We believe that Arc’teryx can be a force for positive change. We create this change not only by improving the practices in our core operations, but by supporting projects and partners that align with our values.
Today, September 29th, 50% of all Arc'teryx sales Australia wide will be donated to Adaptive Climbing Victoria (ACV), a community organisation that offers people living with a disability the opportunity to participate in the sport of rock climbing, both competitively and socially, no matter their ability. We met up with Sarah Larcombe, World Cup paraclimber and ACV Board Member to learn more about the group:
Why does ACV exist? What are you trying to achieve?
ACV exists to help create a space for people with disabilities in rock climbing – whether that be through inclusive events, representation, advocacy, or education.
We’re trying to make a lasting change in the climbing industry and community so that people with disabilities don’t have to think twice about whether or not they can get involved in climbing!
What can gyms and crags do to encourage adaptive climbing?
Indoor climbing gyms are most people’s introduction to climbing, and seeing gyms take steps towards improving accessibility sends a really important message to the adaptive climbing community – that their needs have been considered, and that they belong. These steps might include training for staff in disability awareness, adaptive belay techniques, and para-route setting, as well as providing adaptive climbing equipment in-house, installing ramps and making sure all levels of the gym are accessible, incorporating adaptive climbing into their regular programming, and including a variety of body types in their marketing and social media.
Access is a huge barrier to outdoor climbing for disabled people, so we’d love to see disability access considered in the development of new climbing areas and in the discourse around access to established areas, as well as more online resources around crag accessibility. Beyond the physical barriers, we also strive to make the outdoors more financially and socially accessible through support, education, mentorship, and representation.
What are ACV’s long term goals? How will funding help you achieve this?
We want to see easy access to rock climbing for disabled people at all levels of participation, and for adaptive climbing to be “business as usual” in the climbing industry. We hope that the larger our presence becomes, the more the climbing industry and community will consider and prioritise the needs of disabled people in their venues, programs, etc. – without us!
To do that, we need to be able to expand our current programs, engage with more gyms and outdoor operators, and create and provide more resources for the community. As a volunteer-run group, we wouldn’t be able to do this without funding!
How can people get involved?
Whether you want to climb, volunteer, or partner with us, you can get in touch with us on Facebook and Instagram @adaptiveclimbingvic, or by email at email@example.com
Photo by: Yvette Harrison, Leo Bi