ClimbScotland supports two Scottish squads, the National Squad and Development Squad to provide opportunities that supplement and add to what members are already getting from their own climbing, through their local walls, coaches and parents.

Support for squad members

Squad members are supported by ClimbScotland and the Scottish Climbing Wall Network:

  • Programme of climbing academies and RealRock sessions to provide a variety of opportunities to develop climbing in all disciplines (see below)
  • Climbing walls support programme – free or reduced entry to most of the main indoor climbing walls across Scotland (see below)
  • Squad kit
  • Squad membership cards

Squad Expectations

In developing and running the squad programme you can expect the following from us at ClimbScotland:

  • We will endeavour to build a squad community through the programme and squad kit so everyone feels welcome and a part of something.
  • We will aim to provide a programme that offers something that compliments any coaching you may already receive (we do not aim to, and are not able to, replace regular home coaching).
  • We will make sure all our coaching academies are appropriately organised and heavily subsidised to ensure they are as accessible as possible.
  • We will negotiate with as many Scottish Climbing Walls as possible on your behalf, to try and ensure you have access at a reduced cost (or sometimes at no cost) to help make it easier for you to climb in your own time.
  • We will be open to feedback and will always aim to build on what has gone before.

A huge amount of effort goes into putting this programme together from ClimbScotland staff, freelance coaches and volunteers. We hope you feel proud to be a part of the squad but we also have a request for you. Whilst you wear squad kit, access the climbing wall support programme or attend academy days – YOU are ambassadors of climbing. You are a role model for someone and we ask that you abide by our code of conduct, viewable here, but also sent directly to you upon taking your place in the squad.

Squad Values

  • Building the Scottish climbing community.
  • Relevant preparation and exposure to terrain at key times.
  • Providing holistic opportunities to develop resilient young people.
  • Developing climbers technique, tactics, and psychology/physical attributes.


“My biggest memory of the competition scene was the friends I made and spent time with them”

One of the biggest benefits of the squad programme throughout the years is it’s ability to bring together climbers, coaches, parents and guardians from around Scotland into a single venue. Bringing together this community in itself has a huge amount of benefits. Climbing with friends can push us out of our home comfort zones and help develop strong networks between climbers, parents and coaches. Our resilience as people and our development in climbing is often a reflection of who we surround ourselves with. We hope by creating and developing opportunities for bringing people together we can build a climbing community that benefits everyone.

All of our academy and competition events are an opportunity to bring together a community however two academies in particular are focused on building and sustaining that community:

  • The Meet + Greet academy at the start of the year brings both squads, coaches, parents/guardians and ClimbScotland staff together.
  • The End of Year academy similarly is focused on bringing together the squad community before the start of next years programme.


“The work on head games at the mock route comp was invaluable”

Many members of both squads are looking to progress to the next level of competition, whether that’s development squad members aiming to improve their performance in national comps or national squad members looking to make the step into competing at the British and international level events. We feel the best way to support climbers doing this through our squad programme is to lean on our national route setting and coaching teams. Using our experienced national route setters and working in partnership with GB Climbing we seek to prepare climbers by setting appropriate terrain for them to practice on in a low pressure environment with the support of coaches before they experience this terrain in a full competition context.

Terrain and coaching aimed at those climbing or aspiring to climb at national level can be found in:

  • Boulder and Route Simulators.

Terrain and coaching aimed at those aspiring to climb at the level for GB squad selection and British Championships can be found in:

  • Goal Setting and Preparation Session.
  • Boulder and Lead Prep Sessions.


“parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole”

Through our squad programme we look at climbers as a whole rather than focusing on one aspect of their climbing. The squad uses climbing competitions as a primary means of selection and many members key focus is also in competitions. However, experience over many years has shown us that some climbers will drift away from indoor competitions as their desires and motivations change. Whilst they are members of the squad we aim to deliver a programme that develops their current ambitions but also broadens their horizons and demonstrates to climbers that the activity of climbing can be a life-long passion that can evolve with them.

