Youth Team

The Durham Climbing Centre Academy is an established Youth Climbing Team for young climbers aged 6-18 years.

Team members meet three times a week for training sessions with our highly experienced Academy Coaching Team.

We train for BMC Youth Climbing Series, national and regional competitions. The Academy Youth Team have enjoyed many podiums all over the UK with many more to come!

Look out for the next Team Trials!

Mission Statement – Durham Climbing Centre Academy provides a pathway for young climbers aged 6-18 years to develop climbing skills and prepare for competitions.

Ian Dunn

Head Coach


Head Coach Ian oversees the Academy training programme for all athletes. An experienced climber, route setter and coach, Ian has experience of all climbing disciplines. Ian was the Manager of The GB Junior Lead Climbing Team from 2010 to 2017 and has been a GB Team Coach from 2008 to 2020. Ian has taken the GB Junior Lead Climbing Team abroad to many competitions and he has enjoyed working with them through the stresses and strains of competing internationally, as well as setting training plans and running sessions for them back home.

Ian has worked with the Durham Climbing Centre Youth Team for a number of years delivering weekend training days at DCC and outdoor meets and meets at indoor centres. Alongside Ian's invovement with the Youth Team, he also delivers all of our staff training at Durham Climbing Centre ranging from BMC courses in technique, to coaching methods and route setting courses. We are thrilled to have Ian’s expertise on a permanent basis as head of our Academy Coaching team.

Charlotte Glassey

Development Coach

Experienced climber, route setter and coach Charlotte Glassey brings four years of coaching experience to the team. Since joining Durham Climbing Centre, Charlotte has fast tracked the employee training programme and is qualified to Development Coach level. Charlotte is Course Director for the NIBAS scheme and qualified to deliver Level 4 NIBAS. Charlotte enjoys bouldering and lead climbing, and is always a friendly face to offer motivation and support to the team.

Charlotte and Ian are two of the few coaches in the UK who have completed Physical Profile training at the Climbing Works in Sheffield. This training allows them to perform physical profiling assessments identifying strengths and weaknesses in athletes. These tests allow Academy Coaches to individually tailor training plans to academy members so they can get the most out of their training sessions. Charlotte is excited to take on a new challenge and begin profile testing team members.

Ruth Hardy

Academy Coach

Experienced climber and Coach Ruth Hardy has three years coaching experience across two different youth teams. Ruth has completed training and is working towards her Mountain Training Rock Climbing Instructor award (RCI) Ruth is a regular on the competition circuit,  having competed as a junior in the Youth Climbing Series and coming 2nd in her region. Ruth competed in 2021 in the British Bouldering Championships at Cliffhanger Sheffield. Ruth has also competed in the British Lead Climbing Championships and Youth Opens. Ruth is excited to motivate and train the next generation of climbers develop and progress in the sport and in themselves. 

Adam Watson

Academy Coach

Experienced Coach, Personal Trainer and Route Setter Adam Watson began competition climbing aged 9 and has climbed consistently at a high standard; his highest British Bouldering result being 2nd and his highest World cup position 11th at Munich 2012. While travelling the world competing he also spent his time exploring the world in search of the best climbing areas, from big walls in Europe, bouldering as far afield as South Africa and New Zealand it’s fair to say he has done it all! Most recently he has spent time in the Grampians Australia; climbing some of the most specular boulders and cliffs Australia has to offer. Since returning from his travels Adam has started coaching and is one of the highest rated climbing coaches and personal trainers in the north of England.