UK Coaching Week - Annaliese Foster

Meet our coaches!

Annaliese Foster

Climbing Instructor

Annaliese has been coaching for 7 years, enjoying passing on her wealth of climbing experience to new entrants into the sport. Having worked part-time she has recently made the step into working in climbing walls full time.

“I grew up climbing to the top of climbing frames, usually scaring the life out of my grandparents, I would always be the one to climb to the highest point in the tree and climbed a lot of things I shouldn’t have. It was only once I moved to the Midlands for university that I had the opportunity to climb indoors regularly which I grabbed on tight with both hands! I have never stopped climbing since.”

Climbing is a fantastic sport, encouraging individuals to break physical and mental barriers as they achieve great heights! Annaliese has guided many people to do just that, from eager young scouts to women climbing on outdoor rock for the first time.

“I started to teach people to climb in my university club and my first job after graduating was as a climbing instructor. I have always enjoyed teaching people, it’s a good way to learn yourself and it’s great to be able to share your passion with others. I have volunteered with the Scouts, the Way Youth Zone, and the Women’s Trad Festival. All of which involve getting new people into the sport and giving some women their first experience climbing outdoors on real rock.”

“One of the things I love about climbing is that anyone can climb, I am only 145cm tall, so no one gets away with saying they can’t reach it in my sessions! It’s an incredibly inclusive sport, I have coached blind and deaf people, others with physical or mental disabilities, all of which gain a confidence they didn’t have before, it is very special to be a part of. Young or old it’s never too late to start a new hobby, I really enjoying coaching the new generation of climbers, to see them get passionate about the sport and to be a part of facilitating their goals and equally excited to be the person instructing a lady how to climb for her 80th Birthday!”

Annaliese regularly climbs indoors and outdoors and whilst she has never been motivated to attend the gym, believes climbing is the sport for her! As a nature lover, climbing outdoors allows her to interact with it.

“Some of my most memorable climbing adventures aren’t about the physical achievements but the natural world I am in, my partner often tells me off for fossil and crystal finding when I am supposed to be concentrating on climbing! I think it’s the same for a lot of climbers that sometimes the climb that you struggled through is more of an achievement than one you found easy. After lockdown I had massively lost my head game for climbing, I felt so scared on what was previously easy ground. I had become so scared of falling that as soon as my forearms got the tiniest bit pumped, I would back off and not want to continue. It was a huge barrier that I had to overcome, I had to force myself to be scared and accept it, retraining my body in how to respond in that situation. With lots of practice, patience, and encouragement from my partner I finally overcame it.”

Having worked her way up to Assistant Climbing Manager, Annaliese is looking forward to working towards more climbing instructor qualifications and working with many inspiring people to come.

If you are interested in giving climbing a go at one of our centres, please choose your centre below to find out more.

Andover Leisure Centre

Elmbridge Excel

Dover Leisure Centre

Places Leisure Camberley

The Bridge Leisure Centre

The Triangle

Wycombe Leisure Centre

Wyre Forest Leisure Centre