Young Climbers Festival 2021 Report

YCF2021 Sticker-01
Every year since 2010 one thing that would be certain was that on the last Thursday of August, it would always be the Young Climbers Festival.  In 2020, like most things, being unable to run the YCF as a big event left a big hole in our summer. The event is a favourite with our coaches and many of our weekly club members who have been attending from the moment they were old enough.  After another two lockdowns, it was still unclear if and how we would be able to run this event. To cover all bases, and to make sure we could run it if restrictions came back in, we split the competition into three parts and organised everything down to the last minute. 

Thursday 26th August - 10 - 15 Years 


Luckily the early start didn’t put anybody off. With registration starting at 8:15am we saw the carpark filling up with sleepy parents and competitors eager to get started. Coaches were fuelled with coffee and breakfast muffins, briefed for the day and in position. As competitors started piling in and changing into their red YCF T-Shirts, it was apparent just how special it felt to be back in action and to feel (almost) normal after the last year. 
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The competitors were split into age categories. At 9am, after their warm ups were complete and they had been briefed, the announcement was made and the competition had begun. With 20 pink blocs increasing in difficulty, each group had 2 hours to try as many climbs as they could. There was a good mix of technical slab climbs, crimpy vert and burly overhangs. As usual we also had some fun problems with swinging involved and even a chimney climb that saw climbers disappear up a tube and pop out at the top like a meerkat. 

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At the Young Climbers Festival, we try to encourage our competitors not to take it too seriously, focusing on fun and teamwork. This year was no different, and it was great to see lots of smiling, laughing and cheering on of group members. 

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As the timer neared the end of the 2 hours, coaches did a great job of getting their climbers round as many of the remaining blocs as they could, strategically plotting their route around the climbs right up until the end. When the finish was announced, coaches were ready for their next job of adding up scores and working out awards for the presentation.
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Parents were finally allowed into the building, and joined the competitors who were excitedly waiting for the results to be announced. Everyone received an individual award, and the podium winners for each age category were announced. This year we saw some very close results, and very strong performances from all competitors. 
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After the presentation, most competitors and parents left to make space for our grand final, where the four top male and females were invited to join. With 4 blocs and 4 minutes on each climb, we saw a nail biting final with all finalists deserving of the trophy. In the end it was, Connie and Finn who took the win. The male winner came down to a tie break between Finn & Tom keeping us on the edge of our seats right until the end. An amazing performance all round. 
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Friday 27th August
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The Friday sessions were split into a morning group of 5-6 year olds and an afternoon group of 7-9 year olds. The morning was the littlest of our competitors, but what they lacked in height they made up for in determination.  We had 10 blocs specifically set for these young crushers, and it was amazing to see that all of them got topped by at least one of our competitors. Of course we couldn’t run a competition in the Mini Works without a Monkey Space masterpiece, and a monkey bar climb across the cheese - we know what the climbers want! 
With an hour and a half to try these 10 climbs, and just a small group in the morning, the competitors even finished with time to spare, ready for the presentation and final results to be announced. 
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The Friday PM session (7-9 Years) was alot busier and it was great to see so many red competition Tshirt filling up the Mini Works. For this round we had 12 climbs including a mixture of the classic swinging problems seen in the morning and some challenging volume climbs to make competitors work for their spot on the podium.
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This was a very close round, particularly in the male category where we had to run a tie break for the bronze medal. For all of those that didn’t make the podium, just like the other rounds they were awarded a special award. Those awards included
Cheer Master
Most Improved
Future Coach
Awesome Attitude 
Wow Factor
Most Unusual Beta
Fancy Footwork
Dyno Master
Slab Star
Top Teckers


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After months of preparation, lots of head scratching (from the route setters) and ongoing enthusiasm from our coaches, we had finally completed another year of the Young Climbers Festival. This competition wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for all of our competitors, parents, coaches, route setters and sponsors. 


This years sponsors were as generous as ever so we would like to say a massive thank you to 


Decathlon (Remember if you show your certificate in the Sheffield Decathlon store, you can receive £5 off a purchase over £30, and £10 off a purchase over £50)
North Face
Wide Boyz
Rock Tots
Porter Pizza
Also another big thank you to Dom Worrall for all the amazing photographs, and pushing through the competition with a very bad toothache! 
It was also great to see so many of you travel from across the country to join our competition and we hope to see you again next year!!! 
Thank you!
Written by Ruth Harrington