Sheffield Secondary School Bouldering Festival Review

13 Apr 2011 10:43

Over the past few years The Climbing Works has worked closely with the Links School Sport Partnership in providing a bouldering taster package for pupils that may not necessary excel at team and traditional sports, giving them the opportunity to try a new “alternative” form of exercise. This prospect was available for primary, secondary and SEN schools in the Links area.

After 3 successful years with the Links partnership area and positive feedback from all schools that attended the events, we decided for 2011 that all Secondary schools in Sheffield would have the chance to participate.We were delighted to have schools from Forge, Arches and Points SSP all attend this year.

Emma Flaherty from Links SSP admiring the winner's plate

In the 3 preliminary sessions, which for most participants was the first time they had been bouldering; the climbers were taught the basic fundamentals of bouldering from our instructors, learning the safety aspects as well as climbing techniques, movement and route reading. They then put it all together in our friendly festival at the end of the course.

Participants being briefed before the competition started

Festival Format

20 climbs are selected from the over 400 already set problems, with grades ranging from Font 3 – 6b+. Each group has 1.5 hours to complete as many of the selected problems as possible.


Participants receive 10 points if climb is completed on 1st attempt, 7 points on 2nd attempt, 5 points on 3rd attempt
Marked bonus hold where added after the crux move where if the participant couldn’t complete the climb but can hold the bonus they received 1 point


1) All climbers must start one hand on marked hold and finish two hands together in control on finishing hold (hold for 3 seconds) to complete the climb (unless stated otherwise)
2) As soon as the whole body leaves the floor, an attempt is cou
3) Climber must stick to single selected colour problems (unl
ess stated otherwise)

The Results

Scores are added up for each individual and prizes given for the top 3 male and female individuals. The overall Title of “Secondary School Bouldering Champion” will be decided with the top 2 male and female scores from each school being added together.

Festival Day

This year 24 young competitors took part in the event, creating an excited and energetic atmosphere that was full of team spirit and perseverance as they cheered on fellow team mates and climbed each problem to the best of their ability.

Spectators watched amazed as the participants tackled the technical and strenuous problems with impressive determination, physical strength and incredible attitudes; highlighting the emphases of a fun and friendly festival.

At the end of the 1.5 hours of climbing the competitors scores were added up and prizes awarded. Teachers, participants and parents all went back to school in high spirits after having had a fun and enjoyable time at the festival.

A young climber attempting the big reach on one of the harder problems

Westfield's team working out the problems together

On lookers helping their team mate out with some helpful encouragement

A climber form Tapton showing great determination

Results for 2011(for full results click here)

Position Surname Name School Score
1st Hall Alex Tapton 200
2nd Lee Ben Tapton 197
3rd Garner Isaak Tapton 194


Overall male winner; Alex Hall from Tapton making light work of all the problems, scoring a maximum 200 points by completing each climb on his first attempt


Position Surname Name School Score
1st Paharasingh Kaliysha Firth Park 171
2nd Chamberlain Chloe Firth Park 161
= 3rd Borrowdale Eva Tapton 160
= 3rd Wilson Skye Westfield 160


Overall female winner; Kaliysha Paharasingh from Firth Park receiving her winner’s medal from assistant British team coach David Mason


Position Surname Name Score Total

Hall Alex 200

Lee Ben 197
Borrowdale Eva 160
Creham Megan 158

Firth Park


Slimm Matthew 148

O'Hagen Dean 138
Paharasingh Kaliysha 171
Chamberlain Chloe 161


Bristow James 125

Brownett Will 92
Wilson Skye 160
Morrice Ellie 118


Overall school champions; Tapton with the winner’s trophy and all the helpers and instructors on the day


Taking Part 2012

If you are a primary, secondary or SEN school interested in taking part in the 2012 festivals, or a pupil who is a regular climber at The climbing Works and would like to get your school involved please fill in the form below so any information regarding the festival can be sent straight to your school.

We like to keep our prices as low as possible and offer the sessions and festival entrance at a cut price, in order to do this we rely heavily on funding and sponsorship. If you are a business and would like contribute towards the event then please get in contact by email:

School enquiry

Primary Secondary SEN

* required field