Wednesday, 19 October 2016 21:13

How The Uprising Began Featured

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A year or so ago I bumped in to a climber by the name of Robbie Phillips at an Edelrid event at EICA Ratho. We got chatting about gear, climbing and other related topics when he mentioned there was an event at The Climbing Academy (TCA) in Glasgow. The event was a bouldering completion with talks from himself and his climbing partner for Paciencia on the Eiger, Willis Morris. Followed by a talk from climber couple Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson.


The purpose of the event was to raise funds for a climbing charity called Urban Uprising, who help children from deprived areas get into climbing. In the hope that the challenge will lead to some structure, motivation and improvement in self esteem in life. The recent sessions that took place at TCA with a group of kids from North Ayrshire allowed them to get their NIBAS Level 1.

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I have been chatting with co-founder Stuart Green for some time now I wanted to let him tell the story of how the Uprising started.

So Stuart, where did this revolution begin?

It began back in 2013. I was visiting Rio with my work and had the pleasure of climbing up SugarLoaf, up to The Christ Statue ‘Corcovado’ and other climbs with Andrew Lenz, a local rock climbing guide. He had recently set up a grass routes climbing school and as I got to know him more over subsequent visits, also got to know more about his school. I started running gear collection points at Alien Rock and TCA Glasgow. Shoes, helmets, harnesses and so forth. Very quickly however, we had more equipment than we knew could realistically use, so that set me thinking about the possibility of starting a registered UK based charity; whether it was sensible, feasible and whether or not we’d be replicating what someone else was doing. We started with the expressed aim of funding this project but things have snowballed and we’re now more UK focussed, with a project in Glasgow as well as one opening up in Edinburgh in 2017. We plan to open more in the UK in the near future.

You have a South America connection, how did the relationship with C.E.U. come about? And what are they doing out there?

Well, we started out by funding the school in Rio. In terms of what they’re doing, we’ve managed to 100% fund the building of a climbing wall for them and also made a significant contribution to the rental of a physical space which houses this wall. It’s a world’s first and something that we’re very proud of. The wall has increased the outreach of the school significantly.

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Urban Uprising has an impressive list of Ambassadors, how do they assist the charity?

They help in a variety of different ways but mainly in gaining awareness and recognition for us. They’ve managed to help us get an increasingly large following online and we’ve been mentioned in a wide variety of press from the climbing to mainstream broad sheets and National Geographic, High Life and others.

Robbie, James, Caro, Caitlin, Niall and Nat have all been snapped in our fox T-Shirts up various rock faces including the Eiger and El Cap. This has helped to make our fox logo recognisable in many climbing walls. Hopefully we’ll be becoming more visible south of the border soon when we start projects there.

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A special mention should also go to Niall McNair. When not onsighting scary E7s around Scotland, Niall organises our successful ‘Uprising’ fundraising club nights. The next one is on Oct 22nd in Glasgow. Niall visited the Rio Uprising this year and got to see first hand the difference that we’re making. He’s also one of the speakers at our next event at TCA in Glasgow.

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Following on from the Glasgow programme you had, what are the next big things for Urban Uprising?

We’re continuing to run the Glasgow Uprisings and the next big thing for us is our new Edinburgh Uprising project. This will kick off in early 2017. The plan is to add to these in the future.

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On the horizon is another event similar to last years at TCA Glasgow, looks like it will be fun?

Absolutely! It’s TCA’s 5th birthday party and we’re really excited to be part of the events. They’re running a fundraising competition with a barbeque, drinks and then talks from Dave MacLeod, Lukasz Warzecha and our own Niall McNair. It should be a great day. After that, there’s the Uprising club night being held at Stereo. Come along!

A special thanks should go to the team at TCA. They’ve been incredibly supportive of Urban Uprising from the start. They’ve made a huge difference to enabling us to find our feet and we certainly wouldn’t be where we are today without them. Through their youth programs and their support of charity, I think they’re a great example of how to responsibly do business and help the community to flourish.

Thanks to Stuart for giving us a bit of background to Urban Uprising.


The event has a lot of contributors including Black Diamond Equipment, Sidetracked magazine, In Situ Climbing, Ellis Brigham Sports, Hot Ache Productions, Jottnar, Szent Climbing, Top Out Brewery, Osprey Packs, Scarpa, Hydro Flask and Edelrid.  So the raffle is well stocked with prizes!

If you can get there I’ll meet you at the bar!

Last modified on Friday, 21 October 2016 13:07
Davy Wright

Most at home in the outdoors, preferably on top of something big and pointy. Scotland is Davy's playground, which is why he doesn’t mind getting wet. But winter is where it’s at. Hiking, scrambling, camping and a bit of climbing when I can. Sucker for a ridge. At a lower altitude he try getting out on his bike and run if he has to.

Davy describes himself as "a bit of a gear geek, maybe less of the bit. I like to see how things work or don’t!" In following this line Davy has become a respected and authoritative blogger over the last few years, working with many of the UK's major manufacturers and retailers.

Preferred activities: Hillwalking, camping, scrambling, trying to get better at climbing/ice climbing, cycling/mountain biking

Areas commonly visited: Lochaber, Cairngorms, Lake District

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