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Scaling New Heights - NZCT Supports Auckland Sport Climbing Club

Auckland Sport Climbing Club has received a grant of $10,000 for event coordination for four college series events in 2023.

Chairperson Michael O’Keefe says, “The venue hire is for four college series events next year. Due to rapid growth, we also needed an Event Coordinator who can be responsible for the organisation and facilitation of the competitions, indoor and outdoor events, and trips away.”

“Two years ago we began a journey, a complete reset of who we are and what we stand for. We shifted our focus to looking at the base of the sport, rather than its elite. We looked at how we could engage more people.”

“We learned that sport climbing attracts a lot of people from the fringes, those who struggle in traditional education environments, those with learning difficulties, those with socialisation barriers all seem to find the sport and find their sense of self-worth in it.”

“At youth levels, we have fantastic engagement with young girls, who grow in self-confidence in this environment. We are committed to engaging with more kids, to provide more opportunities for them to find their place, discover their sense of self, and realise they can find their greatness.”

“As part of the journey, we focussed on creating a college focussed school events program. We knew if we got more schools involved in the sport, more kids who weren’t traditional netball, rugby, or cricket players would discover it. NZCT believed in us, believed in the ideals of growing participation, in delivering to kids who weren’t traditional athletes a chance to find their passion, their people, and their sense of place.”

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“That financial support has enabled us to commit to a program never tried before in Auckland. We ran four events, across four gyms, targeting college-age kids. We created an environment, full of noise, full of fun, full of kids being kids, challenging, engaging, something they wanted to be part of … and the results have been phenomenal - more kids than ever anticipated, more schools engaged, more awareness, more laughter, more success.”

“That seed of support from NZCT grew rapidly and the belief that we can deliver has quickly snow-balled. Local businesses have now jumped on board and other funders helped out. We have more people wanting to be a part of the environment, more parents engaged and volunteering than we dreamed possible. Critically, we have a community for the first time buying into a single vision, clubs, gyms, schools, volunteers, kids all working together, moving together, and believing in each other.”

“That seed of support, that willingness to back us, has enabled the events to become the first College Sport sanctioned climbing event/s in the country. It has allowed us to commit early to next year, to create a promise of ongoing success and delivery.”

“We are a small club, in a small sport in NZ, yet NZCT saw the vision and had the courage to say we see the potential, giving us a solid base to build on. Beyond all of the success measures, that initial seed of belief validated our vision and created the solid foundations for a community to grow.”

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