There are many climbing walls scattered around the country in sports centres and schools that rarely get used. They are often included in a new school or commercial sports centres but there is no infrastructure to make them work.
The wall needs to be maintained structurally, operating procedures and risk assessments in place, as well as a qualified (minimum MIA) technical adviser who can oversee the whole picture and train instructors to work safely with clients at the new wall.
Instructors can be trained to work solely at one climbing centre – commonly called Site Specific Instructors, enabling them to understand the working systems of that particular centre and learn the necessary techniques and safety implications.
Monsterclimbs has done this for many centres – Malvern Sports centre, Tewkesbury School, the Summit Climbing Centre, The Warehouse Climbing Centre, Bredon School, Bristol Grammar School and North London Collegiate College(pictured).
Instructors learn how to use all the essential equipment and how to transfer this information to their clients whilst managing the dynamics of a group. They become aware of the legal responsibilities of a climbing instructor, of the Duty of Care especially where under 18’s are involved and instructors are working ‘in loco parentis’. They become familiar with the BMC participation statement and the potential for injury and/or death.
They learn different belaying techniques that are appropriate to client needs,
whether they are there for a one off session or are actually learning to be independent climbers. By regularly checking equipment and by constant observation they learn to avoid problems and know how to solve them.
Warming up appropriately for climbing is essential to avoid injury and SSI’s develop the skills to do this and learn basic climbing techniques to promote a solid base on which new climbers can build. Indoor climbing is only the tip of the iceberg and new instructors are encouraged to look at the bigger picture to inspire their clients to take climbing beyond the confines of the climbing wall.
A consolidation period follows the training, whereby trainees visit climbing centres and shadow other instructors, assisting where possible to cement their knowledge and extend their experience. The assessment takes the form of running a live group climbing session, which must be safe, informative and fun.
If you have a climbing wall that needs developing please contact Miss Ali Taylor 07814555378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form.