Jamie Vardy

Founder & Head Coach of Apex Climbing

Whatever you are looking to improve within your climbing I can offer a service tailored to suit your needs. I am avaliable to coach in the Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield areas, including the Peak District for outdoor day trips. 

Some of my specialist areas are:

  • Footwork
  • Technique and movement
  • Building physical strength, power, strength endurance and endurance
  • Visualization
  • Safeguarding against injury
  • Goal setting and self reflection

About Jamie

I am qualified to coach bouldering and roped climbing within an indoor & outdoor setting. I am fully trained and assessed in the Mountain Training (UK), Climbing Wall Award and Abseil modules, as well as the Single Pitch Award. I am also trained in the Foundation and Development Coach qualifications ran by Mountain Training, along with the BMCs’ Fundamentals workshops (all 3 availiable and Physical Training for Climbing workshop). I have also attended the recommended Safeguarding and Protecting Children Workshop adding to my affiliation of Sports Coach UK, adhering to the latest standards of professional good practice for sports coaches working within the UK.

I hold further coach qualifications in the form of the FA 1st4Sport Level 1 in Football Coaching, with a view of taking suitable coaching principles from a mainstream sport and applying relevant methods into my climbing coaching.

Being based in Chesterfield, I am blessed to be surrounded by a fantastic range of facilities in Nottingham, Sheffield and Derby, along with being situated very close to the Peak District. Therefore I can coach at the destination that best suits you and your goals.


Head Coach at The Depot, Nottingham

Responsible for the design, implemntation, and execution of all organised training programmes at The Depot Climbing Center in Nottingham.  Courses range in ability and age group, resulting in a well rounded knowledge of coaching at various different levels.

NICAS/NIBAS Course Director

The National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) and National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme (NIBAS) was set up with the main aim to provide a safe introduction to climbing for young people aged 7 years and up on artificial climbing structures (e.g indoor climbing walls).  A Course Director is responsible for creating a programme of teaching and coaching of young people in an engaging manner, to a high, standardised level.

Development Coach Award

This award is the highest level of climbing coach award available. Development Coaches will deliver ‘Climber Centred Coaching’ .  Holders of this award have proven that they are independent autonomous coaches who prepare for, and deliver, structured progression to climbers involved in regular participation, such as climbing clubs, schools and youth groups.

Climbing Wall Leading Award (CWLA)

Awarded to coaches who possess the skills required to teach lead climbing skills on indoor or outdoor artificial climbing walls and structures with fixed protection.  It builds on the skills acquired in either the CWA or SPA award, one of which candidates must hold to access the CWLA scheme.

Climbing Wall Award (CWA)

Awarded to coaches who have the proven skills required to supervise climbers on purpose-built artificial climbing walls and boulders.

Climbing Wall Abseil Award (CWAA)

The Climbing Wall Award Abseil (CWAA) module is an optional additional module for Climbing Wall Award.   Awarded to coaches who have the proven skills and techniques required to supervise abseiling at climbing walls.

Single Pitch Award (SPA)

Awarded to coaches who have the proven skills required to supervise climbers on single pitch crags and climbing walls. Common activities undertaken by an SPA holder will be roped climbing and bouldering.

Our Other Coaches

Dan Hoyle

Dan Hoyle

Assistant Coach

Dan has been an awesome addition to the coaching staff, brought in to directly improve and expand the Apex Academy in early 2017. He is a rock climbing and mountaineering instructor and coach, with a keen interest in the development and evolution of different methods of coaching climbing at all levels.

Dan graduated from the University of Derby with no less than a First Class BA Honours Degree in Outdoor Activity Leadership and Coaching, adding his Single Pitch Award along the way. His passion for coaching really comes out in his ability to deliver fun and engaging sessions on a weekly basis.

Ella Main

Ella Main

Assistant Coach

Ella joined our team in December 2017. An experienced climber and highly qualified even at a young age! She is a indoor and outdoor rock climbing instructor and coach, who has worked with and coached across the whole age spectrum in her roles at Nottingham Climbing Centre and coaching with the ‘Mini Beasts’ team based in Norfolk.

Her climbing specific qualifications include the Single Pitch Award along with the highest Assistant Coach qualification, the Foundation Coach Award. Ella has bags of passion for climbing and it shows in her coaching. She’s a great leader and has already become a role model for many of our young climbers, especially our young girls.


Claire E

Jamie, was just brilliant.  He was very patient and gave excellent advise to use beginners.  The equipment was included in the price and the actual building was beautiful.  I shall definitely be visiting again, what an experience.  I would highly recommend this as an excellent day out in Derby and value for money too!

Claire ENew Climber in Derby
Catherine Brady

I just wanted to say how much the children enjoyed themselves yesterday, even the shy children have seemed so much more confident today.  Jamie was absolutely fabulous with them.  He was so patient and understanding.  He was also extremely good with their names, he did a great job!

Catherine BradyGroup Organiser of the Richardson Endowed Primary School, Derby
Garry Jackson

Jamie is hard-working, friendly and enthusiastic at all times. Over the course of the last three years Jamie has been consummately professional and has displayed a high level of customer service. He has gained recognition from clients who have emailed and expressed there appreciation of his desire to go above and beyond what was expected of him. Jamie is a skilled and knowledgeable climbing instructor and he has proven that he is able to adapt to a wide variety of groups with a range of abilities and needs. Jamie has also shown an impressive on-going commitment to his own personal professional development. I’m happy to provide further information if required.

Garry JacksonOwner/Director of Alter Rock Climbing Centre

Since I began my coaching with Jamie I have improved both my bouldering and top roping top grades considerably. I climb with more technical efficientcy and can plan routes, recognising what climbing techniques I might have to use. The drills we do at the start of the sessions help throughout, like the silent feet drill, which allows me to maintain silent feet throughout the session. For those thinking of coaching, go for it! It will help you improve your climbing grades and technical skills as well as your functional strength. Jamie is motivational and very good at improving the aspects of climbing that you may not be as good. He has boosted my confidence on the ropes and bouldering which has been a major factor in my recent development. Jamie is a very good climber who has a lot of experience and uses his experience to help in his coaching.

SamUnder 18 client