We hope this life-long passion for climbing shows in all of our events but specific academies that demonstrate this are@

  • Torridon Boulder Academy.
  • Fundamentals 1 + 2 Coaching Workshop.
  • Climbing Wall Instructor Training + Assessment.
  • We also aim to a host a diverse range of guest speakers and coaches each year.


“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still”

Development is intrinsic to all of our academies, and we broadly use the ‘TTPP’ model when building the programme and individual content of each academy. This model breaks down climbers’ performance into four aspects; technique, tactics, psychological factors and physical factors. Whilst these can all blurr into each other, often academies and coaching will have a focus on developing one of these. An example from the past would be our focus on developing climbers technique on ‘modern’ style boulder problems. We ran a series of academies where we set these style of blocs and looked at the technical and tactical factors at improving on them. We saw a development need and implemented an academy to meet that need.

All of our academies aim to develop climbers but there are several where development of TTPP is the key focus:

  • Complex Movement.
  • Forerunning Experience.
  • Bridging Sessions.
  • International Camp.
  • Joint Camp.

The Academy Programme

The aim of the Academy Programme will be to provide our Scottish squad members support and opportunities for holistic athlete-centred development.

We hope to build a stronger squad culture for our athletes to be a part of and to give opportunities that supplement and add to what members are already getting from their own climbing, through their local walls, coaches and parents.

The programme will encourage collaboration and involvement across both squads, as well as giving specialised opportunities relevant to each of squads specifically.

As with every year, we are hoping to build on the last, but also hope to learn a lot to take forward into the coming years.

Academy dates, venues and costs

National Squad

  • Goal Setting and Preparation Session: 13-14 Jan 2024 EICA Ratho (£100)
  • Joint Camp: 1-4 April 2024 EICA/Eden Rock (£250-£300 for four days)
  • Boulder Prep: 8 June 2024 TCA: Newsroom (£60)
  • Lead Prep: 21 September 2024 t EICA Ratho (£60)

Development Squad

  • Complex Movement: 10 Feb 2024 TCA: Propstore (£50)
  • Bridging Session: 2 March 2024 The Ledge (£40)
  • Boulder Sim: 6 April 2024 Block10 (£50)
  • Route Sim: 11 May 2024 EICA Ratho (£50)
  • Forerunning/Setting: 21 July 2024 Eden Rock (£50)

Joint Academies

  • Welcome: 20 Jan 2024 EICA Ratho (£30)
  • CWI Training: 9-10 March 2024 Glasgow (£75)
  • Fundamentals 1: 3 March 2024 The Ledge (£40)
  • Torridon: 13-14 April 2024 Torridon (£60)
  • Fundamentals 2: 20 July 2024 Eden (£40)
  • CWI Assessment: 20 October 2024 Glasgow (£50)
  • End of year: 9 November 2024 Eden (£40)

Climbing wall support for squad members

The Climbing Wall Support Programme is one of the key benefits of squad membership. Each year we spend time developing connections and partnerships with Scottish climbing walls. As part of this partnership we ask if each wall will offer support to Development/National/GB squad members in the form of discounted individual entry prices to their climbing walls.

The discounted entry to climbing walls is a privilege and in return we ask that climbers (and attending parents/guardians) accessing this support act as ambassadors of the sport of climbing and in accordance with our code of conduct. We also ask that you help promote your local climbing wall, perhaps by introducing friends, volunteering at the wall or sharing your time spent at the climbing wall on social media.

Remember you must wear your squad kit to access the above support. Also, the wall support offered is specific to each venue and may vary. Please ensure you check directly with the venue in relation to their terms and conditions when planning your visit.

We are grateful for the support of the following climbing walls:

Contact us

We’re looking forward to working with you this year to deliver something unique in Scotland for youth climbers. If you have any queries about anything presented in this document, please get in touch with us using the below email;