Page 12 - Independent Schools Magazine
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Up the wall towards the Olympics
Climbing will make its debut as an olympic sport in three years time at Tokyo. Schools are taking more of an interest in the activity as well...
Wall opened by record-breakers
Alan Hinkes OBE, the  rst Briton to climb fourteen of the world’s highest mountains, and Gordon Browning, the  rst Briton to have ridden a motorcycle on all seven continents, were at Giggleswick School, Yorkshire, for the opening of their new indoor climbing wall.
The famous mountaineer and Mr Browning, both based in North Yorkshire, led the proceedings with Sarah Crombie, Chair of the Parents Association, in an event that brought together current pupils and climbing enthusiasts, staff, alumni (or Old Giggleswickians as they are known), and members of the local community. They were joined by Headmaster, Mark Turnbull, who introduced the record-breaking guests, and Head of Outdoor Pursuits at the School, Chris Wright.
was climbing on the day, was
a major donor to the climbing
wall, explaining “I couldn’t think
of a better project to support. Mountaineering has been a passion all of my life and has provided me with valuable lessons that I’ve used throughout my life and my career. Climbing teaches you that if you put in the effort and hard work, you can achieve things that you didn’t think possible at  rst and look back and say ‘I did that’”.
Alan Hinkes OBE also gave
a fascinating talk about his climbing career, conquering Everest among fourteen of the highest mountains in the world over 8000m high. He explained that climbing teaches you to “never get complacent in life” and praised the School for enabling climbing to take place all year round by fundraising for the wall.
The Headmaster, Mark Turnbull, thanked Mr Browning for
his contribution to the wall, along with the Giggleswick School Parents Association who fundraised extensively. The wall is suitable for new and experienced
climbers, as well as performance climbing athletes, ensuring a sustainable progression route for all levels of ability. The School hopes to run sessions for primary schools and community groups in the near future.
Gordon Browning, who has a
daughter at the school and who
Pictured: (l to r) Pupils Frankie Browning and Toby Smith  ank Sarah Crombie from the Parents Association, Alan Hinkes OBE and Gordon Browning in front of the new climbing wall.
National indoor climbing award scheme
The Royal Hospital School, Suffolk, has successfully applied to deliver the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS). NICAS provides the structure
and motivation for new climbers
to develop their climbing skills in order that they may gain the most out of their sport, as well as having their achievements recognised. GCSE, A level and BTEC students are often able
to follow the NICAS syllabus to achieve an element of their quali cation.
Mr Paddy Ryan, NICAS Awards Director stated: “By delivering NICAS at the Royal Hospital School we aim to promote good practice, deeper knowledge of
the sport and provide a structure for climbing development. The real bene ts of climbing go way beyond the physical development of young people. Climbing teaches a whole range of valuable life skills including: responsibility, trust, supporting others, understanding risk, perseverance and recognising and coping with anxiety. The NICAS Scheme is
an ideal way to maximise the use of the School’s brand new climbing wall which is the centre piece of its recent £1.2m sports
facility project that will continue to inspire our young people to achieve their best”.
Martin Chester, Executive Of cer of the ABCTT (Association of British Climbing Walls), said: “I’m delighted that the Royal Hospital School will be delivering the NICAS Scheme. The scheme is designed for everyone, from complete novices to experienced indoor climbers. We believe that high standards should be encouraged early on in a participants’ climbing career so that both safety and enjoyment can be practised to the full, and we believe NICAS provides that framework.”
A cohort of 27 pupils, aged between 11 and 18, have signed onto the NICAS award so far and all are progressing well.
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