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Ollie Noakes and Rob Lawrence of Boulders scale new heights in first year
© UKC Gear A founder of a Cardiff-based climbing centre has been named the Brightest Star for 2009 according to a top Welsh business magazine.
Rob Lawrence, who opened Boulders Climbing Centre with Ollie Noakes last year, scooped Insider magazine's top award after a successful first year in business.
Each year Wales Business Insider unveils its annual list of 25 young Welsh entrepreneurs aged 40 or under and Rob was this year recognised as the most promising of the selected 25.
The brainchild of business partners Rob Lawrence, a former British Army officer and Ollie Noakes, a former soldier in the Territorial Army, Boulders is one of the largest indoor climbing centres in the UK housing over 2,000 square metres of climbing wall.
The two friends came together last year through a passion for climbing and with the help of Finance Wales and two business angels, Peter Saunders and Keith Thomas, their dream of opening an indoor climbing centre in Wales became a reality.
Twelve months later, having been recently shortlisted for a HSBC Start-up Award, the centre is not only catering to experienced, established climbers, but has opened up the sport to a host of first time climbers, young and old, who are using the centre as an alternative to the conventional gym, as well as the corporate market who are using the centre to host team building days for staff.
Rob Lawrence, managing director, says:
“Since launching the centre last August, we have been fortunate to defy the economic downturn and go from strength to strength. We have opened up the sport of climbing to a whole host of first timers and have also been able to cater for the more experienced of climbers through regular competitions and meets. It is great to have been recognized by Insider as a Rising Star and I'm flattered to have been selected as the Brightest Star for 2009 as it is testament to all the hard work that has been put in to get Boulders up and running.”
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