club.
Four local organisations in the North West, comprising two schools, a DofE Group and a climbing centre, expressed a wish to become satellite clubs of the LMC with three having already signed up.
The funding from Sport England allows us to provide professional training to the Satellite Clubs in various mountaineering activities, to ensure a high level of skills and knowledge is provided to the participants. The scheme also provides access to individual membership of the LMC and the associated benefits of belonging to a BMC affiliated club.
Following discussion with each of the Satellite Clubs, programmes of training are being developed and delivered. Training has included
These have been a great success, with real enthusiasm and commitment shown by the attendees, and in addition to increasing the participant’s skill level it has generated a greater interest in outdoor activities. This has been supplemented by other outdoor training in the Lake District and further courses and activities are being planned.
Selective training is also being provided to a number of LMC’s existing members. The aim is to make them better qualified to help new members of LMC, particularly younger members, to develop their mountaineering skills and knowledge and a greater interest in activities in the hills and mountains.
The plan for the future is to develop further training and outdoor activities with the existing Satellite Clubs over the next year and beyond and also to extend the scheme to similar organisation in the North West. Exploratory discussions have already been held with potential Satellite Clubs and there is great interest and enthusiasm amongst them.
Progression to Rock
LMC is also in the second year of their ‘Progression to Rock’ programme; aimed at indoors climbers looking to make the transition to outdoor traditional rock climbing. The aim is to provide new climbers with experience and increase their confidence of climbing outside, whilst allowing the LMC to attract new members to the club, especially keen climbers, in order to increase the numbers attending climbing meets. Rather than LMC providing professional instruction experienced members of the club mentor the novices. In the first year, 2014, 63 novices attended with many now LMC members and are confidently leading and helping the 2015 novices. In 2015, 60 new climbers have attended the programme. All of the meets have received very positive feedback from attendees and many are left ‘buzzing’ from climbing on real rock.
The Satellite Club Scheme, coupled with the Progression to Rock programme is an exciting opportunity for LMC to encourage and provide opportunities to young people throughout the region to get involved in mountaineering and develop a love of the sport & in the great outdoors and to attract new, younger members to join LMC!
Youth Officer, Lancashire MC
Find out more
Join Lancashire Mountaineering Club
Get involved with the LMC Satellite Club Scheme - email Mike Haines or Roger Gott for more information
Find out more about the Progression to Rock programme