Partnership success, thanks to Sport England

Posted by Gregg Cropper on 29/08/2023

Funding from Sport England has seen the BMC successfully working in closer collaboration with its four Funded Partners: Mountain Training UK & Ireland, (MTUKI) Mountain Training England (MTE), The Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC) and National Indoor Climbing Award Schemes (NICAS.)

The five-year funding aims to build a fully inclusive network of opportunities that spans a wide range of adventurous activities, providing opportunities for a broad demographic of participants. This is closely aligned with Sport England’s 10-year ‘Uniting The Movement’ vision to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity.

Expanding the workforce has been a boost to all 5 organisations; allowing the development and refining of systems, further improving governance and better promoting good practice.

The BMC is leading the way in Safeguarding, offering expert advice to all 5 organisations and ensuring all Safeguarding courses delivered are appropriate, of necessary standard and fit for purpose.  Adopting a sport-specific software management system, ‘Globocol’, the BMC are ensuring we better suit the needs of our diverse activities; protecting coaches, volunteers and participants, across all levels of expertise.

Our new Diversity and Equality Plan has been shared sector wide and has seen us host new events celebrating and encouraging greater diversity of communities. ‘ClimbOut’, the UK’s first queer climbing festival, saw 209 climbers enjoying climbing in Bakewell, (Peak District) in May.

The influence of our organisation is being felt by re-vamping the ‘Partners Assembly’: a sector-wide collection of outdoor organisations, committed to delivering impactful, collaborative projects. Observing the lack of consistency of safety messaging in the Outdoors, the BMC led group are working to ensure the rise of hill walkers receive clear, consistent safety messaging, thereby reducing the burden on Mountain Rescue teams and the risk of accidents.

‘Volunteero’ the newly acquired database is enabling us to better manage and support our vast numbers of brilliant volunteers, kindly giving up their time to help deliver activities. Many thanks to those who’ve already signed up to support the forthcoming ‘Festival of Walking’ – a joint project with YHA and our environmental campaigns, such as Mend our Mountains, maintaining thousands of footpaths and bridleways.

Our new Clubs model has been designed to support more Young People, with enticing offers to encourage greater participation and provision, whilst research has taken place to better understand how we can support the ever-evolving climbing landscape. We’re looking forward to supporting the upcoming Conference in Sheffield, held by the Association of British Climbers (ABC).

For last minute tickets for the ABC conference in Sheffield (14th & 15th Sept) contact admin@abcwalls.co.uk. // https://www.abcwalls.co.uk/about/conference-2023/

The ABC promotes the professionalism, health, growth and diversity of indoor climbing and have been working hard to lay the foundations to create a system of climbing wall ‘quality marks’ based on their current industry standard safety guidelines. The new scheme intends to ensure consistent, minimum standards for safety, staff welfare, safeguarding, access to facilities and EDI.

MTUKI’s investment in a Digital Engagement Coordinator has resulted in online material being available, developing e-learning modules to enhance their digital mentoring offer and more accessible candidate handbooks for their schemes. They have supported the National Indoor Climbing Award Schemes (NICAS) with the development of their online platform, ensuring the delivery of a quality, structured coaching pathway:  https://www.nicas.co.uk/pro.

Additionally, the launch of NICAS Clip has seen hundreds more youngsters enjoying and developing movement skills in both traditional and fun climbing centres.

MTE’s focus has been to design and commission new assessment skills courses for their Providers; providing effective EDI training and re-imagining how best to engage and promote talent from more diverse backgrounds. They are also promoting their skills courses through the voluntary sector and developing a new Bouldering qualification.

It's great to see the BMC's collaboration with its partners and the positive impact it's having on the climbing and outdoor community. Through these collaborative efforts, we are fostering a community that thrives on inclusivity, ensuring that everyone can actively participate and find their place in the outdoors. The steps we are taking today are shaping a future where adventure knows no boundaries, where safety and diversity go hand in hand, and where the spirit of exploration ignites in all corners. As we build on these achievements, we are sowing the seeds of a brighter tomorrow, where every individual's journey is celebrated, and the beauty of the climbing landscape is enriched by the tapestry of experiences we all bring. Together, we are not just climbing mountains – we are uplifting lives, forging connections within our communities, creating inclusive environments where everyone can be active.

Next time; read about the BMC, Plas y Brenin and MTE’s push for funding for the Hill walking sector…



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