Indoor climbing is one of the fastest-growing sports in New Zealand. And West Auckland has become a central hub, attracting scores of enthusiastic climbers.
Auckland Sport Climbing (ASC) is the regional body overseeing local and national events in the area. According to ASC’s chairperson Michael O’Keefe, sport climbing has really taken off out West. ‘We have a strong base of keen climbers and parents and a huge amount of buy-in,’ he reports. There are also some fantastic facilities locally, including Glen Eden’s Vertical Adventures and Westgate’s Boulder Co.
Michael says that the sport is popular with both elite climbers and those who just want to take part and have some fun. ‘One of the great things about sport climbing is that you don’t need any special equipment,’ reports Michael. ‘Anyone can rock up and join in the fun,’ he adds.
One of the main driving forces behind the sport’s surging popularity is the Auckland College Climbing Series. Aimed at high school students in years 9 to 13, the college series has been a huge hit, attracting 186 competitors last year.
The series consisted of four events across Auckland. Two were held in West Auckland, mainly because of the strong support the sport enjoys here. ‘We wanted to reward the sport climbing community in the West with their own local events,’ Michael says.
Setting up a college series across Auckland is no mean feat. And ASC approached the Your West Support Fund for help with the costs. Michael says the $5,000 went towards venue hire and admin costs for the two local events.
The college series was so successful that ASC is holding a similar competition this year. ‘We want to host at least two events in West Auckland again,’ declares Michael. There will be plenty of opportunities for experienced climbers and those new to the sport. These events are all about the kids. They are loud, fun, and full of energy.
Check out ASC’s website for all the details.