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JEDDAH: Rock climbing is a relatively new sport in Saudi Arabia, but it is rapidly gaining popularity, thanks to a Dammam gym that has opened its doors to novices and professionals alike.

Dyno Gym, the Kingdom’s first indoor climbing gym, has become a hotspot where novice climbers and experienced professionals can meet to share advice and exchange stories.

Gymnasium co-founder Mohammed Banjari told Arab News rock climbing is more community-based than most sports and can be great physical activity that allows friends and family to bond.

After climbing in other countries and returning to Saudi Arabia, Banjari asked his friends how the sport could be brought to the Kingdom, where it is often misunderstood.

Rock climbing can help with depression in young people and is considered to be an activity that builds self-confidence and releases endorphins. It also promotes social bonding because it is rarely done alone. This makes it the ideal activity for a family or a group of friends.

Dana al-buainain, Climbing instructor

“I initially thought that climbing was neither competitive nor serious. But when I was exposed to culture, I realized that it was much more serious and that it took critical thinking and teamwork, almost like solving a puzzle with your body, ”he said. he declared.

Dana Al-Buainain, a 29-year-old rock climbing instructor at the gym, said: “Rock climbing is a very liberating experience, where you are forced to let go of any awkward thoughts and face your fears directly. It’s more than a physical sport, it’s also a mental game.

She added, “Climbing has taught me resilience and never giving up, and accepting failure and falling as part of the journey to the top.”

Climbing is also a sport suitable for beginners. Dyno Gym offers an orientation program to teach beginners and beginners the basics and how to reduce the risk of injury.

“As with any sport, if someone is interested they can start with the easier levels designed for beginners and then progress to more complex climbs,” said Banjari.

The demand for climbing spaces encouraged the Dyno Gym team to build an indoor climbing space. “The conditions can be controlled inside a gym as well, and in an environment as hot as Saudi Arabia, this can be key,” Banjari said.

As people increasingly spend time sitting in front of screens, health experts and sports authorities are encouraging sedentary people to “get up and move” as part of a healthier lifestyle.

“Rock climbing can help with depression in young people and is considered to be an activity that builds self-confidence and releases endorphins. It also promotes social bonding because it is rarely done alone. This makes it the ideal activity for a family or a group of friends, ”said Al-Buainain.

Banjari agreed, saying that “even if someone starts out on their own, once they get to know people who go to the gym, they will end up in a community.”

He added, “Personally, over time the gym has become a regular hangout with a rock climbing component. So even though I’m too tired to climb, I’m still going to visit and hang out with my friends, and that’s the biggest draw.

Along with other gyms across the Kingdom and the world, Dyno Gym has felt the effects of the global pandemic. Another challenge is the Kingdom’s small climbing community.

On a larger scale, the goals of gym owners are in line with Vision 2030.

“Maybe by practicing we can help Saudi climbers improve and reach the level of international climbers and compete in the Olympics,” Banjari said, adding that he hopes to expand the gymnasium’s services to across the Kingdom.


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