Rascals Softplay Centre is in Newry, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Much of the facilities available at the centre are focussed on young children, with extensive purpose built soft play areas. However, a desire to provide activity for older age groups led them to consider a climbing wall area.
Following careful consideration and planning with the centre, we designed and built a climbing area within the building, providing five auto-belays – devices allowing for safe climbing and descent without the need for a belay partner. For each belay there are two or three routes set on the wall with different coloured holds, to suit abilities ranging from young children through to adult groups.
The climbing wall was based on a steel framework, custom made to suit the area and hold a plywood surface, while also allowing for further expansion in the future with more climbing wall surface.
The auto belays provide a fantastic, safe and fun way for the climbers to descent down to the ground. They simply let go of the wall, and the device will lower them at a safe rate down to the ground surface, which is fitted with soft rubber crumb flooring.
The wall is proving extremely popular – we are booked up every day with both our own youngsters as well as visiting groups. A senior instructor from a major climbing centre in the area has commented that it is the best he has seen for this age range.
It has worked so well for our centre that we are inviting Wall Climber back to extend the wall, creating a further four auto-belay lines.