/ School Sports' Hall Climbing Wall questions

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Jim Houghton - on 15 May 2017
Hi all,

The school I work at have just approved a budget to build a climbing wall in the sports hall and have asked me to look into it. So far, we've had a quote from Entre Prises but no-one else. Couple of questions:

a) Does anyone have any experience of companies building walls in sports' halls other than Entre Prises and

b) I'm pretty skeptical about these walls generally but school are very keen for one. Has anyone found a good solution for getting something that's actually good for climbing (as opposed to just being good for showing people round on open days!)?

Any comments gratefully received!

Thanks,

Jim
Tomtom - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

https://www.climbingwallservices.com
If you speak to Nate, he will point you in the right direction, I'm sure.
Andy Hardy on 15 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

Surely an ideal DT project? Get the kids to design an build it - you might need a structural engineer to give it the once over, before and during the build but do the rest in house
Jim Houghton - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

I fear then it may not have the open-day-impression effect at all!!!
Fraser on 15 May 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

What's DT?
spenser - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

My old school, RGS Newcastle, had one built a couple of years ago that seems to be getting a fair bit of hammer from the kids, could possibly call them up and ask if you could speak to the person who runs it to see what they have got set up?
deepsoup - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Tomtom:

It might be worth your while giving Hangfast a shout too:
http://www.hangfastadventure.com/
Andy Hardy on 15 May 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Design and technology

It might have had a name change in the last 15 years. When I was at school it was woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing
Fraser on 15 May 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Aah, gottcha. (and yes, same here)
Lord_ash2000 - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

http://www.kongadventure.com/manufacture/

King Kong do quite a lot of walls on that scale, definitely worth getting a free quote and design form them at least for comparison.
winhill - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

http://www.drclimbingwalls.com/

Leah Crane got into climbing through a weedy sports centre wall, so you never know.
Just Tintin - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

Sevenoaks have a neat wall that uses the space really well which they tell me was done by http://vlmadventureconsultants.blogspot.co.uk/
andyr - on 15 May 2017


If they have space try and get it built so that NICAS and NIBAS can be delivered on it

http://www.nicas.co.uk/nicas/downloads/47678%20NICAS%20handbooks%20A5%2036pp%20Accredited.pdf

page 8

http://www.nicas.co.uk/nibas/downloads/62749%20NIBAS%20Digital%20Handbook%20A5%2044PP%20OCT%202015%2...

page 12

Both long term schemes with good parallels to GCSE.
Rob Grant - on 15 May 2017
In reply to andyr:

Many schools have sports hall walls and get a lot out of them. On the other hand, some schools have great difficulty finding staff who are keen to run sessions and maintaining suitable levels of training for staff.

If the school has a background in outdoor pursuits and staff with SPA or similar, then it will likely be a great addition to the school. If not, it is certainly achievable to run a climbing wall, but it will require commitment from staff and additional budgeting.

To add my recommendation to the pile, try Rockworks.
marsbar - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

You could ask this school, it's shared use school leisure centre. http://www.dplc.bardaglea.org.uk/climbingwall.html
Toerag - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

My advice will be to make sure the room it's in doesn't get too hot or cold. If it's freezing the users will complain, if it's too hot it'll be no good in summer. Don't forget to budget for an annual inspection & routeset.
Why does the school want a wall? Once you answer this question you'll know where you're going with the project.
Scott K - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

http://www.dreamclimbingwalls.com/school-climbing-walls/

Scott Muir has done lots of school walls in the last few years. He did a couple up in Shetland and he has also been down to London so is willing to travel!! His own wall was great when it was open and he put a tower up in our local wall which has improved the climbing.
ericinbristol - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

> I'm pretty skeptical about these walls generally

Why is that? They are popular and getting ever more so. (I even have my own in my garage)

Martin Hore - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

It might be worth contacting your local climbing club. They could advise on whether the wall was likely to attract use by club members or others at evenings or weekends which could help offset capital and running costs.

Ipswich Mountaineering Club have this sort of arrangement with Copleston High School Sports Centre. We also do some route-setting at the wall (without which the routes would never be reset).

You're unlikely to see many evening climbers at a school wall though if your school is in an area with easy access to state of the art climbing walls. Ipswich has none. The nearest, Mid-Suffolk Leisure Centre (15 miles), is good but not large and many club members use both walls for variety.

A major problem with walls in school sports halls attracting outside use is clashes with other sports using the sports hall. Access to the Copleston wall is pretty much restricted to three regular evenings a week and occasional weekends due to this.

Martin
earlsdonwhu - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

I was in charge of a wall in a school sports hall for over 10 years.
Random issues to consider:
- Can you afford/accommodate something with features/overhangs rather than merely vertical.
- Remember when route setting that users will have very different sizes! and ability.
- Staffing... are PE staff on board or are you relying on other teachers?
- Will there be conflict between climbers/belayers and other activities like basketball practices?
-Will there be pressure to allow other external users in at weekend etc.?
- Will the school provide climbing shoes or will the kids just wear trainers?

Entreprises built ours and were very efficient and receptive in the design phase.
Sealwife - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Scott K:

> http://www.dreamclimbingwalls.com/school-climbing-walls/Scott Muir has done lots of school walls in the last few years. He did a couple up in Shetland and he has also been down to London so is willing to travel!! His own wall was great when it was open and he put a tower up in our local wall which has improved the climbing.

I think perhaps you mean Orkney. There are two Dream climbing walls here, one in a school and one in a sports centre, a bouldering cave and some free standing outdoor boulders.

I think there may be one planned for Shetland but not sure what stage it's at.
Toerag - on 19 May 2017
In reply to ericinbristol:

> Why is that? They are popular and getting ever more so. (I even have my own in my garage)

I'm sceptical about them because kids get a lot less exercise using them than they would doing traditional sports. Yes, they're good for confidence and all the other things climbing is good for, but it's no replacement for a game of footy/netball/basketball etc.
ads.ukclimbing.com
mwr72 - on 19 May 2017
In reply to Jim Houghton:

I've built a few walls in school sports halls nationwide when I worked for a climbing wall company.

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