The National Indoor Climbing Award Schemes are run by the Association of British Climbing Walls Training Trust (of which I am the p/t Exec Officer). We are a really small educational charity, and our schemes deliver a progressive incentive scheme that provides a gateway from city centre indoor climbing, into a pathway of life-long participation in climbing mountaineering.
Since its creation in 2008, The National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) has introduced over 80,000 young people to climbing, with c.12,000 new participants this year alone. Reacting to recent trends in the growth of bouldering and the increase of urban bouldering centres; The new National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme (NIBAS) is proving successful, with over one thousand new “boulderers” since the launch of the scheme in October 2014. Over 500 of these new climbers have already achieved an award.
NIBAS has been specifically designed to support teachers using bouldering walls in schools, and the ABCTT are developing further resources for teachers to deliver the schemes. The ABCTT has also recognised the value of climbing as a vehicle for teaching physical literacy, and is working on a series of learning cards as resources for younger climbers within schools. This work is being carried out in conjunction with the Youth Sport Trust. Our work with mapping the schemes to various educational syllabi continues, in order that we deliver numerous pathways into NICAS & NIBAS to drive participation and promote retention in climbing.
The Climbing Award Schemes are equally popular with girls and boys, with up to 53% female participation at key stages, and the board of ABCTT has strategically reviewed its charitable aims, to explore further support for young female coaches as future role models.
Schools are invited to take part in this NICAS / NIBAS survey.
The aim of the survey is to reach as many existing and potential future stakeholders as possible. In that way, NICAS / NIBAS hope to gain feedback from young climbers; parents; teachers; climbing coaches and climbing centre managers alike – to find out how “fit for purpose” are the existing schemes, and how we can improve upon them in the future. Please help us to circulate the link to the survey as broadly as possible, in order that we might reach folks who do not already participate or benefit, but might in the future.