Climb Again and Kaufland Romania open a new climbing therapy center for children with disabilities
The Climb Again Association, with the support of Kaufland Romania, has set up the Climb Again Gruiu Centre, the third space in Romania where children and young people with various disabilities can receive therapy through sports and movement. Their two other centers are located in Bucharest and Iasi.
Climbing is a sport that can be practiced even by children with special needs, with a therapeutic effect, and this is why Climb Again developed the first climbing therapy center in Europe in Bucharest 4 years ago.
The Climb Again Gruiu Centre is the result of many years of observation, measurable and beneficial results of this form of sports therapy for children with visual, hearing, locomotor, and neuromotor impairments, ADHD and ASD.
Being located in the middle of nature, in the village of Gruiu, Argeș county, spread over an area of 5 hectares, the new Climb Again Gruiu Centre fulfills a series of roles adapted to the type of disability of the children, their cognitive interests, their intellectual possibilities, their learning style and their need for integration in the community.
The center will offer climbing trails as well as a variety of accessible spaces for children with disabilities: a gym, adventure park, therapeutic pool, sports field adapted for blind people, physiotherapy, and psychotherapy rooms.
"In the 8 years I have been working with children with and without disabilities, I have seen the transformation brought about by sport and their fantastic desire to discover their potential. We welcome children from all over the country to find refuge here in the beauty of the mountains and climbing," says Claudiu Miu - Founder of Climb Again.
The Climb Again Centre is a playground for different types of disabilities and accessible with visual or auditory cues for deaf, blind or visually impaired children, with easy access routes, multi-functional and multi-sensory play and recovery surfaces designed according to the sports therapy scheme. Here, children will find themselves in an inclusive community that provides opportunities for socialization and networking between children with special needs and typical children, which are the basis for harmonious mental development.
The Climb Again team now includes former beneficiaries, young people who are visually impaired or neuromotor impaired who have found their vocation in sport and are role models for young people in the same situation. Some of these young people were present at the inauguration event: Robert Al-Radi, para-climbing medalist and climbing instructor, and Răzvan Nedu, world para-climbing vice-champion and captain of the National Para climbing Team, together with volunteers from Kaufland.
Equipped according to all the safety rules present on a construction site, 40 Kaufland and Climb Again volunteers put their enthusiasm, team spirit, and craft skills to work to help build the center.
"In addition to financially supporting this project, we helped build the Gruiu Center because volunteering is part of our organizational culture and has been an opportunity to give concrete form to solidarity between people," said Katharina Scheidereiter, CSR Manager Kaufland Romania.
Climb Again Association is a non-governmental organization affiliated with the Romanian Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing (FRAE), founded and led by Claudiu Miu, former Balkan climbing champion. Since 2014, Climb Again organizes free climbing therapy sessions, and psycho-emotional and kineto-therapeutic support for children and young people with disabilities: visual, hearing, and neuromotor disorders, and associated impairments.
Climb Again is also the coordinator of the Romanian Para Climbing Team.
(Photo source: Climb Again Association)