The Castle Climbing Squad run structured climbing and training sessions for young people(9 to 17 years old) to focus on the progression and consolidation of their climbing skills in a fun, inspiring and supportive environment.
Since the Squad was launched in 2009 we have had multiple teams progress through our pathway and it has been a joy to watch them cultivate a love for climbing, with many remaining active climbers for life. We have also produced successful competition climbers, some of whom have gone on to win national events and even compete for their country on the international stage.
The Castle Climbing Squad is separated into 3 groups, A, B and C. The groups are based on experience, performance and attitude with A being the most experienced and C the least.
Athletes joining the Comp Squad A will be climbing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 17:30 and 20:30.
Athletes joining the Comp Squad B & C will be climbing on Wednesdays and Fridays, between 17:30 and 20:30.
Our training season is based on two things. Firstly the long term development of the climbers. We want to empower children to make their own decisions about their pathway of progression, helping them to enjoy a lifetime of safe, injury-free climbing. Secondly on performance at competitions. The main annual competitions are the BMC's Youth Climbing Series (YCS) and the Blokfest bouldering series. Climbers in Squad B and C will be expected to attend at least one of each of these events per year, whereas climbers Squad A will be expected to attend all of the YCS events and as many of the Blokfest events as possible. We also expect our climbers to commit to doing several sessions of climbing per week (both with the coaches and on their own/supervised by their parents or guardians) with Squad A expected to complete a minimum of 3 sessions per week.
As well as the physical aspect of the training sessions we follow a similar progression to the NICAS scheme with the aim of developing the safety skills required for climbing indoors. We offer courses for parents in order for them to gain many of the same skills, skills which you will need in order to supervise your children outside of Squad sessions.
Selection for the Squad takes place at our summer selection event (usually around mid/end-July) where climbers from all over London can come and test themselves on a new set of boulders and be considered. As well as assessment at the event, the coaching team also takes into account the performance and attitude in previous sessions and competitions. The selection event is suitable for 9 to 15 year olds.