World Youth Championships and New Climbing Academy Allow Students to Reach New Heights

Central Saanich, BC – The Boulders Climbing Gym at Stelly’s Secondary School will be the first facility in North America to host a World Youth Climbing Championships, in August 2013. The decision was made this weekend in Rome, Italy, by the International Federation of Sport Climbing. In 2008, climbing was recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and is moving through the process to become an Olympic event.

This news comes on the heels of a decision by School District 63 to approve a climbing academy at Stelly’s Secondary School, which will be the only program of its kind at a public school in North America. Students (from grade nine to twelve) will be able to replace two courses a year with climbing-related content, including the opportunity to earn introductory climbing instructor certifications from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Enrolment for the program starts in March 2011, for intake in September 2011.

Competition Climbing Canada Director Andrew Wilson believes that both the academy and the hosting of the World Youth Climbing Championships will have great benefits for students across the country, regardless of their ability. “In my fifteen years of coaching, I have seen many shy children with unrecognized and underdeveloped athletic abilities grow into confident athletes. This academy will allow every athlete, whether recreational or elite, to discover and pursue athletic performance.” “Climbing has become something that is very popular with many, many children and youth in our district and in this region,” said School District 63 Chair Helen Parker. “It was a natural thing for the Stelly’s community to develop a concept and come up with a program to bring to the board.”

Boulders Chair Kimanda Jarzebiak welcomed both announcements. “Climbing is one of the fastest growing sports in North America, and we are thankful to the many organizations and elected officials from all levels who came together to make this happen. From our MP Gary Lunn and MLA Murray Coell to Central Saanich Mayor and Council, as well as School District 63, and the teachers and Principal of Stelly’s, these events show how much can be accomplished when communities come together to benefit students.”

The Boulders Climbing Gym