Rocking climbing club lets students reach new heights

By Asia McGill

Anthony Rossidivito, a senior criminal justice major, came to Rider as a transfer student in Fall 2021, and by the spring semester, became the president of Rider Club Rock Climbing.

“When I got to Rider, the first person I actually met at the SRC [Student Recreation Center] was the president of the rock climbing club,” Rossidivito said.

By fate, Rossidivito was no rookie to rock climbing, beginning some of his first climbs in his teenage years.

Since his inauguration, Rossidivito has been able to coach members that are new to the sport, teaching them techniques such as properly shifting their weight or keeping their body close to the wall.

Climbers of all experience levels are welcome, ranging from first-time climbers to those who have up to six years of experience.

“I wouldn’t exactly call myself an expert … but I’m able to help those who are new to it. It’s always good to have those who have been climbing for four years, maybe six years,” Rossidivito said.

Rock climbing is a sport that involves more than reaching the top of a boulder or wall; it is strategic, and requires physical and mental synergy.

“It’s not just pulling yourself up … it’s using your whole body and mind connection,” Rossidivito said.

Junior computer science major Ryan Carter stands as secretary of the club, and has a connection to climbing that dates back to his childhood.

“As a kid I found it interesting…[and] I do love puzzles … so rock climbing was a nice way to get the best of both worlds, ” Carter said.

Carter mentioned not only his enjoyment of climbing, but being able to climb affordably.

“It’s a great value for being around people who can also help you… it’s a win-win-win,” Carter said.

The club meets for practice on Tuesday and Friday nights from 7-9 p.m. at the Rockville Climbing Center Inc., just 10 minutes away from campus.

There, climbers are able to test their skills with walls ranging by difficulty. A variety of different walls allows for beginners and experts alike to gain experience.

“We get them going on to the walls, they practice … we make sure they get used to it at least, especially falling back,” Rossidivito said.

During the spring semester, the club switches to outdoor climbs where their techniques are challenged the most.

“It gives you the ability to actually go outside and see what an actual rock feels like and how you can climb one,” he said.

Though Rider Club Rock Climbing is recreational, members are encouraged to enter climb competitions. If a member is interested in competing, the coaches train them more extensively, preparing them for new challenges they may face.

Each spring, the club opens their gym to all Rider students where they share slices of pizza, inform about the organization, and of course, climb.

The Rider Club Rock Climbing can be contacted on their Instagram @riderbroncclimbers, or through their profile on Bronc Nation.

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