Between now and Christmas schoolchildren from across Scotland will be climbing the walls – in the best possible sense.
They’ll be aiming to qualify for the Scottish Schools Climbing Competition 2013-14.
Youngsters from 11 up to 17 are eligible to take part in the national competition, run by Glasgow Climbing Wall, supported by the city’s St Aloysius School and the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS).
The young climbers will be competing on behalf of their schools in the free-to-enter competition, with qualifying stages being run at their nearest indoor climbing walls, where they can pick up score cards and work their way through four different routes, graded according to age.
The grand final will be held at the Glasgow Climbing Centre in April next year, with the top five climbers in each category invited to take part.
Climbing walls taking part in the qualifying rounds are Peak Climbing Wall, Stirling; Glasgow Climbing Centre; Alien Rock, Edinburgh; Transition Extreme, Aberdeen; Gairloch Leisure Centre, and Avertical World, Dundee.
The first Scottish High School Climbing Competition was held in January 2010 at the Glasgow Climbing Centre, instigated by St Aloysius College in Glasgow and supported by the MCofS. The competition initially held both final and qualifying stages in Glasgow but, with the number of walls being built at schools increasing year on year the MCofS is pleased to see the qualifying stages being spread around the country.
Kevin Howett, MCofS Development officer, said: “This is as much about getting children to take up climbing as simply looking for the best. We want to encourage them into a sport that’s full of fun and challenges and can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
“Last year, we had 45 boys and 32 girls taking part in the qualifying stages, representing schools all over Scotland, but with climbing becoming more mainstream at schools we would expect to see this rise.
“And if the children have fun at this competition and want to do a bit more before the grand final, they can have a go at the National Youth Competition (the Youth Climbing Series), which the MCofS is holding in February and March 2014.
‘‘It’s a fun event, but is also used by MCofS to select a Scottish squad.”
Full information for forthcoming competitions can be found on the Glasgow Climbing Centre website at HYPERLINK “http://www.glasgowclimbingcentre.com/scottish_schools_climbing_competition.php” http://www.glasgowclimbingcentre.com/scottish_schools_climbing_competition.php or by calling 0141 427 9550