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Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

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WEGO climbs to top Tuesdays after school

The relatively new Rock Climbing Club continues to build on its success and help students gain confidence.
The+rock+wall+offers+WEGO+students+the+chance+to+practice+their+skills+on+a+more+regular+basis.
Photo by Ryan Zalak
The rock wall offers WEGO students the chance to practice their skills on a more regular basis.

A fairly new club at West Chicago Community High School, the Rock Climbing Club, met this past Tuesday after school in the fieldhouse to practice their climbing skills.

The club met in the fieldhouse, which has two big rock climbing walls. There were about 15 students who attended the after school meeting.

First, students brought their harnesses out, which were neatly hung on a stand. They also set up the pulley machine that holds the harnesses and protects the climbers from falling or getting injured. Once all loops on the harness were tightened and students were secure, they paired up. Two students could climb at a time on one wall. The members timed their climbs to see how fast they could get to the top.

Some newcomers mentioned a fear of heights, but they were able to overcome their anxiety because of the support from club members.

“Initially, it might be scary because of the heights and just the fact that you’re only attached by a rope that’s being held by someone. But once you get on that wall, that fear usually goes away the first or second time that you climb,” senior rock climbing club member Muaz Ali said.

Rock Climbing Club started last year, when senior Neela Myers, who had an existing passion for climbing, brought that passion to West Chicago Community High School. She started rock climbing when she was seven years old. She started competing when she was only eight years old and as the years have progressed, she has climbed the ranks of teams. She began searching for a sponsor, and actually saw Britta Renwick (study hall teacher) and Kirsten Vondrak (student services) at Vertical Endeavors , a rock climbing facility. She initially asked them about the club, and the rest is history.

Senior Muaz Ali belays for one of his fellow club members during Tuesday’s climbing session. (Photo by Ryan Zalak)

Since then, the club has grown in membership, and now meets regularly. Renwick, a climber herself, is pleased with the progress the club has made in just one year.

“I wanted to bring this supportive environment to the school to give students a non-competitive, completely recreational physical outlet,” said Myers. 

Renwick is from the mountainous country of Switzerland: due to that, she always had a passion for climbing. So when Myers came to her about sponsoring the club, Renwick says she was excited. Renwick spoke to the fact the club accepts everyone, even those who have never climbed before.

Renwick mentioned that the club offers students the chance to build physical strength. She also touched on how over time people that had that fear of heights start to gain that confidence and overcome the fear all together.

“It’ll bring them a lot of things. It’s physical strength. It’ll bring them friendship with other students. And anybody can join even if you’ve never climbed before, it’ll give you a lot of confidence,” Renwick said.

 

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About the Contributor
Ryan Zalak, Sports Editor
As a WEGO baseball player currently in his senior year of high school, Ryan Zalak enjoys going to the gym and would love to learn and speak Spanish. This is his first year in Journalism, and Ryan has enjoyed meeting new people. Ryan’s future plan is to go to COD and decide whether to pursue a career in automotive or as an electrician.
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