Published: 26/05/2017 08:55 - Updated: 23/05/2017 10:40

Community boulder open to all

 CHILDREN - and adults - are enjoying a new addition to a local playground.

Fiona Newcombe delivering training to Anderson's pupils.
Fiona Newcombe delivering training to Anderson's pupils.

The climbing boulder at the corner of Anderson’s Primary School grounds is for pupils to enjoy at playtime but is also available for everyone else during evenings and weekends.

Jane Munro of Anderson’s activities and fund raising group is one of many who think the project has improved facilities in Forres.

She said: “The boulder has captured the enthusiasm and support of pupils and staff while generating interest and links with the wider community. The installation really has enhanced Anderson’s playground and made a huge impact.”

A few years ago, the pupils asked for a replacement for their broken climbing wall. A fund raising drive was launched and £21,720 was raised from benefactors including Berry Burn Community Fund, Springfield Properties, Rotary Club of Forres, Tesco Bags of Help and an anonymous donation of £500. Funds were also raised via local businesses and groups, fairs, raffles, collections and sponsored events. “So many people contributed to raise the phenomenal amount needed,” said Mrs Munro.

“Now, the boulder we have increases children’s participation in physical activities, helping them to reach the daily recommended target. It has also become a meeting place for parents with smaller children who make full use of it too.”

After it was installed last month, Anderson’s activities and fund raising group hired a climbing instructor to deliver training to the pupils, focused on use, routes and safety. A session was also provided for teachers so they can deliver training as part of the curriculum. After-school bouldering sessions have been offered to pupils from all Forres ASG primaries by Active Schools volunteers trained at Spire Roxx climbing gym, Elgin.

Anderson’s now have a fortnightly rota system in place for before school, playtime and lunch breaks to ensure all 10 classes have suitable time to play on the boulder.

Mrs Munro added: “The older year groups assist with younger ones both during and in extra curriculum time. There is also group activity for members of the community outwith school times.”

Anderson’s pupil Adam Souter (10) is a big fan. He said: “The boulder is fun and very attractive to everyone.”

His friend Alec Chetwynd (9) has also built confidence with his climbing skills. He added: “We got lessons to keep us safe when having fun and playing.”

Forres Active Schools introduction to bouldering sessions for primary school pupils next block starts on Thursday, June 1. Register online at…/active-schools-moray/forres-asg/ or call 01309 672838.

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