Fresno State rope course goes virtual

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Friday, July 3, 2020
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Fresno State's rope course may be empty, due to COVID-19 but staff found a way for people to reap the benefits of this high-flying adventure virtually.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State's rope course may be empty due to COVID-19, but staff found a way for people to reap the benefits of this high-flying adventure virtually.

Usually, the E.D.G.E Challenge Rope Course serves as a spot for teams to learn valuable leadership skills together through physical activity.

"A team will come here and they'll use the experience as a way or an excuse to have meaningful conversations around how they work together in their other environments," said Director of the EDGE Challenge Course Ryan Soares.

When COVID-19 hit, the Fresno State campus closed their doors and the EDGE Challenge course along with it.

"We quickly figured out we had to adapt things, we had to change things, if we we're going to survive," said Soares.

The ropes course is not funded by the university, so staff came up with a way to take their training online.

"Replication in a Zoom reality is not possible. You can't replicate jumping off of a 30-foot pole," said Soares. "But what we can do is create some experiences where they have to leverage communication and collaboration."

Now they lead interested groups in online sessions, developing leadership skills and helping teams connect.

"It's really driving those meaningful conversations of how we can be better leaders and how we can be better people as a whole," said Soares. "So we realized in a virtual environment we can do just that."

Though participants may not be flying high above the university, staff say they can still grow as a team.

"There's still that aspect of communication, of working together, and learning names even though they're not physically here together they still have to work together to achieve goals," explained Fresno State Student Noah Kersten.

Sessions are available for a fee. If you're interested visit their website.