Another year and another 700 students through the doors of The Mini Climbing Works for the Sheffield and Greater Sheffield Schools Bouldering Competition 2023. The qualification rounds took place in January and February with 57 schools across the four categories taking part.
The qualification rounds consisted of 12 climbs specifically set for the competition, ranging from easy to hard, and everything in between. 7 of the entrants impressively managed to flash all 12 qualification blocs, which means they got to the top on their first attempt, earning themselves the maximum number of points (120). What was perhaps even more impressive, was the performances from those who attended and had never climbed before. Our favourite thing about this competition is introducing the sport to so many new people, with the hope that for some, it will spark a lifetime love of climbing. Everyone who attended received a certificate that meant they could return for a discounted visit to The Mini Climbing Works with our aim to increase participation in climbing across the Sheffield and Greater Sheffield area.
‘Please pass on our thanks to your incredibly patient coaches, they did an amazing job, coaching and encouraging our youngsters, I always think if I can get just one child to carry on climbing, I've done what I set out to do, but this year I have two children who have continued to climb since their taster session, so I'm really pleased with that. For one of them, it's brilliant to see her excel at something’...’she managed to master the climbing with ease, she's really found her niche.’ Sue, Birdwell School
As the qualification rounds were taking place, the scores were getting totted up and as soon as they were all in, the invites to the finals were sent out. We have four different finals: Sheffield Primary and Secondary, and Greater Sheffield Primary and Secondary. As usual the hardest category to get a spot in the finals was Sheffield Primary due to the large number of schools that enter. We would have loved to invite everyone to the final, but spaces are limited to the top 10 scoring schools.
The finals are split over two days; this year the Greater Sheffield competition took place on Wednesday 29th March and Sheffield on Thursday the 30th March, with primary schools joining us in the morning, and secondary in the afternoon.
The route setting team worked their magic as usual and set 15 climbs for primary and secondary, ranging in difficulty and designed to split the scores between the schools. This year we opted for more climbs, so that there was something for everyone. It is never an easy job, but as usual the route setters did a fantastic job with only a couple of tie breaks that meant we had to look back at the qualification round scores to determine the final podium result. All climbs set were topped by at least one climber.
‘That’s how all competitions should be. Something for everyone so that nobody goes home disappointed and stressed.’ - Sheffield competitor
Even though everyone was trying hard to get as many points as they could, the competition had a supportive and friendly atmosphere, and it was great to see competitors cheering one another on. This is exactly the ethos we try to create for this competition, and we will continue to make it as inclusive, fun and welcoming as we can.
The results for the final were as follows…
Hunters Bar Junior
Nook Lane Junior
Abbey Lane Primary
High Storrs School
Silverdale Secondary School
Newfield Secondary School
Notre Dame High School
Bethany Secondary School
Meadowhead Secondary School
King Edwards VII Secondary
Westfield Secondary School
Kenwood Secondary School
Greater Sheffield Primary
William Levick Primary School
Birdwell Primary School
Barlow CoE Primary School
Hoyland Springwood Primary
Penistone St Johns
The Ellis CE Primary School
The Hill Primary Academy
Hoyland Common Primary School
Greater Sheffield Secondary
Hope Valley College
All podium winners received prizes from our sponsors, and one member of each school also received a spot prize for being a supportive team member or trying hard.
We want to say a huge well done to everyone who entered and we hope to see you again next year.
Thank you as always to our coaching and setting team, who help to create an amazing event every year.
Thank you to the teachers and parents who have to jump through many hoops in order to be able to bring their team to the competition.
And finally a big thank you to all of our sponsors…
The medals and trophies were provided by CORE climbing, who have supported us with this competition since the start. All of the amazing prizes were kindly donated by North Face, DMM, Scarpa, Beta, Lattice and Wide Boyz. And finally, we had funding from The Alpkit Foundation which enabled us to offer a free qualification round to a school that otherwise was unable to join.
We are incredibly grateful to have help from all these amazing brands.
Next year we plan to introduce an extra final that will be for SEND schools. This will be a quieter, relaxed final with extra support for those who need it.