Recreation that grows with you

28 September 2022

Anna Steenwinkel (Faculty of Education) has been part of the climbing community since she was young by participating in U of A youth programs and camps and competing across Alberta. Since the summer of 2021, her experience has come full circle and is now the one coaching these same youth camps at the Wilson Climbing Centre in the Physical Activity and Wellness Centre. “I frequently make use of the fitness centre and have enjoyed many of the drop in and weekly classes that are offered to staff, students and the public,” says Anna.

Climbing and coaching has benefited her in many ways. The first being an improvement to her physical and mental health - “it is my favourite way to de-stress after a heavy week at school.” The skills acquired through coaching had also transferred seamlessly into her studies to become a teacher. However, the most rewarding part of climbing has been the relationships she’s built—friendships made during her days in youth development programs and as a summer camp coach have continued to this day. “I met many people of all ages and abilities, and bettered my climbing technique by watching and getting inspiration from them,” she says.

What advice would Anna give to someone interested in participating in a program? “Take the leap! I have had nothing but positive experiences with any program I have attended with CCR and am confident that others will find the same. Do your research and find out which program is best for you, and don’t be afraid to push yourself outside of your comfort zone - you might be really happy you did!”