With a total of 18 youth from five different climbing groups (including the Geckos, the After School Programs at West Kings and NKEC, the Rock Court, and the Rock Divas), six coaches, and 32 newly set routes, the launch of a prototype Youth Bouldering Skills and Technique Workshop on June 1st at the West Kings District High was extremely successful!
Unlike previous – nonetheless amazing – youth bouldering competitions, the main focus of the workshop was designed to build upon foundational climbing skills and create a sense of community between the different climbing groups. This goal was achieved above expectation as kids from all gyms interacted throughout the workshop, helping each other unlock the beta for new problems.
It was fantastic to see kids who had been climbing less than a month pairing up to work on problems with more experienced climbers and vise versa, offering advice, challenging themselves, and together learning new techniques. Coaches stepped up to demonstrate and teach different body movements which provided the key to completing (as they saw it) ‘impossibly difficult’ problems. As the session came to a close, the feedback was in resounding agreement for more workshops – along with continued competitions – and more time to climb!
A gigantic shout out goes to Chris, Heather B., Heather R., Phill, Adam and Bekah, as well as all the coaches at the different gyms, who’ve put time and effort into engaging these youth in bouldering. Also, a special thanks to the parents and young climbers for making it possible to continue doing what we love. It is fantastic to see these programs flourishing with excited youth showing up to learn, pumped to crank hard!