Hello, my name is Sarah, and I am the Centre Manager at The Climbing Works. A couple of years ago, I sat down with some friends to discuss how to encourage more women into climbing.
I first properly got into climbing when I was 17 and I acquired my first climbing wall job at 18. For a long time, I was the only female member of staff and the main group of people I climbed with were all male. They were great supportive climbing friends, but I remember finding my first female climbing friend and how excited I was to have someone who shared a similar climbing style as me. In addition, we were both under 5ft3 and had to think of imaginative ways to combat those reachey moves. That was Ruth who is now the Coach Manager at The Climbing Works.
Women in climbing has increased since I first started climbing but we are still a long way towards equality, so I wanted to organise a women’s night at The Climbing Works to encourage women down to the centre where they could meet likeminded women, share beta, feel comfortable and more importantly a place to make friends. We have also put on women’s only inductions for anyone who has never tried climbing before. We have some fantastic female coaches who orchestrate the sessions too. I feel The Climbing Works is quite unique with a 50-50 split of female staff and female managers.
Girls are not predominantly encouraged to do sports growing up and definitely not as an adult. It is classed as an insult when people say, ‘you run like a girl’ or ‘you throw like a girl’. If it is ‘girly’ it is not cool. I don’t understand this because the women I know are fast, strong and are so supportive. I also play netball for a team in Sheffield, and I’ve seen the way the women throw and run!
Basically, I want to change how women are underrepresented in nearly every sport we have, bar a very few exceptions. I want to break that barrier and make everyone who identifies as a woman proud of themselves and the sport. We should be proud of the word ‘women’ as women we have had to overcome so much more. ‘‘WOMEN!’’
Therefore, I want to invite all the climbing women of Sheffield to our WOMENS Climbing Evening on the first Friday of every month. The next one is on the 4th November 7:00-8:30pm. The session is free, you just need to pay for entry.
From left to right.
Jinalee- Climbing coach and receptionist, Carol- Route-setter, social media & coach, Steph- Duty manager, Dora- Assistant manager, Sarah- Centre manager, Becca- Coach