LILONGWE – 18 months since the establishment of a rock climbing community in the country, Climb Malawi has now opened an indoor rock climbing gym in area 18, Lilongwe.
Confirming the news, Climb Malawi Director of programs Ed Nhlane said gym is open to everyone willing to join the sport.
“In rock climbing, we have a sense of community. We don’t recognize colour, race or education background. Our vision that we have is to make rock climbing accessible to everyone,” Nhlane said.
He observed, “Rock climbing is new in Malawi. It is an activity reserved for crazy white folks. We don’t want to go up or go down. Why is having fun has to be so hard?”
He further indicated that rock climbing is challenging both physically and mentally.
“When you are up there, your focus is on climbing up and down. It is adventurous and fun,” he said.
Nhlane further assured that rock climbing is safe.
“Although the risk of falling is there, rock climbing is safe because the climber has to wear protective gear and is tied to a rope. As one person is climbing up, another one is down wearing harnesses and ready to arrest a fall, should anything happen. The threat is there but we try to minimize the risks,” he explained.
Rock climbing was recently introduced in Olympics and it was going to start at this year’s Olympics in Japan.
Meanwhile, Malawi has two rock climbing areas in Nathenje and Nkhoma.
Malawi also joined the world in commemorating world rock climbing day on 22 August.