Crew Members

Crew members are on-hand to assist you during your visit to one of our centres.
Paul Quinn
Paul Quinn
Crew Member
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
Probably about 5 years bouldering and a few years of roped climbing before that. I started after agreeing to visit Fontainebleau in France with an old lab colleague who needed someone to move the mats around while they climbed. We coincidentally had the same shoe size, so I decided to give it a go.
What do you love about climbing ?
The fact that climbing is both mentally and physically stimulating. You not only have to work out the climb you’re trying but you’ve also got to get up the thing! On top of this is the climbing community as a whole. Everyone is very positive and supportive which makes for a really nice environment to be in.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
I enjoy tabletop wargaming and painting wardollies. I also have a sizeable record collection!
Darcy Gabriel
Darcy Gabriel
Crew Member
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
Just over a year now and I started with my university climbing society at The Font.
What do you love about climbing ?
I like how it makes me think. I get bored easily, like I can’t just sit and watch tv, climbing is a way for me to relax and get away from uni work whilst still getting my brain working and challenging myself.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
I love to read when I get time, travel, learn new things and be touristy around the city because I’m not a Londoner.
Oli Towse
Oli Towse
Crew Member
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I've been climbing now for about 3 years before joining The Font team. I enjoy casually climbing all over London and introducing beginners to the sport through my coaching role.
What do you love about climbing ?
The climbing community! There isn't another sport quite like it, everyone is extremely friendly and supportive.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Outside of the climbing wall, I operate a dog training business. In addition to this, I'm also a professional actor.
Olwen Smith
Olwen Smith
Crew Member
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
My dad used to take me climbing in the Lakes every summer, mostly consisting of me watching my siblings climb while I ate chocolate. Hence, I tend to tell people I've only been climbing 'properly' for about a year.
What do you love about climbing ?
I generally don't enjoy any other sports except climbing. I think the adrenaline and problem solving make it seem less like exercise and more of a fun, stress-releasing activity.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
I'd consider my degree, medicine, as a hobby as it takes up most of my life. But I also enjoy drawing and painting when I have the time.
Giulio De Mennato
Giulio De Mennato
Duty manager and Coach
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I've been climbing for 7 years and started at Vauxwest.
What do you love about climbing ?
As a Student of movement, I love learning new ways of working through routes and working out the patterns in movement to get the send. I love that it pushes you to have the physical strength and mental determination to succeed. I Also love teaching and watching people progress as they get stronger and learn how they’re body moves.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Dancing, martial arts, stunt fighting, trampolining, gymnastics, strength training and wild swimming.
Ian Pollington
Ian Pollington
Duty Manager
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
About 5 years ago at a climbing gym called The Castle in Finsbury Park
What do you love about climbing ?
I love how engaging climbing is both mentally and physically. It’s so varied and fun that it’s easy to forget you’re working out, but it can also be mentally relaxing as it requires a level of focus that can feel really meditative. Great for both physical and mental health!
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
I love cooking and finding great spots to eat out at. I have a list of restaurants on my phone that grows far faster than I can tick them off!

