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Public climbing walls open in former chapel

Public climbing walls open in former chapel

Thursday 16 May 2019

Public climbing walls open in former chapel

The once redundant Galaad Chapel has been transformed into a climbing centre and children's therapy clinic, opening next weekend.

The space will be open to the public for drop-in climbing sessions, clubs and courses but will also be made available to schools and used for core stability and child developmental sessions.

Up Climbing Guernsey has been set up by Dimi Argyros who also runs Avenue Clinic.

"I was seeing a lot more kids with back pain and neck pain over the past couple of years," she said. "A lot of it was due to posture and being slumped forward and just having really weak core stability muscles. Trying to give a kid core stability exercises doesn't work, they get bored really quickly, so, I thought I would build a small therapy wall. I planted the seed and that seed grew."

Up climbing wall Galaad Chapel

Pictured: Some of the climbing walls at Up Climbing Guernsey.

The climbing walls can be booked for birthday parties and corporate events, while Ms Argyros hopes to build developmental squads so children can go away and compete in climbing.

"It automatically uses your core without you even realising," she continued. "As soon as you climb you start using your core stability muscles. It uses hand-eye coordination, it strengthens the fingers so it helps improve handwriting. By doing specific exercises we can focus in on certain things; balance, coordination, kids who get dizzy all the time."

Up climbing wall Galaad Chapel

Pictured: Smaller climbing wall for young children and inexperienced climbers.

The centre has three main areas for climbers of different abilities as well as a therapy room, fitted with a smaller wall and some other climbing equipment.

"It is a great thing to do as a family," added Ms Argyros. "It's an activity that everyone can enjoy and it doesn't matter how old you are. I'm hoping to encourage everyone from the youngest to the oldest because it is great for your health and it is great for your coordination. There's psychological benefits to it as well and it is very mindful, so it helps from a decreasing stress perspective."

Up climbing therapy area

Pictured: Part of the therapy area which will can also be used by smaller children.

The centre will open next weekend and visitors are being encouraged to book ahead for the first week or so. It will be open to the public between 13:30 and 21:30 in the week and 09:30 and 19:30 on weekends. 

An online booking system will be up and running early next week and you can watch the Up Climbing Guernsey Facebook page for updates.

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