Club leader, Kyle Van Schaik, demonstrating his skills. Photo credit: Connor Lalande

Algonquin College’s rock climbing club is working to foster a community among students through the club’s namesake sport.

Seeking to establish and support a community for student rock climbers at the college, the club hosts climbing-related events throughout Ottawa and the surrounding area.

Welcome to all, club members range in ability levels from beginner to experienced. During events, members climb in an encouraging environment where they can learn tips and challenge themselves to improve alongside others.

For many who join, attending one of the club’s events will be the first time they have ever tried rock climbing.

Kyle Van Schaik, a second-year computer engineering student and one of the club’s leaders, said joining was a great way to learn the sport and improve his skills.

“It’s just fun to hang out with people and get physical activity at the same time,” said Van Schaik.

Events are held multiple times within a given month and range from climbing gym meet-ups, movie nights, outside climbing sessions and pub gatherings.

Aside from the rock climbing itself, the club also serves an important social role for its members.

“It gives you a chance to meet people that aren’t just in your program,” said Alicia Parker, a first-year photography student, “because otherwise, your main social group is just people you are taking classes with.”

Robert Odin Cassan, a first-year mechanical engineering student, agreed that the club is a fun and fulfilling way to get more involved in the college’s student community.

“This is the first club event that I’ve done, and this is totally awesome,” said Cassan.

While some may be intimidated by joining one of the college’s clubs, students like Parker say there is no need.

“Most clubs are really excited to have new people and to share the stuff their passionate with,” said Parker. “That’s why they made a club in the first place.”

People interested in joining the rock climbing club can find more information and the club’s registration sheet on the Algonquin College Students’ Association website.