Physio Sets Up New Climbing Club to Help Disabled People Scale New Heights

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The climbing club was created Sophie John. She is a band six specialist physiotherapist and works predominantly with amputees at the West Midlands rehabilitation centre, part of Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust. She also has personal and professional experience within pain management and has used rock climbing as a means to control her chronic pain.

She runs the club alongside her fiancé Tigs Campbell, who has also been using climbing to control his own bout of chronic pain. Their climbing sessions are held at the Redpoint Climbing Centre in Birmingham which started in December 2017.

“We know from experience that climbing works and we are here to encourage people of all ages and abilities to join our practice and to also have some fun,” said Sophie.

“We have designed this club to allow anybody with a physical or mental disability to be able to climb within a safe environment. At our club, people can socialise and take part in some physical activities.”

Though these classes have only been running for a short period of time, they have been widely praised by many participants and their work is being recognised by other therapists across the country.

“One of our visitors who recently had his leg amputated below the knee told us that he forgot he had a disability whilst climbing,” said Sophie.

“A young boy who has autism and astigmatism loved our class. Being able to take part in physical activities is rare for him as he told us he gets excluded from sports as school because of his visual impairment. To be able to climb so high was a real achievement for him.”

At the moment the climbing club is self-funded, but both Sophie and John would like the establish the club as a charity in the very near future. So keep an eye out, you might see one of their climbing clubs popping up near you in 2018.