ROCK CLIMBING GAINS MOMENTUM IN MALAWI

Rock climbing is gaining worldwide recognition as it was also recently introduced in Olympic games.

On Saturday, 22 August, Climb Malawi Centre joined the world in celebrating rock climbing day.

Speaking at an event in Nathenje, Climb Malawi Centre Director of programs Eddie Nhlane emphasised the importance of rocking climbing, saying it is both mentally and physically challenging.

"When you are going up, there's nothing else that matters except your hands, feet and the will of climbing up. It’s an adventurous sport which is also fun," he highlighted.

While admitting that rock climbing is a new sport in Malawi, Nhlane said Climb Malawi Centre's vision is to make it accessible to all Malawians.

"We are building a community where Malawians and the international community can interact," he said.

Nhlane further questioned why the sport is reserved for white folks.

"We, black people don't want to go up or go down. Why does having fun have to be so hard?

"At Climb Malawi Centre, we have a sense of community. We don't recognize colour, race or education background. Everyone is welcome," he reiterated.

Climb Malawi Centre has opened an indoor gym in area 18, Lilongwe.

"We are trying to open more centres in other parts of the country so we can reach out to as many Malawians as possible," Nhlane revealed.

Malawi has two rock climbing areas, in Nathenje and Nkhoma.

Commenting on the risks, Nhlane said, "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. Climbing is adventurous, scary to some people but also fun."

In her remarks, one of the climbers who has also climbed in the USA, Jammie Johnson described the sport as healthy.

"It is healthy. It also challenges people to stay focused," she said.

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