Rock Climbing


Overview

Although Bishops boys have been climbing for decades, it was only in 2001 that Rock Climbing became an official summer sport. The Bishops Rock Climbing Club has around 20 members from Grade 8 to 12 and we also allow Grade 6 and 7 boys from Bishops Prep to join.
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We have a membership arrangement with City Rock, the indoor climbing gym in Observatory. All our climbers are members of City Rock and we train there twice per week. On Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings we do our climbing at the different crags all over the Cape Peninsula. We do sports climbing and bouldering on the hundreds of routes available.

On occasion some of our experienced climbers do 'trad climbing' on Table Mountain. Routes are rated according to difficulty, so, climbers of different abilities and ages can climb alongside each other at the same time, according to the rating suitable for each individual. We stick to the strictest safety procedures and conduct.

Boys are taught to belay and must pass a belay licence test at City Rock before we allow them to belay fellow climbers. Once or twice per year, the club offers a climbing weekend away, most often to Montagu - a world class climbing site. Our climbers also participate in youth climbing competitions and we have had a number of members representing the province at the annual national championships over the years.

Climbing is a 'sport for life' that does not only develop the entire body and mind but also instils in our boys a sense of discipline, responsibility, respect for others, concentration, courage, perseverance, teamwork and a love of nature.

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Vision

Bishops is one of the leading schools in South Africa as far as sport is concerned and our reputation for sporting excellence is world-wide. In keeping with the ethos of our school, we believe that sport plays a vital role in the development of young men. In particular, we believe that participation in a team sport enhances the educational experience. To this end, it is a school rule that all boys must play an official school sport during both summer and winter terms.

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History

For many decades, Bishops boys were exposed to rock climbing through their membership of the Bishops Mountain Club - one of the many clubs and societies at the school. In the year 2000, while hiking on the Adventure Course in the Cederberg, a Grade 10 boy, Anthony Hall, prompted Mr Jannie de Villiers about his vision of rock climbing becoming a recognised sport at Bishops and the two decided to make this dream come true.

The next year saw the occasion of the Bishops 2010 Conference, where, among other things, the decision was taken to promote so-called 'sports for life' at Bishops. A proposal to the head of sport suggested that climbing should be offered as a minor summer sport option and this was approved with a very small budget to purchase the most essential equipment.

Two years later the Bishops Climbing Club had grown enough to justify its progression to major summer sport status, which it has been since then. Today Bishops climbing is strong and active and the club is playing a vital role in junior climbing at a provincial level.

Facilities & Coaching

Although Bishops has a small climbing wall at the Mallett Centre, our official training takes place twice per week at City Rock, a world class indoor facility in Observatory, only 4km from Bishops.

A Bishops shuttle transports climbers to City Rock and back on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Over weekends the numerous climbing crags around the Cape Peninsula become our playground. Our teachers-in-charge offer climbers outings to different crags every week, on Friday afternoon and Saturday mornings.

The club supplies all the general equipment, such as ropes, belay devices, bouldering pads and anchoring equipment but climbers must supply their own personal equipment, such as climbing shoes, harnesses and chalk bags. We do carry a limited stock of shoes and harnesses for boys who want to give the sport a try before committing.

Outreach

Rock Climbing was offered as an activity during our Civics outreach programme, where we introduced the sport to visiting children from less privileged communities. This programme is currently not offered but might be rekindled again in future.