Climbing club gains popularity in its first semester

If you’re searching for a new, fun club activity to take a swing at this semester, look no further than the recently inaugurated UCCS Climbing Club.

Based on the amount of interest generated in its first month, the climbing club is getting more popular by the day and may become a staple of the UCCS club sport list.

Headlining the climbing club’s administrative board are senior president Tiana Schwarz, senior vice president Ben Kelepolo and treasurer Josh Brisson.

“The indoor climbing team serves two purposes: to build up the climbing community in the Springs and to introduce people to the sport, and secondly to represent UCCS at USA Climbing Collegiate competitions,” Schwarz said.

These competitions are the official Team USA climbing competitions held both in-state and out-of-state at a club level, as opposed to Olympic national team matches.

One of the more appealing features of Climbing Club is their no-cut policy, keeping two separate climbing squads on tab.

“We host a competitive team and a practice team, meaning we don’t turn anyone away,” Schwarz said.

The competitive team represented in the USA Climbing championships is comprised of seven states in the country, also known as the Rocky Mountain region, dominating part of the Midwest in the state breakdown.

According to Schwarz, climbing club has garnered plenty of interest since its induction, a good sign for club sports overall on campus.

“I am happy to report our mission to foster interest in indoor climbing/bouldering has definitely worked, we currently have over 60+ people on our Team Roster, 95+ on our interested list and 45+ people in our Discord server,” she said.

“I’m so proud that we’ve been able to introduce so many people to this community since it’s only our first semester, and we’ve all been working very hard to get this club off the ground.” Schwarz said.

Joining the climbing club is easy, with many ways to get on the wall for the first time.

“It’s really easy to get involved! The easiest way is to complete the Team Member Intent form and have an officer contact the interested person through their UCCS email with the following: our Discord channel, a personal email and a slideshow of all the questions they may have answered,” Schwarz said.

The slideshow contains info on joining the Discord server, quick links to different required forms, attendance information and times in which the club meets.

As required by USA Climbing, in order to compete in any match or contest, students must have a college climbing membership, starting at $30 for the introductory membership. Those looking to compete nationally at regional competitions must purchase a $65 membership prior to any matches.

“We practice on Mondays at Springs Climbing Center from 6-8 p.m. with a 20% discount to certain memberships/plans, and for free at the on-campus S.O.L.E center on Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m.” Schwarz said. “We encourage everyone to come try out a practice and see what it’s like to be on the wall! And if you intend to join, get your sport physical done as soon as possible!”

Photo caption: The climbing club held their second practice in the UCCS SOLE Center on Aug. 31. Photo by Lillian Davis.