Darragh McKevitt, Captain of the UCC Mountaineering Club talks about club activity and why people get involved, highlighting the fact that clubs are as much for postgraduates as undergraduates…….
The club’s activities are twofold, hiking and rock climbing. Hikes are held each Sunday during term, with a total of 20 being held over the course of the college year. Climbing sessions are held in the Mardyke Arena (UCC’s sports arena – http://www.mardykearena.com/) on Monday and Wednesday evenings and in Awesome Walls Cork on Friday evenings. Outdoor climbing trips are organised among members throughout the year. Many club members engage in both but some just do one or the other. These activities lead many on to classical mountaineering or alpinism during their time in the club or indeed after they have left college, further leading to qualifications such as the Mountain Leader or Single Pitch Awards.
The club’s ethos is one of welcome and participation, with no distinctions being made as to talent, fitness etc. This is reflected in the high levels of postgrads, staff members, mature and international students that make up the membership body. The social side of the club is probably even more important than all of that though! This allows the opportunity for the club to become more than a hobby for people, developing friendships and a sense of camaraderie that last way beyond college. Alumni are a special group of people for us that more often than not continue to involve themselves in club activities insofar as is possible.