Climbing volunteer Kate goes over Hanifa's exam results.
Once again, Skateistan has provided its teachers and volunteers with the opportunity to do some climbing. For half a year, we have been training with climbers who volunteer two hours every Saturday morning to teach their sport at Skateistan. After six months we were ready for our test for climbing. The class was tested on safety procedures, knowledge of climbing processes, and they had to show their skills at belaying and also climbing.
Fourteen climbers took the test - Rahmat, Sulaiman, Madina, Tamana, Mariam, Treena, Naveed, Farid, Shabana, Parisa, Hanifa, Komail, Romal and Tamim. Everyone was very nervous about their exam and whether they had learned everything. Fortunately for their interest in climbing, all of them passed the test. Sulaiman and Rahmat got the top scores, and finally everyone was awarded their certificate of Beginner Climbing.
“I have just seen climbing in some movies but here I did it practically so I am really excited,” Mariam said.
After they succeeded at the test, they started working at professional climbing. The first step of the professional climbing was 'abseiling' - when one is lowered down using ropes. It was too hard to do this activity on the outside of the Skateistan building, so we practiced from Ghazi stadium, and all climbers had a chance to try this skill. Although this climbing was secure, the climbers were really nervous and excited. With the assistance of Skateistan‘s staff and the Olympic staff, they passed this step. This is the first time abseiling has ever been done in Afghanistan!
“We already did so much before, but in climbing we feel like Spiderman and I had never seen this kind of sport before,” explained Rahmat.
We want to thank all the climbing volunteers who have created a hugely succesful sports program for our staff and students. We wish to thank Giovanni Trambaiolo, Sheilagh Henry, Kate Hughes, Mindy Visser, Colin R, Erin Blankenship, Jeffery Dow, Kelsey Noonan Sarah-Jean Cunningham, and Stephanie Faser. Your enthusiasm and dedication to the children and program over the last 6 months has been phenomenal and a pleasure to witness.
Merza and Noorzai deep in concentration during their climbing exam.
Rahmat looks onto Ghazi stadium as the football team practices.
Rahmat abseils off of Ghazi stadium.
Safely locked on, Komal takes a look off the edge.
Komal takes the brave step and begins his decent.
Tamana abseiling off of Ghazi stadium.
The climbers help with the ropes once at the bottom.
Mariam takes a break for a photo opportunity half way down.
Sulaiman was all smiles after his abseiling experience.