SCOTLAND’S newest indoor climbing facility, Perth College Climbing Centre, was formally opened on Thursday 15 December, within the new Academy of Sport and Wellbeing at Perth College UHI.
The first climbs were carried out by athletes, Jamie Andrew, quadruple amputee; William Bosi, Team GB competitor; Polly Murray, adventurer; and primary school children from Goodlyburn Primary School – alongside a number of Perth College UHI Outdoor Adventure students.
Open to the public from 23 January 2017, the climbers demonstrated how the climbing centre is fully-inclusive and suitable for all abilities and standard of climbers.
The Perth College Climbing Centre is the first in Scotland to meet vigorous new Mountaineering Scotland criteria to be designated as a ‘Level 1 Climbing Hub’ and is suitable for new and experienced climbers, as well as performance climbing athletes, ensuring a sustainable progression route for all levels of ability.
Grant Myles, Perth College UHI chair of the board, said: ‘We are delighted to formally open the Perth College Climbing Centre today.
“It provides a demonstration of our aspirations for continued growth and development and is contributing to our core aims of enhancing our student experience and preparing them for employment.
“We also wish to increase participation in sport within our region. As the centre is fully inclusive and caters for all abilities and standard of climbers, we hope to inspire the next generation of climbers who simply enjoy the sport or possibly develop into the next Olympians of the future.”
Perth College UHI was awarded £200,000 from sportscotland’s Sport Facilities Fund for the development of the Perth College Climbing Centre.
Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, the national agency for sport, commented: “At sportscotland, we are committed to ensuring sporting facilities such as the Perth College Climbing Centre are very much part of the fabric within the local community.
“We are always looking to help strengthen projects that enhance and extend the opportunities available to both community users of all ages and abilities and athletes, so are delighted to support Perth College UHI in their official launch of this new inclusive sporting centre that we have invested in.
“We look forward to working closely with the team at the new Academy of Sport and Wellbeing to develop our relationship further.”
Kevin Howett, development manager, Mountaineering Scotland, added: “The new wall is part of a Mountaineering Scotland facilities strategy to develop Scottish climbing by offering the best facilities to grow grass-roots interest in our sport and the most up-to-date training facilities that will take Scottish climbers to the Olympics.
“Opening to the public in January 2017, we are delighted to be working in partnership with Perth College UHI in generating increased interest and involvement in our sport.”
The centre was designed and manufactured by local company, Dream Climbing Walls, who installed over 90 different climbing routes of varying grades inspired by iconic Scottish rock climbing venues.
The Academy of Sport and Wellbeing which houses the centre opened in September 2016 and provides hair, beauty and wellbeing, sport and academic facilities for students, staff and wider community groups.