Mikhail Gromyko: “Climbing Wall at SUSU is the Tallest in the City”

On the 8th of August, the International Alpinism Day is celebrated all over the world. Students of South Ural State University have the opportunity to exercise this sport without leaving the campus – on the climbing wall at the Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service.

Climbing wall of South Ural State University was opened in October of 2018. Over this time, this sport became favorite for many students and lecturers. Climbing wall instructor Mikhail Gromyko told us what it takes to climb the wall and what qualities get developed when exercising this extremal sport.

What is the uniqueness of the SUSU climbing wall?

‒ Due to the fact that sport climbing has been included in the list of official Olympic sports, leadership of SUSU made a decision to develop this sport at our university. Our climbing wall is the only one in Chelyabinsk that is located at a university; this is also the tallest wall in this city.

What conditions need to be created to exercise on the climbing wall?

‒ In order to exercise on a climbing wall, one has to have a good health. People who have problems with joints or spine should not exercise this sport. Also, indoor rock climbing is prohibited for those who has got injuries or experienced any surgery recently. Sport climbing is quite an extremal sport, so one can’t manage without a well-developed muscle carcass.

How is sport climbing different from alpinism?

‒ Indoor rock climbing got detached from alpinism as a separate sport in the 19th century. As opposed to alpinism, indoor rock climbing is much more comfortable and less costly. Climbing walls are located closer to our houses, and athletes in the gyms may not be afraid of avalanches and falling rocks. High-quality safety equipment and personal instructors make sport sessions safe.

What qualities get developed on a climbing wall?

‒ Indoor rock climbing helps developing all muscles of the body as well as coordination. One can fight one’s fear of heights, develop fine motor skills of hands and, of course, significantly reduce weight.

How many times a week one may exercise on the climbing wall and what should one bring for the classes?

‒ One can exercise every day whatsoever, but indoor rock climbing sessions for students are only held three times a week. Last year, gym pass for 2 wall climbing sessions costed 2600 rubles but nowadays we have 50% discount for students. It is advisable to receive a medical certificate saying that you are allowed to exercise sports, and bring comfortable sportswear and shoes. If a person decides to continue exercising this sport, he or she can borrow special garment and climbing shoes at the Sports Complex, or buy everything in a sport shop for individual use. A lot of students visited the climbing wall over the time of its operation. Many of them became regular visitors and started accomplishing outstanding results both in this sport and in their physical condition.

Right now the climbing wall is closed. It is being widened and reequipped. Many look forward to its opening which is to take place in the second half of August. Welcome to our classes, we will teach you how to climb the wall!

Marina Kovyazina, photo: collection of Mikhail Pogromyko
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