Young Climbers Festival 2019
On Thursday 29th August, we hosted our 9th Young Climbers Festival. The day was split up into a morning and an afternoon session. In the morning we saw over 60 9-14 year olds competing for a spot on the podium, and in the afternoon there was just under 50 5-8 year olds. This was the most popular year yet, with spaces booking up before registration had even closed. Despite the number of children filling the centres, the atmosphere remained calm and the support between competitors in their individual groups was amazing to see.
With an early start of 8am, the 9-14 year olds were revved up by our coaches and joined in a big group warm up. The warm up set the tone for the day, with an emphasis on fun, as 60+ participants dressed in blue, chased the coaches around The Climbing Works. Climbers were then split into smaller groups of 4-6 and allocated a coach for the session. There were 20 pink problems to try and 2 hours 15 minutes to get round them. The route setters did a fantastic job of creating a selection of different styles including the usual off pieste favourites, with a bold jumping one and two entertaining swinging problems.
When time was up, the coaches had a short amount of time to add their teams scores up before the final. The top 5 male and female competitors for the morning sessions earned a spot in our CWIF style final. The competitors had 4 minutes on each of the three problems, with 4 minutes rest in between each bloc. The audience provided some fantastic support for all of the climbers as they battled their way up some extremely tricky problems. In the end there could only be one winner, and after a tough final, we saw Joe take the win for the boys, and Fae for the girls.
After the finals, was the much anticipated presentation, where the individual team results were announced. Everyone who attended received a participation medal, a prize and a certificate for their performance. These certificates included, team motivator, biggest smile, biggest wipeout, funky beta, dedicated climber, most improved, inspirational performance and stylish technique. Then within each age catergory, we had a podium with more medals and some fantastic prizes donated by our sponsors.
After a quick turn around it was over to The Mini Climbing works for the afternoon session. The excited 5-8 year olds again joined in a big group warm up and were then split into smaller groups with a designated coach. This time the 5-6 year olds had 10 problems, and the 7-8 had 12, with an hour and a half to try as many as they could. The blocs were tricky and the competitors tried extremely hard to get as many points as they could. For a lot of
these children, it was their first ever climbing competition and we saw some amazing determination from them all. We even saw the introduction of our Monkey space for one of the problems and enjoyed watching the climbers swinging around on it.
When the time was up, the coaches gathered in score cards and again allocated spot prizes to each competitor. Each age category had a presentation with there individual awards and prizes, followed by the podium. The mini works was filled with cheers from parents, coaches and the rest of the competitors as each climber stepped up to receive their award.
All in all, the event was a massive success and there were smiles all round. The competition is a favourite among staff, young climbers and parents. It is brilliant to see the on-going support we get for this event from parents and are fantastic sponsors, as without them it wouldn’t be possible. A huge thanks to parents, climbers, our coaches, our setters, Emma Wood for her fantastic graphic design work, Dom Worrall for the photography and of course our sponsors who provided all the amazing prizes.
(Big thanks to Scarpa, Rock Tots, The North Face, Beta Climbing, Core and Decathlon)
Male and Female Finalists 2019
Male and Female 13-14 Yrs
Male and Female 11-12 Yrs
Male and Female 9-10 Yrs
Male and Female 7-8 Yrs
Male and Female 5-6 Yrs
Written by Ruth Harrington