The grant will enable cavers to practise techniques above ground

The grant will enable cavers to practise techniques above ground

Cavers in the Yorkshire Dales will be able to practise in the warmth and dry thanks to an Olympic legacy.

The Yorkshire Subterranean Society has secured a £20,000 grant from Sport England and the National Lottery to develop its facilities in Ribblesdale.

The organisation will use the cash to provide a specialised rope training facility for use by all cavers.

The improvements include a two-storey extension on the side of the club’s existing building at Helwith Bridge near Horton in Ribblesdale. It will provide a warm, dry area with an array of platforms, bolts and beams allowing up to eight cavers at a time to train and practise the ropework needed for safe, modern caving, ranging from the most basic through to advanced rescue techniques, a club spokesperson said.

Club chairman Alex Wallman said: “The YSS has a history of sending cavers to the deepest caves in the world and our members have been part of record breaking achievements.

“We have a long history of introducing people to the underground world through our regular coach trips to the Yorkshire Dales and more recently through our successful Try Caving events.

“The investment from Sport England means we can upgrade our facilities to provide suitable training and development for new and experienced cavers as we begin to enter our 50th year.”

Damian Weare, British Caving Association secretary, said: “There is a real need for above-ground training venues for club cavers across the country, but particularly in the Yorkshire Dales.

“The YSS facility seems well planned and BCA hopes to use it to spearhead our new club training scheme.”

Sport England’s chair Nick Bitel said: “A year on from the Olympics, this National Lottery investment is helping us deliver a lasting sporting legacy the Yorkshire Dales national park.

“With investment now on offer from our Inspired Facilities Fund until 2017, we look forward to supporting many more sports clubs in the Yorkshire Dales who play such a vital role in grassroots sport.”

YSS will again run its Try Caving weekend, aimed at giving newcomers a taste of life underground.

The event runs on 9 November and pre-booking is essential. Anyone interested should contact the club via its website.