Rock Climbing sees major boost since Tokyo 2020 Olympic announcement

Rock climbing has sky rocketed in popularity following the announcement of it becoming an Olympic sport in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Athletes will compete in three disciplines: speed, bouldering and lead. Their scores will be tallied up to determine who secures the very first gold medal.

Southampton Boulder Shack instructor, Sean Flynn said that it has had a positive impact on the sport already:

“It’s been a lot busier here compared to when I started here. Later on it should be getting pretty hectic but it’s good.

“It will get more people into it, and getting recognised as an Olympic sport makes it feel like a ‘real sport’.”

Elliot Sherlock, Solent climbing member Photo: Jack Finnie

UK Sport have given £630,000 to climbing and with one year until the Olympics participation rates have increased massively with more funding to create places to climb.

There are now roughly one million people climbing indoors in the UK and the worldwide number of climbers has jumped to 35 million people.

The indoor Boulder Shack enables Southampton Solent University students to participate in climbing on a weekly basis.

Elliot Sherlock, one of the students who participates in climbing believes the sport is going in an upwards direction:

“I think it’s becoming more mainstream in the media especially now it’s an Olympic sport.

“I find it better than the gym, it’s like a whole body workout and it gives you a great sense of achievement when you complete a climb,

Rock Climbing competition in 2018 Photo:Wikimedia

I don’t really get that in other sports.”

Sherlock backed up Flynn, saying:

I’ve only been doing it for a year but there have been a lot of new faces coming in and with a lot more exposure to climbing for the Olympics will be really good.”

It’s not only the climbers that think it is positive, even people who don’t take part in the sport think it is good to have a new Olympic sport.

Charlie Male, who has never tried the sport before said:

“It’s good to see a variety of Olympic sports, especially new ones.

“I haven’t tried it before it’s something that interests me. I think it’s hard to find places to actually do it but I think it’s good.”