Youth Commission partners with NICAS to produce climbing wall advice pamphlet for young climbers and coaches
21 Apr 2013
The UIAA Youth Commission has entered into a partnership with the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) to help UIAA federations and climbing wall operators who are setting up programmes for young climbers.
NICAS is a UK wide scheme designed to promote climbing development and accredit individual achievement on artificial climbing structures and is open to candidates aged 7 and up. It can be used as a starting point for people wishing to take up climbing and mountaineering.
Former UIAA Youth Commission president Anne Arran said the partnership includes the development of a new advice sheet pamphlet called "Young people and climbing walls" and UIAA Youth Commission member federations have been asked for their input.
“It will be a collection of good ideas using the experience of NICAS's handbook and other federations’ materials as well as expert opinion to support the development of youth climbing around the world, mainly through use of indoor walls,” said Arran. “We hope it will also inspire and open up new possibilities.”
The document will cover areas such as facilities, staffing, route setting for young people, group management and coaching, indoors to outdoors, targets, youth competitions, safety and security, introductory sessions, parental involvement, interviews with top young climbers, youth and wall entry, coaching style and more.
“We are looking forward to bringing this publication out and it being the start rather than the finish of work with NICAS to support federations, young climbers, coaches, parents and facility managers,” said Arran.
Iain McKenzie of NICAS said his organization’s award scheme is administered by the Association of British Climbing walls and supported by the National Mountaineering Councils and has five levels of increasing technical skill and responsibilities.
The scheme aims to:
develop climbing movement skills and improve levels of ability
learn climbing rope-work and how to use equipment appropriately
develop risk assessment and risk management skills in the sport
work as a team, communicate with, and trust a climbing partner
provide a structure for development, motivation and improved performance
develop an understanding of the sport, it’s history and future challenges
provide a record of personal achievement
point the way to further disciplines and challenges in climbing beyond the scheme
There are five levels of award aimed at complete novices to expert climbers and the scheme is split into two parts which takes a minimum of 100 hours to complete in its entirety.
The five levels are:
Foundation Climber: An entry level aimed at novices that recognises their ability to climb safely under supervision.
Top Rope Climber: Aimed at promoting good practice in climbing and bouldering unsupervised on an artificial wall.
Technical Climber: A more advanced top roping and bouldering level that focuses on developing technique and movement skills.
Lead Climber: Concentrates on the skills required to both lead climb and belay a lead climber.
Advanced Climber: The top level that focuses on improving performance, a deeper understanding of climbing systems and the wider world of climbing.