“Have you ever climbed Mt. Everest?” 12-year-old Jackson asked his Breaking Barriers guide. For Jackson, scaling a 30-foot rock wall at Ability360 Sports and Fitness Center was comparable to the climb up a monstrous mountain.
Youth with disabilities can participate in new adventures through Ability360’s Breaking Barriers program. Sports activities include indoor and outdoor rock climbing, paddling and swimming.
On Nov. 5, the first indoor rock climbing session took place and included six participants between the ages of 9 and 13.
“I am so excited for you!” exclaimed one mom after her 12-year-old son reached the top of the wall. Her son, Aidan, was grinning ear-to-ear with exuberance upon reaching the summit and let out a satisfied sigh on his descent.
The climbing session was the first step in preparing participants for outdoor climbing, more will take place weekly. Young participants made multiple ascents up the wall in a span of two hours.
Outdoor climbing is set to begin late winter under the direction of Stoneman Climbing Company.
Breaking Barriers would not be possible without the generous support of Thunderbirds Charities.
Photos and Videos by Ellanna Koontz