Climbing Coaches

Our climbing coaches cater for all levels, from beginner to experienced.
James Goodey
Climbing Coach
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I started climbing 13 years ago in a small climbing centre in Amersham, creatively named “The Climb”, with old-school holds and featured resin walls. However, despite the limited facilities, it had a really great vibe and an amazing community- I was instantly hooked. Since then, my passion for climbing has only grown. I have competed in a variety of climbing competitions and even managed to make a couple of podiums. Although I still enjoy competition climbing, my main passion lies with outdoor bouldering, with the Peak District and Fontainebleau being regular destinations at which I have managed to climb up to 7C+ (V10).
What do you love about climbing ?
I love so many things about climbing, but if I had to choose, I’d say one of my favourite aspects is the complexity of climbing movements. I love figuring out the nuances of climbing moves and how to make these movements more efficient by optimising climbing techniques and identifying and working on physical limitations. I have also recently graduated with an MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology from St Mary's University, with my dissertation investigating short-term recovery methodologies in climbers. This degree has only increased my interest in improving performance for climbers and I am excited to implement my climbing experience as well as my knowledge of sports physiology to help climbers reach their goals.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Apart from climbing, climbing-related reading and travelling.. for climbing, I really enjoy abstract artwork so spend a bit of time going to art exhibitions and creating my own. I also used to work as a Visual Effects Artist for Film and TV, and still enjoy watching films in my downtime- I usually enjoy something a bit experimental and am a sucker for some bold cinematography.
Benjamin Cheong
Foundation Coach and Physiotherapist
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
Been climbing now for almost 2 years, started at the font!
What do you love about climbing ?
I love the variety of climbing styles people bring to their sessions! Also the friendliness of the climbing community is hard to beat.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Cooking, dancing and some competitive E-sports (Pokemon).
Raf Azevedo
Foundation Coach
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I’ve been climbing for the last 4-ish years. I first started when my best friend introduced me to bouldering as an activity we could do for our school’s games lessons. With White Spider being my main climbing gym before moving to Tooting for university.
What do you love about climbing ?
I’ve been a bit on and off with climbing in the past, but what’s really stuck with me in recent times is the escape that climbing provides from any stresses or worries you may have in other areas of your life. With indoor climbing you can block out the noise and pour all your focus into trying to figure out problems. You also get to be in an environment filled with encouraging and supportive people as well as having the opportunity to really challenge yourself.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
I tend to spend most of my time studying for my degree. However, when I have some free time from climbing and university, I enjoy taking photos, playing computer games and a sprinkle of reading here and there (when I can bring myself to it).
Konstantinos Paschalis
Performance Coach
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I started climbing 14 years ago outdoors in Greece, mainly around the area I lived. Meteora and were the first places I climbed, and I instantly fell in love with it. Over the years I have done sport climbing, bouldering and multi-pitched climbing in many different countries. I have been coaching for almost a decade now. 2016 onwards almost exclusively on performance youth competition climbing. My experience extends, coaching participants, from the regional YCS to Youth worlds championships level.
What do you love about climbing ?
I am always interested in developing youth climbing talent but also helping people getting into climbing as well as helping them unlocking their potential. Climbing is a very holistic way to get in touch with your inner self. It challenges physical, technical and above all mental and emotional capacity of the person. It demands answers on questions you cannot hide from yourself. Climbing is not about numbers; it’s about heightening your own reality and improving your life.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Outside of climbing I really enjoy Cooking, reading, seeing friends and travelling.
Jake Fazzio
Coach
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I did my Introduction to Bouldering session at The Font Wandsworth towards the end of 2021. I quickly grew obsessed with the sport and cannot imagine my life without it.
What do you love about climbing ?
I love that climbing requires you to be completely absorbed, both physically and mentally, in the problem you face. These movements are so natural and intuitive, especially at The Font with our fantastic route-setters, that the whole endeavour becomes meditative. It is this sense of focus and calm which captivated me and I aspire to pass on my love of this feeling when I coach.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Outside of climbing I enjoy my studies. The analytical and evaluative approach I like to take has been useful in my degree and in my climbing. Next year I will be pursuing a MSc in Economics so you will be seeing a lot of me at The Font Borough to relieve some stress!
Eileen Kiernan
Coach
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I started climbing outdoors 27 years ago through my husband Matt. We’ve been lucky to climb together around the UK, Europe, Australia and America. We used to only go into a climbing gym to train rope climbing for outdoors or if it was a rainy day. I got into indoor bouldering when my son became a competitive indoor climber. I fell in love with the sport and regularly compete in the over 45s category throughout the UK.
What do you love about climbing ?
Climbing is our family passion. We have supported our kids to climb throughout their lives. It has been hugely beneficial for our physical and mental health. I love progressing, pushing through my mental barriers, figuring out problems, the social aspect, and everything I learn about myself when I’m climbing. I love sharing my passion with others in my role as a coach. My enthusiasm is contagious.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Hiking, slacklining, kayaking, camping, music festivals and I love a good board game session…Catan or Backgammon anyone?
Ned Porteous
Crew Member and Coach
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I've been climbing now for 6 years. I started out at The Climbing Lab in Leeds.
What do you love about climbing ?
I love the puzzle-solving aspect. You become much more aware of your body's potential. It's such a fun, creative way of working out! This, all combined with a community of friendly supporting people, makes for a really amazing Sport and Hobby.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
I love to Cycle. Preferably on a mountain, but London will have to do! I'm also quite partial to a run, if the weathers is nice enough..
Lewis Patrick
Coach
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I’ve been climbing on and off for 15 years starting out at Craggy Island in Guildford. Whilst I mainly boulder at the moment, for most of these years I focused on lead climbing and even a small bit of single and multi pitch trad in Wales.
What do you love about climbing ?
Difficult to put my finger on what it is but I guess ‘it’s all about the vibes dude’. No but seriously I think the people are a big part of it I don’t think I’ve ever come across a community so welcoming and just generally sound. Also the mental aspect of the sport allows me to funnel a lot of attention into something at times when my brain might get a bit scattered like some form of physical meditation.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Well between climbing and skateboarding I spend a lot of my time falling however when I’m not flat on the floor I enjoy composing music both classical and contemporary.

