I was just pondering how many older cavers are still active. A member of the Eldon Bob Toogood started caving in the 50,s. He was on the Peak trip where Neil Moss was trapped and helped in the rescue attempt. Just recently we did a trip to bottom Giants and back over the top. Bob confessed he was a little tired, but I pointed out, “ Bob you’re over 80”! In between Bob has done most of the severe trips in the UK and many in Europe, been a leading UK climber and alpinist, as well as represent England at cross country and fell running. He’s also been the world 10k road running champion. Anyone else in the caving fraternity can match that?
What are we classing as "old"
Quote from: Paul Marvin on January 05, 2022, 06:34:53 pmWhat are we classing as "old" Given that most of the cavers I know are in their 70s, I think 80 is the minimum age that you could consider old.
Bob is a legend. Might be worth noting some stats on the age demographic of the BCA membership (pre covid). The median age was 50. 27% were over 60. 18% over 65. The over 70s increased over the three years of the survey.Looks like caving is attractive to older folk.
The age difference is having an effect on Club Journals. Most of the contributions to the last Belfry Bulletin were from septuagenarians! As I said in my editorial most people can't write much more than a Twitter post nowadays. They don't seem to get the fact that social media including this forum are evanescent. There is a great divide occurring between those born into the internet era and those born prior to it.
There is a lot of competition from outdoor activities for any interested youngster. Tens of thousands each year get to try caving as an instructed trip usually through school, outdoor activity centres, scouts, cadets etc. A small number will be attracted to the sport of caving but there are numerous barriers to participation for them. I suspect it is far too easy for them to be sidetracked into a different activity which is simpler to participate in. If they do get to uni, and that uni has a caving club, then that early interest may attract them to join, but not everyone goes to uni and not all unis have a caving club, and of course by that time the interest may be lost. Ideas such as the adventure academy are needed to address this element of early participation capture but that needs rolling out across the country supported by a huge volunteer resource that is where it will likely struggle.I find it interesting that a few under 18s that I have known have become very competent cavers at quite an early age, even to the point of doing British grade fives and major European caves with ease. However, all of these have had caving parents or guardians. There must be huge potential in youth caving which is seldom realised.Anyway I appreciate I am answering a question about young cavers on a thread entitled 'old cavers'. Apologies to the OP
I am second youngest in my team being only 71. I am not as speedy as I used to be and some of the stuff I did when I was younger I quail at!
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