Heady new challenge is fab fun for youngsters

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Youngsters are being encouraged to scale new heights in a bid to be crowned champion of a new climbing tournament.

Wigan Youth Zone has launched an indoor rock-climbing league to entice more young Wiganers to keep fit and active.

Wigan Youth Zone climbing experts James Murphy, left, and Chris Quigley, right, with keen climber Dane Christy, centre, promote the new indoor climbing league at Wigan Youth Zone

Wigan Youth Zone climbing experts James Murphy, left, and Chris Quigley, right, with keen climber Dane Christy, centre, promote the new indoor climbing league at Wigan Youth Zone

Chris Quigley, head of the outdoors department, said: “The idea is about getting more people towards the goal of lifelong fitness, finding something you enjoy, and getting fit that way.”

The inaugural competition will run for six weeks from late January, with sessions taking place once a week.

Participants will have a week to try out each of the three routes on offer, before taking on the wall itself to score as many points as possible.

“It will require a mixing of climbing techniques,” Chris said.

“We’re going to chuck in some surprises along the way, and we are going to include some speed elements too.

“You can have six attempts to get the fastest time. You’ll also get more points the fewer attempts you do.”

The league will be open to any Wigan Youth Zone members between 11-19 years old, and to as many people as are interested in taking part, with up to 20 youngsters having already signed up.

Chris hopes that the league will prove popular among the youth zone’s members, and has plans to add a summer climbing league to the roster as well.

Chris acknowledged that many people would be deterred from signing up through a fear of heights, but he was quick to assure members that they would still be able to take part in some of the shorter routes.

“I think the problem isn’t the difficulty, it’s more to do with people being worried about heights. So we’ve initially mixed it up with boulder routes, which are a little more tricky, more are not so high up.

“The challenges we are doing are going to be achievable by most young people.”

The Winter Climbing League will begin on January 17 and will run until February 28. Anyone interested must be a Wigan Youth Zone member but will be able to sign up on the door.

A £50 gift voucher will be up for grabs for the league champion, as well as other great prizes for the runner-up and third place.

For more information, visit wiganyouthzone.org