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Climbing For All: Information for Technical Advisors

Earlier this year (2015), Mountain Training partnered up with the Bendrigg Trust for a climbing disability awareness symposium for technical advisors. The event was well attended from a variety of people with a broad range of knowledge and experience. The group looked at tackling the barriers to participation from moving and handling, communication and coaching to more technical sessions such as wheelchair abseiling and assisted hoisting systems. Paul Knowles, (Programme Leader for the BSc Outdoor Studies at MMU Cheshire) was a delegate on the course. He said ‘…the day, in all honesty, was ‘the’ single most useful and interesting training event that I have attended. It came out of nowhere really as we were searching and struggling to find the advice on equipment and coaching technique we required…’

The Bendrigg Trust is a specialist outdoor education centre for people with disabilities and disadvantaged youth. As part of its work, Bendrigg also provides disability awareness training to Outdoor Centres and Climbing Walls across the country. Nick Liley, Senior Tutor at the Trust said ‘It’s been great to work with Mountain Training on this project. Our main objective was to increase participation in climbing across the UK for people with disabilities. The weekend was about sharing best practice and knowledge amongst the experts in the field so that organisations can become more inclusive for everyone.’ The training was followed by a day’s filming for technical, ‘how to’ films for Mountain Training and the BMC as a training resource for climbing instructors wanting to work with people with disabilities. These films will be out later in 2015.