Foundations students at Fujairah Men’s College recently seized the opportunity to push themselves and their comfort zones to new limits.
Their challenge: to climb to the top of a 7m pole and stand up on the top of its skimpy 20cm diameter top; stand, unsupported by anything but their balance; turn slowly 180⁰ and jump for a trapeze bar that is seemingly just out of reach!
Student Mohamed Dawi (pictured) found the challenge to be exhilarating, reflecting, “During this experience you might be nervous or afraid about falling down, but you must remember you are safe and you are not alone.”
FMC Foundations Chair Lorraine Doherty said: “We are proud to be pioneering this experiential learning in Fujairah as part of our Foundations program.”
Students donned full body harnesses and climbing helmets for the exercise, and were secured to safety lines or “belays”. They are taught to check with the person belaying their line to ensure they are ready to take up the slack in the line as they climb, thus supporting their weight instantly, should they begin to fall.
As part of the exercise when the belayer says, “Ready,” the climber says, “climbing” and again the belayer responds with “climb on”. To keep everyone safe during these maneuvers, students must learn these vital precautions.
English faculty member, and climbing participant, David Edwards noted that all students were markedly changed by this experience.
“As students move through the difficult stages of these activities they sometimes pause and say, ‘I can’t’, but when they muster the mental strength to push through it, they stretch themselves and the envelope of what they believe they ‘can do’,” Mr Edwards said.
The winter weather has been ideal for employing the outdoor experiential learning courses installed at both the men’s and women’s campuses.
“The ropes course gives our students a unique opportunity to develop their confidence and team work skills while also experiencing the exhilaration of overcoming physical challenges ,“ said FMC/FWC Director, Dr. Dave Pelham.