020 8855 9598
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10am-7pm Sat-Sun

Youth Squad

Are you:

  • aged 7-17?
  • enthusiastic about climbing?
  • NICAS level 2 (or equivalent standard)?
  • willing to commit to an ongoing training programme?

Come and join The Reach climbing wall's youth squad!

We're all about encouraging committed young climbers to

  • develop and excel as climbers
  • have fun climbing
What can the Squad do for me?

The Reach has a diverse core of climbing coaches for the Youth Squad, reflecting the diverse reasons young climbers have for joining. Maybe you want to:

  • get better
  • get stronger
  • have fun
  • aspire to compete in climbing competitions
  • aspire to the GB Olympic team!
  • make friendships
  • work at your own pace, coached in a relaxed and friendly style
  • push for excellence, coached in a way that challenges you
  • push yourself physically and mentally
  • learn efficient climbing techniques
  • laugh a lot

As you'll see from the profiles below, coaches have different focuses and styles.

When you contact us (020 8855 9598), let us know the kinds of things you're looking to get out of the Squad, or the kind of coach you'd prefer. We'll then arrange for you to have an assessment with an appropriate coach.

Our Youth Squad coaches...

  • Matthew has been climbing since the 1980s (when Ron Fawcett was a Master on the Edge and wore the ‘short’ shorts).
  • After a career in the Army, Matthew became an actor and also qualified as a Drama Teacher for Key Stage 4 and 5, where he specialised in Special Educational Needs provision.
  • In 2009 he found work at The Reach Climbing Wall during the ‘Build’ phase; and since then has worked on many projects within the Youth Provision spectrum.
  • Matthew runs the more ‘social’ groups that are looking for a more relaxed, fun session. Climbing competitions are great, but they are not for everybody – and there is nothing wrong with coming climbing to ‘feel’ good.
  • Matthew subtly weaves the odd interesting fact into his lessons. People come away from his sessions with a little bit more knowledge in Numeracy, Literacy, Physics, Biology or Geography, often without realising it. Everything is related back to climbing – but there’s space in Matthew’s sessions to ‘take the next step up’ mentally and psychologically as well as physically.
  • Most important to the sessions, beyond the safety factor, is that the participants are aware of the progress they are making.
  • The ‘Mind Game’, and overcoming ‘fear’ can be big challenges to many climbers.  Matthew has worked with a wide range of people on these issues, so if the ‘inner mountain’ is the obstacle, then his session can help.


  • Barry has been involved in climbing as an instructor since 2001.
  • He enjoys all aspects of climbing, both indoors and outdoors, particularly enjoying introducing novices to this enjoyable activity.
  • His view on climbing is that it should be open to all.
  • Barry’s role within the Youth Squad is to deal with intermediate climbers – bridging the gap between the less experienced and the more advanced groups.
  • The emphasis is on progression through enjoyment and participation.
  • The atmosphere tends to be quite relaxed on Barry’s sessions. It’s quite hard to stop him breaking into song.


  • Graham has over 20 years of experience in Sport Climbing, Traditional Climbing and Bouldering in the UK and Europe.
  • He is one of our most experienced instructors, delivering sessions within the BMC and MLTE guidelines. 
  • He will work with you to improve your performance, encouraging and motivating you to reach your full potential.
  • He is also a very experienced multi pitch climber and rigger, he knows the ropes and knows his knots, and is happy to share what he knows.
  • Graham’s Youth Squad focuses on:
    • Climbing and Training Safety
    • Technique Training
    • Physical Training
    • Performance Training and Competition Fitness
    • Psychological Training
    • Creating and Implementing Training Programs


Paul & Matthias
  • Matthias and Paul will work as a pair. Each week they will instruct groups separately, but participants will move between these groups from week to week.
    • Paul has coached climbers for over 10 years and is the author of (the soon to be bestseller?) “Perfect Technique for Climbers”.
    • Matthias has been climbing for 10 years and has been instructing for more than a year
  • Paul and Matthias focus on:
    • Technique and Efficiency, helping you to improve your grade, but also to climb as effortlessly as possible
    • Improving your route reading and on-sighting of climbs – beneficial for competition climbing
    • Fostering of positive team spirit, sharing advice and tips, supporting and encouraging one another
  • If you are aged 13+, you should be climbing 6b and have aspirations of climbing harder
  • If you are aged 7+, you should be committed to climbing twice a week


The Reach opening times:
10am - 10pm Mon-Fri
10am - 7pm Sat-Sun
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020 8855 9598

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