The end of the summer holidays always finishes the same way for us at The Climbing Works, with our annual Young Climbers Festival. As always it is a great way to round up a busy summer of holiday sessions with lots more climbing, loads of fun and tons of prizes! We like to target the competition to all abilities, so that there are plenty of things to try for everyone. It’s always a tough job for the route setters to cover all bases - with easy accessible climbs for beginners, as well as enough harder climbs to split the top end too. This year they did really well and we only had a couple of tie breaks, with a problem already prepped which helped to split them.
The competitors who join this festival consist of lots of familiar faces from our weekly clubs, many local climbers, and also climbers who have traveled from other walls to join the competition. The friendly environment means that you soon feel like part of a team, even if you didn’t know anybody beforehand.
All climbers were given a competition T-shirt, designed by the very talented Seb Lopez, a member of our reception team. We love seeing these being worn after the competition, and even years down the line by some competitors that have been joining us year after year.
After the warm up, Carol gave everyone a briefing and the competitors were split into small groups within their age categories. Within their small groups, a coach takes them around the climbs together, with the group members supporting each other and sharing beta. This format has proven to be really popular with our competitors and parents because as well as getting to climb with our wonderful coaches, it’s a great way to meet other climbers . Perhaps what is most attractive about this format is that there is less pressure and it creates a more inclusive atmosphere for those who have not had much experience with competitions.
The competition is split over a morning and afternoon session based on competitor age. The morning was for 9-14 year olds in the main centre, and afternoon was for 5-8 year olds in the Mini Works. The timings are pretty tight, and even more so this year as it was our biggest number of competitors to date, but the coaches did a fantastic job at getting their climbers round as many climbs as they could in the time given. There were 20 climbs in the Main Centre, and 15 in The Mini Works all varying in difficulty and style. As always the most popular ones involve some kind of swinging!
After the competition finished, the scores were calculated to see who had won a spot on the podium. Although it’s always exciting to make it onto the podium, every single competitor got their own specific award based on their performance in the competition. These awards included ‘slab star’, ‘fancy footwork’ and ‘most improved’ among many others. Every competitor also went home with a participation medal from our sponsors at CORE Climbing.
As well as medals our podium winners had a bag of goodies each from our sponsors
All photos were taken by Ben Tillett (www.bentillettphotography.com)
A massive thank you to all of the sponsors of this event, helping us with so many wonderful prizes.
Jessica Jaye Illustrations
Thank you to the competitors and the parents for bringing everyone down. And of course a huge thank you to our amazing team at The Climbing works, including the route setters, the coaches and the reception staff.
We are already looking forward to next year, and hope to see you all back again.
Download the full results for the competition here