News 2019

Title:  PRECARIOUS TIMES FOR CLIMBING WALLS
Date:  14/10/2019

The high cost of insurance is not a new issue for climbing walls. Recently, however, the exit of insurance providers from the Irish market has exacerbated an already difficult situation. Indeed, at the recent Mountaineering Ireland Climbing Wall Seminar insurance was identified as the number one strategic threat to the climbing wall industry in Ireland.


Mountaineering Ireland is working closely with the owners and managers of key climbing walls in the Republic of Ireland, representatives from the insurance industry, Sport Ireland and other interested parties to secure a viable and sustainable solution in order to maintain participation in indoor climbing.


Over the past decade or so, the growth in the provision of indoor climbing walls in Ireland has allowed for a huge increase in the number of people participating in indoor climbing. Research carried out by Mountaineering Ireland in 2016 indicated approximately 193,315 user visits per year and 30,000 individuals using climbing walls on a regular basis. The climbing wall industry has continued to grow over the past three years and as a result, we could now have in the region of a quarter of a million user visits per year!


The difficulties posed due to the increasing costs of insurance is not isolated to just the climbing wall industry in Ireland. Similar challenges are being faced by many businesses across the leisure industry. Notably, the challenges faced by indoor play centers resulted in the closure of many businesses. The sector banded together to form Play Activity and Leisure Ireland (PALI). Working together the sector secured multi-year policies at a reduced rate.


It is the hope of Mountaineering Ireland that a sustainable solution to the current crisis will be found in the coming weeks and the climbing walls can continue to provide the Irish climbing community with the opportunity to engage in a sport that is enjoyed by such a large and diverse range of people.

Photo by: Dave Hunt

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