Disability awareness 1

Climbing for all

On 18 April Graham Hill (GB Paraclimbing Team Manager) delivered a very well received Climbing For All workshop at Redpoint Birmingham. The day started with a discussion on appropriate and inappropriate references and definitions and how easy it is to fall into the associated traps – the take away is use positive language and don’t be shy about discussing the person’s needs and requirements with them. Graham discussed with us a variety of strategies to support the objective that the primary goal is the client’s enjoyment. The event also covered learning models, and styles and how these can be related to instructing/coaching and of course preparation tasks.

We were privileged to be joined by John Churcher - GB Paraclimber 2015 Team. John discussed his climbing with us and in particular how we should “call” (sight guide) for him in a clear and concise way. Bravely, John generously “volunteered” to permit us to call for him whilst he climbed set routes (no “rainbowing” allowed here folks) with a variety of different callers. John Disability 2 giving feedback on our performance after each occasion. The group then progressed to calling for each other with the climber being totally blindfolded.

The rest of the afternoon was taken up with climbing for wheelchair users. Graham demonstrated a number of rigs and interactive person “handling” techniques. We also rigged an abseil station for wheelchair users. Both the climbing and the abseil was totally hands-on with a series of ascents of the climbing rig and abseiling one of the delegates in the wheelchair down a wall accompanied by two abseiling guides.

Thanks to Graham for a quality delivery, thanks to John for facilitating the hands on sight guide sessions and thanks to Redpoint Birmingham for facilitating us.

Paul Burgess