Monday, August 23, 2010

Rock climbing in the Charente

One of the big differences between our life in France and the one we had in the UK is the participation in organised sport.

When I was at school, Wednesday afternoon was always devoted to rugby or cricket and the summer holidays were simply spent playing with friends.

Over here the schools don't seem to organise any sport at all, it's down to you to sign up for the events run by the local communes (of which there are plenty).

During summer the local children in the Charente all seem to join clubs under the banner of "Eté actif". Last year our two tried their hands at water-skiing, horse-riding and archery this year it's rock climbing, horse riding (again), pottery and flower arranging.

The lessons are cheap and it gives them a little taster of different activities.

Rock climbing is the most popular by far in our house-hold.  Katie had tried it in the Pyrenees with school so when we turned up at "La font qui pisse" she scoffed at the 24m high sheer rock face.....although it certainly looked daunting enough to me.

A quick briefing from the instructors and she was scaling the sheer face like Spiderman while her mother was having kittens below.

I have no idea if she will take this further and move on to Mont Blanc and  Mount Everest but it sure was lovely to see her trying something well outside the usual Downie family comfort zone.


Harry said...

i have noticed that too, that extra curricular clubs are much more popular in europe and school is just school. In England, we kind of expect to do everything at school, and even afterschool programmes are organised by the school.

Chris said...

Interesting to hear that, I guess it means if people sign up to a particular sport it is something they are genuinely interested in, that hasn't been imposed on them.