Sport and exercise take up time. It’s not only the time spent doing what you love, it’s the hours training, the driving to and fro, and the endless searching for the right equipment.
This puts a lot of people off. Climbing is a time consuming sport. The best crags are often inaccessible, the faff involved with the equipment is considerable, and the practise needed to climb the hard stuff is intense. Anything that makes this more accessible has got to be welcome.
The spread of indoor climbing centres in the UK has done much to increase the popularity of the sport over the last few years. It narrowly missed out on being selected as an event for the 2020 Olympic games.
Boulders, an indoor climbing centre on Cardiff’s Newport Road, is one of a growing number of city centre climbing venues that is making climbing more accessible.
“Perhaps before indoor walls came about it was harder, certainly,” said Boulders staff member – Rich Millier. “But now with the accessibility of the indoor walls, you can come down, give it a go.”
As people look for viable and interesting alternatives to the gym – climbing is quickly becoming reconciled with busy modern lives. As well as physical fitness, the sport poses mental challenges, and promotes sociability.
“We’re definitely trying to create something here, more of a stronger community of South Wales,” said Mr Millier. “I think indoor walls are great at that – they’re really good meeting places – for people to come and meet and discuss routes. I think everyone should definitely give it a go.”