A bigger space, bigger project, longer timeline…

1 02 2012

We have a new space in the Rocinha Sports Complex.  Our new space is bigger and better, but inevitably comes with more redtape.  We are now planning the professional construction of a 100 ft. x 50 ft. wall in the corridor of the Rocinha Sports Complex.  The following will explain the events that led to this update:

Through a little networking and a lot of persistence, CEU was able to get a meeting with the President of SUDERJ which directs all sports programs in the state of Rio de Janeiro.  The goal of this meeting was to hash out the relationship between CEU and the Rocinha Sports Complex which would host our climbing wall.  CEU had designed the wall desired in the space that had been promised to us.  The design can be seen below:

Climbing wall design in the original space

Within the first 10 minutes of our meeting with SUDERJ, the president informed us that our space had been promised to a ballet program.  My heart sank.  All this hard work, all this momentum and now we were back at square one…  There was a side of me that for a split second truly dispised ballet.  Andrew did not miss a beat, he kept the conversation going and did not show any sign of disappointment.  A couple of minutes later we were brainstorming about a new location for our climbing wall and fortunately, one existed, a better space; bigger, taller, wider, and away from the pungent stinch of the river of crap that flows down from Rocinha and right by our old space.

The new space is in a corridor, almost 50 feet tall and almost 100 feet long.  A climbing wall encompassing these full dimensions would possibly be the best climbing wall in all of Brazil.  But how could we possibly find the resources to build such a dream climbing facility.  The nature of this location is great for publicity and will encourage all young ambitious climbers who walk into the sports complex to join our school.  As our meeting progressed with the President, we realized the huge potential in the Rocinha market after being pacified last month.  There is a line of Brazilian companies that are chopping at the bit to get recognized within the ~200,000 residents of Rocinha.  Through SUDERJ and our own contacts, we believe we can find the sponsors to fund a world class training facility for the youth of Rocinha.

The new and improved location for the wall

In addition to moving forwards on the climbing wall and despite the epic consecutive days of rain, CEU made some progress developing the crags around the rock formations neighboring Rocinha.  The first crag being developed is located directly above the sports complex (see below), seriously less than a five minute walk from the location of the climbing wall.  We think this outdoor climbing will allow for CEU to more successfully create a strong climbing program.

Above Rocinha and the Sports Complex

Andrew Lenz on the first ascent of one of the new routes around Rocinha

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