Westway has Acton schoolkids climbing the walls with excitement

We all know children love to climb but rarely do they get to include it as part of their school day – not officially, at least.

However, youngsters at Berrymede Junior School in Acton have been demonstrating their prowess thanks to investment in their very own climbing walls and a partnership with west London leisure centre Westway Sports and Fitness.

On advice of Westway, the school completely transformed its walls to add more than 1,000 different holds, greatly increasing the number of routes and presenting different challenges.

Promising climbers were then selected by the Westway team to attend specially designed climbing sessions before letting them loose in the Westway Super League boulder competition, where they competed against the centre’s junior climbing squad and training academy members.

Despite being the first climbing competition Berrymede pupils had taken part in, they achieved two podium places, including one first place in the under-nine age group.

To celebrate the children’s climbing accomplishments, Westway arranged for Molly Thompson-Smith, captain of the Great Britain junior climbing team, to make a surprise appearance at the school and they were also treated to an outdoor climbing trip to Wales, culminating in a climb to the summit of Mount Snowdon, 1,085-metre high.

Steve Cotton, Berrymede’s head of PE, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the children’s climbing accomplishments.

“Our partnership with Westway has been fantastic for both the school and the children, benefiting from the facilities and expertise of all those involved at Westway. It’s great to see children more active at break and lunchtime.

“The children have learned how to set goals for themselves and become more self-motivated by targeting the next traversing level.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing the teamwork, problem-solving and achievement taking place outside of the classroom as well as within it.”

Matt Tomlinson, head of climbing at Westway, added: “The collaboration with Berrymede has highlighted the widespread interest and enthusiasm that children have for climbing – a sport that most inner city London children do not get the chance to try.”

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