The Cork Youth Climbing Club was started in 2010 by Cork climbers Damien O’Sullivan (now Talent Development Officer with Mountaineering Ireland) and Beatriz Baselga Pascual. The club came together following some coaching sessions Damien had been running at Cork’s Mardyke Arena climbing wall. They worked with an enthusiastic group of young climbers and made great progress during their time coaching. However when they decided to travel the world for a bit and as they wanted to make sure that the coaching and progress made by the young climbers did not disintegrate, they approached the climbers' parents along with other Cork-based climbers with a view to starting a club – the Cork Youth Climbing Club had begun.
There are many people worthy of a mention in the next stage of the club's development, but without doubt, the energy and enthusiasm of local Cork climber, Richard Cussen, propelled the club to a new level. Richard pushed out the boundaries and challenged everyone to embrace the sport beyond just turning up twice a week at the climbing wall. In early 2017, Richard was the key driving force behind the club's formal coaching program. Now in its fouth term of existence, the coaching program is an ongoing success story. The club is thankful to Richard and the other pioneering members for this legacy.
The CYCC is open to kids aged from 7 to 18 years of age (inclusive). The club now has around 35 youth members and we climb, coach & train three times per week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). Tuesdays and Thursdays are the main nights for coaching and training, whereas Saturday is set aside for less formal climbing. The venue is Cork’s newest climbing wall, Awesome Walls Cork, (located at Eden Hall/Sports Village).
The club’s main focus is to introduce young climbers to the world of indoor wall and outdoor rock climbing in Ireland. During the course of the year the club makes as many outdoor trips as the weather will permit to venues such as the Gap of Dunloe, The Burren, and Glendalough to name just a few. Our members also participate in youth climbing competitions which are run around the country during the Winter & Spring months. Quite a few of our climbers represented Ireland at the YCS (Youth Climbing Series) UK & Ireland Finals, held in Edinburgh last year. Our club also organises climbing trips to foreign parts such as Spain, France & the UK.
One different aspect of our club is that it is primarily run by the parents of the young climbers. A parent/guardian of each member must join the club and actively participate in the running of the club. This has proved to be a great success and although we should never take things for granted we believe this has contributed to a great record of safety so far.
For the last 2 seasons we’ve benefited greatly from some original members, now accomplished climbers in their own right, returning to coach the younger climbers & providing invaluable mentoring.
Climbing is developing quickly in Ireland and across the world, has been included in the upcoming 2020 Olympic games & continues to attract the attention of individuals with an adventurous spirit.
So If you are interested in finding out more about getting your child into climbing just call out to Awesome Walls Cork any Tuesday or Thursday evening between 18.30 - 20.30 to speak to one of the committee members, who will go through with in detail with you what is involved.
It’s amazing to see how much the club and the kids have progressed in these last eight years.
Climbing can take you anywhere!
Special thanks to:
The CYCC has been enthusiastically supported by the management and staff of both Awesome Walls Cork & the Mardyke Arena. The club has also benefited greatly from being affiliated to our governing body in Ireland – Mountaineering Ireland (MI).