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Transforming Young People’s Lives Through Rock Climbing

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

Young people are spending more time indoors than ever before.

A 2016 survey carried out in the UK revealed that three-quarters of the young people spend less time outside than prison inmates and a fifth of the young people are not playing outside at all on an average day.

This reality also exists in Kenyan urban centres and can be attributed to these among other factors:

· Digital distractions (phones, gaming, VR, social media, etc.) which occupy much of young people’s time, energy and brainpower.

· Lack of access to safe, open spaces in residential neighbourhoods and schools as the built environment expands.

· Schools allocate little time to physical pursuits and more time is devoted to academic lessons and exams.

· Risk averse society fearful of young people getting injured.

Spending time indoors (oftentimes in front of screens) limits young people’s social integration, reduces their physical activity and further alienates their interaction with nature. This results in young people leading sedentary lifestyles which contribute to challenges such as obesity and mental health issues.

Physical activity and spending time outside improves young people’s mental and physical wellbeing and helps them have improved emotional, behavioural and cognitive outcomes.

Rock Climbing

Young people are natural climbers. They often begin to climb furniture (even before they begin to walk) and just about anything they can grab hold of.

Rock climbing, which was ranked by Forbes as one of the healthiest sports to engage in, is an excellent tool to help foster young people’s health and wellbeing.

Young people leverage their natural instincts of movement and coordination to gain the intrinsic physical, mental, cognitive and social benefits of rock climbing.

Opportunities for adventure and challenge through rock climbing help young people develop active lifestyles. This contributes to their health and wellbeing and enable them to become stronger individuals who are better engaged in their communities.

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