Sheffield & Greater Sheffield Schools Bouldering Competition 2022

25 Mar 2022 30 Apr 2022

After a two years of disruptions to the calendar due to covid, the Sheffield Schools Competition returned to the Climbing Works this year. 600 students from across the greater Sheffield area competed in the qualifiers throughout January and 186 came back for the March finals. 

Although competition is in the name, the Sheffield Schools Competition is a relaxed and supportive event where young people can try a new sport or practice their climbing skills in a competition format.


Ruth, the Coach Manager at The Climbing Works said ‘the competition was originally created for special needs schools and, although it’s now open to all schools, still holds inclusion at its core. We especially love seeing children who have never climbed before coming along, giving it their all and really enjoying themselves’. This year also saw funded places for some schools thanks to the Alpkit Foundation, which enabled more schools to get involved in the competition and progress to the finals.



[Parkwood Accademy - Alpkit Foundation funded spot]


‘It has also been really lovely to see previous competitors now attending the competition as coaches’. Emily, 18, competed in the competition in 2017 and 2018 but this year attended as coaches. Two of Emily’s fellow competitors, Darcey and Jess, are also now coaches at The Climbing Works.



[Schools competition 2017, with Climbing Works coaches Emily and Jess taking 1st and 2nd spot]


The competition was founded by Emma Banks (former Head of Service for PE, Swimming and Outdoor Learning) and Michelle Greenall (former Coaching Manager at the Climbing Works). It has grown from a very small competition to over 600 pupils from 47 schools (35 in Sheffield and 12 in Greater Sheffield). There are now two finals - one for Sheffield City and one for Greater Sheffield – which each welcome 10 schools. As a trial this year the winners of the Sheffield final were invited to the Greater Sheffield one, and next year the organisers are hoping to add a Semi-Final and a Grand final.

Qualification rounds ran throughout January with the top ten schools from each category (Sheffield and Greater Sheffield) returning for the final in March. The climbs are set in the Mini Works, which is closed to the public for the finals, and each boulder problem is created especially for the competition - a tough job considering that some participants had only climbed once before whereas others have been climbing and competing for years.  This year’s boulders were set by Sam Whittaker, Olly Keeling and Dom Gardner.


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As in all competitions there are lots of podiums and prizes and medals for the winning individuals and teams, as well as spot prizes for those who have tried hard, showed good teamwork and encouraged their fellow climbers. 


All these prizes must come from somewhere, and this year’s were generously donated by CORE, North Face, Wild Country, Five Ten, Moon, Decathlon, Beta Climbing Designs, Wide Boyz, Lattice, Thornbridge, Links and Alpkit Foundation. That’s a long list, and a huge thank you goes to Jill Whittaker for liaising with sponsors. 


Sheffield Schools podium  



Primary Team

1st Hunters Bar Junior School

2nd Carfield Primary School

3rd Dore Primary School

Primary Individual 

1st Jess J (Nethergreen) & Leo B(Dobcroft)

2nd Lola H (Carterknowle) Elias J (Hunters Bar)

3rd Maia C (Abbeylane) Owen (Hunters Bar)

Secondary Team

1st High Storrs School

2nd King Edwards VII

3rd Silverdale School

Secondary Individual

1st Imogen L (Meadowhead) Ethan C (King Edwards VII)

2nd Ella B (High Storrs) Barnaba S (Notre Dame)

3rd Beth S (High Storrs) Benji A (King Edwards VII)



Greater Sheffield

Primary Team

1st Hunters Bar

2nd Barlow C of E Primary School and Holyland Common (joint after recount)

Primary Individual 

1st Clementine B ( Hunters Bar) Elias J (Hunters Bar)

2nd Elizabeth B (Hunters Bar) Seb A (Hunters Bar)

3rd Emma R (Hunters Bar) Owen S (Hunters Bar)

Secondary Team

1st High Storrs 

2nd Hope Valley College

3rd Thryberg Academy

Secondary Individual 

1st Beth S (High Storrs) Dylan H (Hope Valley College)

2nd Ella B (High Storrs) Willem B (High Storrs)

3rd Mia B (High Storrs) Frank W (High Storrs)

Written by Hati Whiteley