A new rock climbing facility has recently opened up in Canterbury.
Chimera Climbing is a dedicated bouldering centre that specialises in the sport of the same name. It focuses on climbing walls with out climbing equipment and ropes while minimising the risks of injury.
Having opened on the 29th of November, the facility has already been praised for its staff, facilities and ease of access to people of all levels.
Bouldering is slowly becoming an increasingly popular sport alongside the other two forms of rock climbing, and its popularity has skyrocketed due to the 2024 Paris Olympics unanimously agreeing to add Sport Climbing into its list of sports during the event.
This decision was partially brought on by the wave of support by climbers across the world to add the sport, as well as backlash from the 2020 Olympics after they combined speed climbing, lead climbing and bouldering into a single solitary event.
Sheridan Bridal, the centre manager at Chimera in Canterbury, spoke about the facility and why it was chosen to be built in Canterbury.
“We’ve already got another centre in Tunbridge Wells, which was a successful business that opened four years ago. The director was looking to expand and have a second venue, and Canterbury has a gap in the market. At that time there were no other walls in this area, and although a wall has opened in Maidstone, it still isn’t much competition.
“We have a pretty large student population here, and there’s quite a lot of climbers in the South East, and this place is easy to get to and a suitable sized building.
“Indoor climbing and bouldering has become a sport in its own right. Ever since the first wall opened in London during the nineties. The new people enjoy it, a complete novice could walk in from off of the street and still enjoy it, but there’s also something for more experienced climbers, too.”
Although the staff at Chimera Climbing can’t remove the risk of injury that comes with bouldering, that fact is true with any sport, and the facility is bound to attract even more people in the future.