Overview of Rock Climbing
What we do in Rock Climbing is actually familiar to most! We do have different disciplines of Rock Climbing so that each of them offers a different experience for climbers.
First is Lead climbing, whereby climbers ascend up a rock wall (in the case of our CCA because we climb indoors) with a harness strapped around them. The wall can be around 12-16 metres tall and the objective is to reach the top. Of course, the difficulty of each climb varies on the type of holds on the rock wall and also the types of moves that need to be performed.
Next is Speed climbing, a relatively new form of climbing where climbers aim to use minimal time to climb up a rock wall. The 15 metres speed wall is the same around the world and the record timings are by Marcin Dzieński from Poland (5.83 seconds) and Anna Tsyganova from Russia (7.52 seconds).
Last but not least would be Bouldering, a widely enjoyed form where climbers climb up a 4m wall without harnesses. Just like Lead climbing, the difficulty varies and suits all types of climbers. Usually reckoned as the most fun type of climbing, climbers can get creative and wild on the wall!
Now that you have read on what our CCA does in terms of climbing, let me tell you more about us as a CCA in VJC!
Is there something about your CCA you and your fellow members think most people are unaware of that you feel needs to be shared to them?
Our CCA is actually under Sports Groups instead of Clubs and Societies in VJC because we are a competitive sport and not a recreational one! Therefore, we put in our best efforts to train hard and of course, with consistent hard work, we strive to improve and perform well in competitions.
How often do you have your trainings?
Our trainings are 2 hours long and are currently held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. They are held outside of school at a public climbing gym called Ground Up Climbing. Transport to the gym and coaching are provided and funded by the school.
Would you like to give us a glimpse of what trainings are usually like?
The first few months of trainings start off as we get our Level One Certificate to learn to climb and belay safely. With that, we progress to build a strong foundation by climbing on Top-Rope walls (similar to Lead climbing). We climb around 15 different routes varying in levels of difficulty within 2 hours. After that, in the next few months, we are exposed to Bouldering and as we get our Level Two Certificate, we also train for Lead climbing. The last few months will revolve around Bouldering and Speed climbing as competition dates draw nearer.
Any additional information to take note of?
VJC Rock Climbing has a very small team of around 12-14 people so it is a very bonded and close-knitted CCA but that means that the selection will be stricter as well!
More about Rock Climbing
Why did you choose to join this CCA?
Personally, I joined this CCA out of interest. I remember seeing people climb when I watched YouTube videos and it inspired me to try out this sport. I am glad that it is not a sport that is difficult to pick up and I quickly got the hang of it even though I was a beginner. Of course, through VJC Rock Climbing, my passion for this sport was further ignited and I hope to climb for the rest of my life!
What would you consider to be the highlight of your CCA journey thus far?
The highlight of my CCA journey was definitely seeing my team improve together as one throughout the year. We have put in the hard work and that has definitely helped us reach our potential. Of course, there is still a long way to go especially for our upcoming competitions and we have a lot to work on, both individually and as a team, so that we can climb better and reach greater heights!
What about the CCA culture? What’s it like?
As aforementioned, our CCA is very small as compared to other CCAs. Thus, we are really like a family and stay bonded so that we can look out for one another and push each other to improve and achieve more. For our batch, we are quite a silly and fun-loving bunch so that lightens the mood when times are tough or when trainings are demanding as we are reassured that we can count on the team to have our backs! When it comes to training, it is only 2 hours so we are serious and make the most out of it.
In a Nutshell
To the incoming batch of juniors who will be busy pondering over the issue of CCA selection, what words would you give to those who may be keen on entering your CCA family?
For those who may be keen on joining us, I would like to encourage all to show up at our trials and just try out the sport. You will get a feel of what it is like to be on a wall and all it takes is your interest!
Koh Jun Kai, 17S40