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Traversing Club - Climbing Games

31st May 2012

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My oldest lad goes to our local primary school. A couple of weeks ago local climbing wall builder Wallclimber installed a traversing wall in the playground and I offered to start running an after-school climbing club for interested kids. I’ve done two sessions so far. The first had 8 participants, the second had 10, and I’m told that the next one will have 12. I’ve never taught before and it’s both fun and challenging. I called at the Climbing Works before the first session to quiz some of their instructors on some basic tips and advice and ended up walking out with a fantastic book called  Climbing Games, by Paul Smith. In it there are 120 climbing related games and warm up routines (no one tip: never tell people they are doing a ‘warm-up’ as it is often perceived as something that is delaying them getting on with the real action – something blindingly obvious once you read it!). The wall is basically about 6 foot high and vertical. There are 6 panels, each about 6 foot wide, so there’s a fair degree of scope for movement. With the kids being relatively little there’s scope for upward problems as well as side to side, but we need to get a few more holds on there first. Next job – source some funding for holds, boots and chalk. As well as visiting the Works for advice I also posted on UKClimbing and was nicely surprised with the number and quality of responses on there offering advice and help. All in all it’s been a great experience so far.