On the 25th of January we hosted the first round of the regional BMC Youth Climbing Series, here at White Spider!
A fun and exciting series of competitions for children aged between 7 and 17. There are 2 rounds within each region, London & South East has been split this year into North and South as the competition is getting bigger and better with each year passing, and then a regional final. The regional final will decide which London and South East team will then go on and compete at the National Final at Ratho in Edinburgh in June.
All children have to complete 3 boulder problems and 3 routes in their age categories, all setting of boulders and routes take into account the age and size the competitors are likely to be within each category. Points are scored based on how far each competitor manages to climb up a boulder problem or route; there is a maximum of 100 points for routes and 60 for each of the boulder problem.
The children are separated into the five categories, the girls and boys are divided into their own age groups that follow the IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) system based on year of birth.
Youth A – those born in 1997 & 1998
Youth B – those born in 1999 & 2000
Youth C – those born in 2001 & 2002
Youth D – those born in 2003 & 2004
Youth E – those born in 2005 & 2006
So with much excitement and anticipation, especially with having our very own amazing performance squad this year, we opened the event! Robyn O’Leary, Area Youth Coordinator, started with a quick briefing and it was all systems go!
Parents, Coaches and volunteers jumped to their posts (a huge thank you to those who got involved and helped us out!) then it was time to climb and show us what they were made off. All participants worked incredibly hard and an inspiration to both the staff and everyone else in the centre, so well done everyone!
So how did we do? . . .
All were psyched and felt the pressure having to perform here at a home crowd!
Libby (T-rex) Gamble looked strong and didn’t disappoint, looking more than comfortable on the routes winning her category, Girls A. Imogen (Immy) Horrocks also crushed, achieving full points in bouldering and did extremely well on routes meaning we saw her win her category, Girls B. Another win came from category Boys D, our little (and not to be underestimated) Spider Baby Christopher Butcher. Christopher showcased some great climbing on Saturday and we’re so happy he managed the win!
Our little ‘Munchkin’ Lucy Rattue did exceedingly well to accomplish 2nd place in her Girls C category, well done Lucy! Other results within the team saw Nat Hudspith, Boys B, and Ryan Caby, Boys A, on the podium, they were up against some strong competition and did extremely well to achieve 3rd place in their categories. Other great results include a 4th place for Beth Christian aka ‘wonderbaby’ in Girls D as well as a 5th place for Madeleine Broughton (Moo) in the same category, both displayed great team spirit and we loved their positive attitude. Kirsten Gentleman came in at 5th in Girls B, Kirsten overcame nerves and climbed very well to achieve a great result. Matt Davies also came in 5th in Boys A, again he displayed some great climbing.
A massive thank you to the squad coaches, Andre Hedger, Belinda Fuller, Bronagh Cairns and David Collom, who support and nurture the dedicated talents within our incredible ‘White Spider Performance team’. Thank you to all the parents of the performance squad, without your help and support we wouldn’t have done so well, the team loves you guys!
We would also like to say thanks to the route setters, Yann Genoux, Gaz Parry, Evie Cotrulia and Stew Terry. You guys created some awesome routes and boulder problems, which kept the competition interesting and nerve-wrecking!
Another shout to Gaz Parry and Scarpa for holding a Scarpa boot Demo here at the Spider, we hope everyone tried out plenty of shoes. Again a big thank you to Beyond Hope and Mountain Boot co for providing the prizes for all podium finishers.
After an early morning, countless coffees, many great climbs and a lot of positive energy floating around, we all made it happen! All in all, a great day! We’re all proud of the team here at White Spider. It’s onwards and upwards and we’re expecting some more great results in the next round at Craggy Guildford on Saturday the 1st March.