26 May Kids climbing the walls at Woodstock
As part of the holistic educational experience at Woodstock, students and staff can take advantage of the superb climbing room in the school’s Win Mumby gym. It is used by students of all ages, from as young as the early childhood programme and kindergarten through to students in Grade 12.
Rock climbing is one of the most exciting and challenging of extreme sports, and participants have to use both muscular and mental power to overcome difficult physical challenges. There are three 25ft walls in the climbing room which can be regularly adjusted to create new routes. Students can also try rappelling (abseiling), learn basic climbing techniques and rope and knot skills. Prashant Allay, who trained at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Tenzing Norgay Climbing Club in Darjeeling, is the rock climbing instructor at Woodstock.
He has seen many of the children improve in their climbing abilities in the past year. “Rock climbing is about mental strength, it requires great physical power and endurance, and you need to be physically and mentally fit to do it. “But it really helps children to improve their confidence when they succeed in climbing a wall. At the same time, they have to show responsibility and build trust when they are pileting (lowering someone on a rope), and learn skills such as teamwork and dependence. “Over the semester I’ve seen students improve in these areas, some of them even want to take part in climbing competitions now.” He has also taken some of students to Flag Hill, a small mountain near school, to take part in bouldering. Rock climbing is an important part of the curriculum at Woodstock and is growing in popularity in India. It is now included in the Asian Games, and could be part of the Olympics in the future.