The University of South Wales has been open to students since 2013, and since 2014 the students created the USW Climbing Club. Today, this club is still bringing students together in an environment that helps them relax and take their minds off Uni.
Zoe Derbidge is one of the club members. She’s been a part of it since she first came to uni three years ago, but before that she did some climbing on her own time. The club has helped her meet fellow climbers such as Ethan Lewis, Ben Laverack and Max Verey.
While they all study different subjects, they have come together in climbing. “It’s just to give us something to think about other than Uni I think” seems to be the general spirit surrounding USW’s climbing team.
Teaching each other has been one of the most rewarding things in the club. Zoe has enjoyed teaching her teammates how to secure each other during a lead climb, and they help each other be better at what they enjoy, whether it’s sport climbing or bouldering.
“We meet here (Boulders) on a wednesday and do a bit of route climbing and then bouldering. And then on monday we do bouldering, mainly we work on teaching the freshers new climbing so last month we’ve been focusing on lead climbing and now at least three of our members are completely competent in lead now and the others are learning” Says Zoe. They are planning on doing some outdoor climbing as soon as the weather gets better, but for now they have competitions between other universities, such as Cardiff Uni.
According to Zoe, “What I found in my first year, the people that were joining the climbing club were people who had climbed previously but recently, especially this year, we had a lot of people who’d never climbed before, saw it in the olympics and thought it was cool to try. It’s not so much we’ve had more people, it’s just that people keep joining”.
The club has between 10 and 15 regular climbers today. Anyone can join in on the fun and take minds off uni for a few hours.