‘Raw Connection’ is a partnership project between Raw Potential Canberra and Synergy Group Australia. The project aims to connect young people who may be facing similar challenges in their lives by encouraging them to step outside their comfort zones and challenge themselves in a safe and supported environment.

On Friday 31 March, Raw Potential and ten young people started off with belly laugh ice-breakers and breakfast before heading to the indoor rock-climbing centre. The young people chose the sport of indoor rock climbing to try something new and engage in a unique sport. What they built on the day was a sense of resilience, confidence, fitness, teamwork, compassion and friendship.

Resilience – To develop the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.

Confidence – To believe and have faith in your peers and youth workers, that you will accomplish challenges together. You are not alone on your journey through life.

Compassion – To care about others, treat people with kindness and feel a desire to support our peers when they are vulnerable.

Social Network – Being vulnerable in front of your peers, respecting and expressing appreciation for others, building a healthy friendship group and staying connected through the program.

Rock climbing is designed to challenge your perception, spatial awareness, planning skills, balance, concentration and trust. All of these factors are informing your next move, requiring complete focus and commitment. The young people pushed through these challenges and were able to celebrate each other’s achievements at the end of the day, with a reflective exercise.