We’ve all seen the video of the 18-month old child who caught the climbing bug at a very young age, started climbing before she was walking, and climbed all the way up the Bouldering Wall barely even having to think about it. If you haven’t, click here to see it.
But not all children, or in fact their parents, will think of climbing when they first decide what sport they want to take up, so below are just some of the reasons we believe you should be encouraging your children, whatever age, to pick up climbing and go and join the local Youth Climbing Club.
An endless Career – Age definitely does not defy whether you are a good climber or not. A lot of people see Climbing as something you have to start right from a young age but that’s just not true! At the age of 65, Carol Masheter has become the oldest woman to climb the highest Mountains on every Continent. Read her story here. So if your Kids feel like it’s something they have to achieve by a certain age then you can assure them this is just not true.
A Fighting Spirit – Climbers will not be outdone by a route. It’s just not in them, however tough it gets they will finish the route. And there’s always a new challenge that they will want to work towards, there will always be something to accomplish. This is always a great trait for later in life with school work, exams, to put on your personal statements, and a great part of your personality when working a job that throws all sorts of challenges at you.
Great Working Relationships – Climbing is a really sociable sport. There will always be other people at the Climbing Centre when you are, and you also have to learn to work with, and put all your trust into your Climbing partner. Teaching children trust and to work together from a young age will really help them as they grow up.
You don’t need to worry about partners – Climbers just want to climb. They love reading about climbing, watching videos about climbing, talking about climbing, going climbing, really the only people they have time for are other climbers, so you don’t have to worry about the type of person your son/daughter will be with because either they won’t have time for one or they are going to be pretty much the same person!
It’s amazingly therapeutic – Climbing is starting to be used in many forms of therapy for those mentally and physically challenged, because it’s a real confidence booster and teaches you how to deal with fear and stress as well as concentration and multi-tasking. Because you have to concentrate on your technique and where you are going next, you often find yourself forgetting about the stresses of your day and just figuring out the next step, which is a great way to wind down after work and keep you focused on the positives.
Problem Solving – Climbing is like a puzzle and it takes time and patience to finish a route using the right technique. It’s great for teaching concentration and focus, which is a useful trait to have as well as filling them with confidence when they do complete the route.
Strength and Flexibility is a large part of Climbing – Climbing requires a lot of mental and physical output, and even those less athletic will be able to complete a climb, often surprising themselves and giving them heaps of confidence. They build up their strength through not only the climbing but the exercises they are given along the way too, and they also gain a great amount of body confidence as they learn how far they can push themselves. Their coordination is also tested and strengthened which is also useful when playing other sports.
It teaches a great deal of Responsibility – Kids thrive on being given responsibility and within climbing there will be a lot of this. It’s incredibly empowering for them and makes them feel a lot more confident in themselves and actually allows them to enjoy what they are doing as they feel that they are in control, whilst being in a safe and controlled environment. In time this will encourage them to take responsibility for a number of things outside of the sport from a much younger age than they otherwise might.
But most importantly, it’s so much fun! – Climbing is a great way to keep children fit as well as allowing them to have fun and really feel like they’ve achieved something after EVERY session. There’s always so much to do, so many routes to accomplish, so many puzzles to solve you’ll soon find you can’t get them off the climbing wall! And once they do get to the level of being competent enough to go climbing outside, they’ll find a whole new world of adventure.
If you would like to encourage your children to start Rock Climbing then give the centre a call to book on to one of our taster sessions, and if they really enjoy it like we think they will, then we can sort out getting them into our Youth Climbing Club. To read about what our Youth Clubs offer, click here.