“I want an African-American male or woman competing in the Olympics from Memphis,” Dean said. “I know we got the natural talent and there are opportunities and sponsorships in rock climbing. That’s why we are in Soulsville to make this available for all the kids in the community. We could have built it in Bartlett or Germantown, but we want to make it easier for the kids in this community.”
The venture reflects movie director and philanthropist Tom Shadyac switching gears to provide kids an outlet to a rock climbing gym built around a “pay-what-you-can-afford” model.
Although Memphis Rox had a “soft” opening on March 21, the gym officially opened on April 3, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I’ve Been To the Mountaintop” speech.
Courtesy of The New Tri-State Defender