Routesetters

Our team of professional route setters ensure our boulder problems are consistently updated and to the highest industry standards.
Alex Prescott
Routesetter
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I started back in 2010, after my dad took my brother and I to try it out. We've both been climbing obsessively since.
What do you love about climbing ?
I started route setting when I came to London for Uni in 2016. It started as a day here or a day there, and grew into a potential full time job that I decided to pursue after I finished Uni. The biggest events I've set for so far are the JBBCs (Junior British Bouldering Championships), BoB (Battle of Britain hosted by The Depot Manchester) and the recent Brawl on the Wall hosted by The Font. I'd love to get more opportunities to set nationally with the end goal being to set for the IFSC. Though I understand that is very easy to say, and very difficult to achieve! I used to compete while I was a junior but the transition to Uni showed me that I didn't want to dedicate the sheer quantity of time needed to have a shot at a national or even international level, there were just too many other things I wanted to do! I've climbed up to 8A+ (V12) which was Pilgrim in Parisella's Cave, though there are many "easier" boulders that elicit far more excitement, Parisella's can be a bit of an acquired taste!
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Going to the spa for a cold plunge pool and a sauna, nothing better after a week of setting! I also enjoy doing escape rooms in my free time with my partner Imi! I love the problem solving aspect which is oddly similar to climbing. We must have done close to 50 now!

Managment team

These are the peeps behind the scenes, making sure all runs smoothly and ensuring you have the best possible experience at The Font!
Horace Moy
Head of Community and Customer Experience
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
If we are talking climbing consistently then its coming up to 6 years! I met my older, uglier (I'm joking) twin Giulio in a bar we worked in who took me along for a few sessions and the rest is history.
What do you love about climbing ?
Besides feeling like a hero (rainbow rocket *cough*) I like the complex movements, working out the subtleties, being out in nature, being in a centre, being on your own, or being in a group! Its all great and theres something for everyone! The community is alright also ;)
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
Parkour and stunts! Trying to play Neil Young songs on the guitar, and doing ceramics.
Jonny White
Head of Operations
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I been climbing for 18 years. I started at the climbing wall in Brunel university when I was 9.
What do you love about climbing ?
I love that climbing is such a diverse sport that allows you to take from it what you want. It can be adventurous, competitive and challenging but also sociable, accessible and pressure free. I love that climbers can choose to go at their own pace and level without it being exclusionary. It is not uncommon for a completely new climber to find themselves climbing right next to an international athlete at their local wall (whether they know it or not) and I'm not sure you get that in many other sports.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
I love most sports and will happily take part in any of the opportunity is there. This year I am looking forward to skiing again for the first time in a while! Travel, food and music are also areas I love to explore.
Lucy Mabbitt
Centre Manager - Wandsworth
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I did some climbing when I was little on family holidays but started climbing regularly just over a year and a half ago!
What do you love about climbing ?
I think it's the most creatively stimulating forms of exercise!
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
I love singing and am trying to get better at the guitar I have owned since I was 17! I am an Actress 'by night' and I am looking forward to starting my training to be a yoga teacher later this month!
Alec Harper
Centre Manager - Borough
How long have you been climbing for and where did you first start?
I've been climbing for around 7 years now, I started at an outdoor bouldering gym when I lived in New York and was instantly hooked.
What do you love about climbing ?
It’s the first sport I’ve really stuck with week in week out. The community is absolutely mega, when you take up climbing you feel part of something special! I also love that you can get fit doing something fun / fluid / engaging.
What other hobbies/activities do you enjoy doing outside of climbing?
I’m a musician playing Jazz Saxophone around London and farther afield, I love skiing (still waiting for the big boss at The Font to organise a staff trip!).