Meet the Coaches

The coaches of Team Charleston have a combined experience of over 50 years in teaching, climbing, teambuilding, and yoga. All of our coaches have a passion for the sport of climbing and are eager to share that passion. Our coaches are always striving to improve themselves as teachers, mentors, and climbers and are constantly seeking professional development. All of our coaches possess a minimum of 1st Aid and CPR certification, have successfully completed the U.S Olympic Committees’ Safe Sport Training, and have had either a Federal or SLED background check.
Robert Lavarnway, Head Coach & Climbing Wall Manager
Robert has been with CCPRC since 2006. Prior to his position here, he was the Teen Director at a Charlotte YMCA. Robert has been climbing for over 18 years throughout North Carolina, New York, South Dakota, Colorado, Oregon, and California, including Yosemite Valley. Robert enjoys working with youth and sharing the outdoors with them. He believes strongly in working together as a team and has many years of experience facilitating corporate team building. Robert is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Climbing Wall Instructor, USA Climbing Certified Coach and Route Setter, high angle rescue technician, and an American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor. Contact Coach Robert.
Davy Shaw
Davy Shaw, Assistant Head Coach & Head Routesetter
Davy has worked at The Climbing Wall since 2006 and has been a coach of Team Charleston since its inception. He is an accomplished climber in both traditional and sport disciplines and has climbed throughout North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. He enjoys introducing newcomers to the sport of climbing and finds his work at The Climbing Wall rewarding. Davy is a certified Wilderness First Responder, USA Climbing Certified Coach and Route Setter, high angle rescue technician, and an American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor. Contact Coach Davy.
Anne Dorsey, Coach & Head of Club Programs
Anne grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, where a nearby park allowed her to play outside and interact with nature with her 2 siblings and nearby friends on a daily basis. Anne became even more interested in the outdoors and climbing while attending Davidson College, where one of her jobs was facilitating their indoor climbing wall and high and low ropes courses. After teaching for a year in Arizona, Anne returned to the Carolinas to pursue dentistry and further her love of outdoor activities through Charleston County Parks. Contact Coach Anne.
Catie Lang, Coach
Catie was introduced to climbing when she took a rock climbing and yoga course in college. During this time she spent any extra time in various climbing gyms and was able to climb Crowder’s Mountain, North Carolina. Growing up in coastal regions, she was never encouraged to climb as a child, but is incredibly grateful to have found and been able to learn more about it. Catie spent a summer as an Adventure Camp counselor for CCPRC, where she found a passion for teaching and mentoring youth. She is excited to have the opportunity to teach kids who may have had similar experiences growing up in this awesome, character building sport. Katie is Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and First Responder certified.
Chelsea Sondgeroth, Coach
Chelsea began working with CCPRC in the summer of 2014 as a climbing wall attendant and camp counselor. She returned in the summer of 2015 as a camp counselor and decided that she would call Charleston home. First exposed to climbing through a friend in college, Chelsea quickly grew to love the sport. Chelsea is originally from Illinois and is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Exercise Science. Through her experiences she has developed a great passion for fitness in the outdoors and enjoys sharing it with others! Chelsea is Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and First Responder certified. She is also a USA Climbing Certified Coach.
Russell Spaulding, Club Coach
Russell began his outdoor education with the Boy Scouts of America, where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. While in scouts he was introduced to the sport of climbing and climbed at Currahee Mountain. His time with BSA sparked a passion for the outdoors that he has carried ever since. Russell has worked for CCPRC for the past five years. His roles have included camp counselor, camp technician, archery coach, and climbing coach. This will be his second season as a coach with the Little Monkeys and his first as head coach. Russell is certified in Wilderness First Aid.
Stuart Worley
Stuart Worley – Club Coach
Stuart grew up in Charlotte, NC and attended undergrad at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she majored in political science and psychology. She has always loved the outdoors, especially if she gets to bring her dog Cookie along. She has worked with kids as a private nanny for the past 6 six years and as an Adventure Camp counselor here at CCPRC. Stuart is currently working toward her masters in clinical counseling at The Citadel. She is certified in Wilderness First Aid & CPR, and she is a certified Guardian Ad Litem.
Ali Akhyari
Ali Akhyari – Club Coach
Ali grew up with a view of Pilot Mountain, NC on the horizon where he fueled his passion for outdoor adventure through mountain biking. It wasn’t until moving to Charleston that climbing became a part of his recreational repertoire. Ali joined Charleston County Parks in 2010 and began working with youth programming and the climbing wall that year. He has a passion for nature and spreading that passion to others who enjoy outdoor recreation. When he’s not at work, Ali enjoys spending time with his family which includes a wife and two children. He also enjoys writing, surfing, disc golf, mushroom hunting, and gardening. Ali is a certified Wilderness First Responder and Climbing Wall Instructor.
TJ Turner, Strength & Conditioning Coach
TJ grew up in the Lower Shenandoah Valley, where he gained appreciation for the mountains and waterways of Virginia. In 2001, he started his career in recreation by obtaining a snowboard certification through the Professional Ski Instructors of America. TJ holds a degree in Kinesiology from James Madison University. While at JMU, TJ worked with the University Outdoor Program running programs all around the Shenandoah Valley, West Virginia, and Maryland. TJ also holds a M.S in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration from Western Illinois University. TJ has worked for CCPRC since 2010 and currently works full-time for the American Canoe Association. TJ is a certified Climbing Wall Instructor, USA Climbing Certified Coach, and is certified in Wilderness First Aid.