Adidas Outdoors has announced today that it is teaming up with 1Climb –– a nonprofit dedicated to introducing kids to climbing –– to build new climbing walls across the U.S. The goal is to make the sport more accessible to over 100,000 kids with the hopes of inspiring the next generation of great climbers. To that end the new walls will be created in ten Boys and Girls Clubs located in New York, Chicago, and Los Angles.
1Climb is an organization that was co-founded by legendary rock climber Kevin Jorgeson. He know the important role that climbing has played in his own life and he hopes that it can have a similar impact on young kids today too. When starting the nonprofit his expressed goal was to introduce the sport to more than 100,000 kids, and according to the 1Climb website they’ve impacted more than 8400 already. That means they have a long way to go, but by partnering with Adidas, they’ve taken a giant step forward in that area.
If all goes according to plan, the first four new climbing walls will be built before the end of 2019. The remaining six are scheduled to be completed next year, greatly expanding the reach of 1Climb as a result. But the organization’s efforts go beyond just creating climbing walls inside Boys and Girls Clubs. It also facilities and fosters relationships with local climbing gyms who not only provide instruction and encouragement, but also mentorship too.
In a press release announcing the collaboration Jorgeson is quoted as saying, “Climbing has enabled the life of my dreams and it all started with that one visit to a gym when I was 9.” Since then, Kevin has gone on to climb all over the world, and skyrocketed to fave by completing the Dawn Wall ascent with Tommy Caldwell back in 2015. He goes on to add, “I felt like the opportunities for kids to discover climbing were pretty narrow. Now, instead of hoping the next generation finds climbing, we bring the outdoor sport directly to where they liven the city. Climbing has the ability to change a the trajectory of a kid’s life.”
That’s a sentiment echoed by Stephen Dowling, VP of Marketing at Adidas Outdoors. He says, “Through sport, we have the power to change lives and this partnership is a perfect example that brings those words to life. We are incredibly excited to partner with 1Climb in order to bring the benefits of the outdoors to the city, building climbing walls to break down social barriers and create an equal starting line for tens and thousands of girls and boys across America.”
Here at The Adventure Blog we couldn’t agree more. In an era when kids are exercising less and spending more of their time indoors, anything that gets them more active and introduces them to outdoor sports –– even in a gym setting –– is a great idea. Hopefully Adidas and 1Climb will spark the next Kevin Jorgeson or Tommy Caldwell to go after their climbing dreams too. But if they only managed to inspire more young people to get outside and start climbing, then they’ve accomplished their mission as well.
Find out more about 1Climb on the organization’s official website.