If you live in Southampton and have kids who like sports, it is safe to say that right now may not be the time when they are happiest to be near a football pitch, given the local team’s relegation from the Premier League.

However, there is more to life – and sport – than football, and if you want to help them expand their horizons into a new sport that helps them literally reach new heights and be as far from the foot of the table as anyone can be, indoor climbing in Southampton could be it.

There are many great benefits to be enjoyed from indoor climbing, which extend beyond simply finding a new activity to try that is fun and challenging.

As Washington Note highlights, there are many physical benefits to be gained from the sport. These can be just as, and sometimes more, applicable to adults, but it will certainly help kids get fitter and they can go on enjoying these benefits if they carry on with the sport into adulthood.

The most obvious is that it will burn off some calories, which is good news at any age. It can also exercise the whole body, which is a key benefit for all but can be important when growing, helping to develop strong bones, muscles and joints. 

Similarly, flexibility and balance will improve, which will be good both for climbing itself, but also for many other sports as well.

Naturally enough, this exercise is good for the heart, but it is also good for the brain as it helps develop problem-solving skills. It also helps with concentration, focusing on being safe so that stress and anxiety can be relieved, which is good news for any youngster facing exams – especially amid the current furore over SATS.

Further psychological benefits can include a sense of achievement and fulfilment as new skills are learned and new heights climbed while meeting new people and making friends can also be part of the equation.

Since all these benefits can be gained from climbing, what better time to start than right away? If your youngsters take to climbing, it can be the start of a lifetime of enjoying it, whether indoors or out.

The sport can be enjoyed at a competitive level, of course, not least as it is now an Olympic event, making its debut in Tokyo. That means your kids can supplement their own growing experience and knowledge of the sport gained from participation with following the competitors in the Paris games next year.

Of course, the sport is not risk-free, especially if it is enjoyed outdoors. But that is true of so many activities and in the long run, the physical and psychological benefits can stand climbers in good stead through life, providing better protection for their physical health.

Whether your kids end up in the Olympics, or simply gaining the many benefits from enjoying the sport of climbing, all this fun can start now. Apart from anything else, it might be a bit more rewarding than watching Southampton play football.