Our Junior Coaching Program is the next step for young climbers who are keen to learn, improve and achieve. Highball Climbing Centre is an awarding centre for NICAS (National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme) and NIBAS (National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme). Both schemes consist of 5 awards which provide structured coaching, development and achievement for aspiring young climbers, and are integrated into our regular weekend program.

How does it work?

NICAS focuses on Indoor Climbing and Bouldering whilst NIBAS focuses solely on Bouldering. Both schemes have 5 awarding levels which can take a young climber from a complete beginner to a highly-skilled, independent climber/boulderer who can not only climb well, but understands the risks of the sport and how to keep themselves and others safe.

Each level requires a minimum number of hours instruction, personal commitment and consolidation. The amount of time necessary increases at each stage e.g. the hours required at Level 2 are higher than Level 1 etc.. Candidates use logbooks to record their climbs and coaches assess progress using specific assessment criteria.


Register your interest for NICAS & NIBAS here


Level 1: Foundation Climber

Level 2: Top Rope Climber

Level 3: Technical Climber

Level 4: Lead Climber*

Level 5: Advanced Climber*


Level 1: New Boulderer

Level 2: Foundation Boulderer

Level 3: Competent Boulderer

Level 4: Technical Boulderer

Level 5: Performance Boulderer*

NICAS - How does it work?

NICAS focuses on Indoor Climbing using ropes,  although 1 out of the 6 sessions on bouldering to improve technique and skills.

Both schemes consist of 5 levels, of which Highball provide 1-3. Provided with the NICAS course is structured coaching for a child who has never climbed on ropes before or those with some previous experience that would like to increase their knowledge base.

With NICAS focusing on roped climbing, coaching personal safety as well as partner safety is a key focus.

For more information and to view the handbook click here.


NIBAS - How does it work?

NIBAS focuses on Indoor Bouldering only. Progression through the 5 levels can take a young climber from complete beginner to a highly skilled boulderer who can not only climb well but understands the risks of the sport and how to keep themselves and others safe.

The coaching program is suitable for young boulderers who want to learn how to climb safely in an indoor climbing environment, improve their climbing technique and achieve a high-performance level.

For more information and to view the handbook click here.

YOUTH ACADEMY : Frequently Asked Questions

No. Our Intro Courses are perfect for both newcomers and those with previous climbing experience who want a more comprehensive refresher. If you have never climbed before, however, it may be beneficial to book a Taster Session first.

Depending on what type of session you are taking part in will determine how many climbs you get. With our Taster Sessions we will give you as many opportunities as possible to climb, our more instructional sessions will focus on safety and techniques alongside climbing. It all depends on how confident you feel too, our instructors won't force you to the top but gently encourage to where you are comfortable.

We have a mixture of climbs and challenges suitable for all ages. If you want to get to the top, we’re sure you will be able to. Our instructors will not push you or your children further than they want to go; ‘the top’ will come with confidence.

We have a maximum working ratio of 1 to 8, however, most courses operate on a maximum 1 to 6. We feel this offers increased value for money and time on the wall. Ultimately, instructors have the final say and will make changes if they feel necessary.