DENVER — In the sport of climbing, finding a secure path is the first step. Aman Anderson, the owner and founder of Beast Fingers Climbing in the Globeville neighborhood of Denver, is ensuring a secure training ground for everyone in his community.
"The mission has always been to provide access to climbing in places where climbing doesn't have much exposure," Anderson said.
Globeville was a deliberate choice. Anderson described the ethnic diversity, the young population, and the vast socioeconomic diversity of the neighborhood, and deemed it an underserved location in the climbing community. But it's only a microcosm of a larger systemic problem in the sport.
"How do you tap into a whole different market of athleticism? With a basketball court, you can put a basketball court in any hood in America. Just lay some concrete, put in some steel posts, and we good!" he said. "But a climbing gym, it ain't that simple. So it's like, if you want a diverse Team USA, it's going to take some risk."
It was worth the risk to be a safe haven for his community. Not only is Anderson trying to train the next generation of Olympians, but he's also providing aftercare and peace of mind for local children.
"There could be chaos going on in their home environment, but yet when they come here, they begin to learn the purity behind climbing."
While recent financial stress threatened the closure of his gym, Anderson is fighting to remain a beacon for those needing to grasp onto some stability.
"Continue to be a light, you know, a lighthouse for people here," he said. "I want to continue to be a place where adults and kids can continue to grow and get strong, either make Team USA or get off the street and make something of their lives."
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