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King's Ely climbers conquer new heights

Courageous King's Ely students put their climbing skills to the test on the beautiful cliffs of Costa Blanca on the Mediterranean coastline

Posted by Julian Owen | November 13, 2017 | International

Seven King’s Ely Senior students, all members of the school’s climbing club, spent the first week of their half-term sampling some of the wonderful bolted sport climbs on offer in Costa Blanca.

Each day, the group – Imogen Kirkpatrick, Tallulah Cox, Graeme Ackron, Ben Clubb, Sam Black, Charlie Watson and Alex Layfield – visited a different crag in the Calpe and Valencia areas, working climbs on the limestone cliffs.

Director of Outdoor Education at King’s Ely Senior, Sophie Cheng, said: “The group really impressed with their movement skills. Three years of climbing training through the club levels have started to show positive progress, as some students were pushing up 6b+ routes on lead climb and practicing 7a+ on top ropes. Well done to all the climbers and a huge thanks to Brett Ffitch for his hard work coaching the climbers.”

The expedition was held as part of the Ely Scheme at King’s Ely, which aims to build important life skills that cannot always be taught in the classroom. While most independent schools have an outdoor pursuits programme, the Ely Scheme claims to be “both unique and central to the whole King’s Ely experience, as young people are given tangible opportunities to push themselves to achieve beyond anything they ever thought possible.

“The aim is to develop each student through outdoor education and adventurous activity, concentrating on eight major elements: personal skills; self-confidence; teamwork; leadership skills; social and environmental awareness; problem solving; ability to cope with difficult situations and healthy respect for nature and the outdoors.”

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