What an inspirational year for the world of junior British competition climbing! From our homeland across the channel to Bulgaria, Austria, France and Slovenia the team has been getting stuck in.
The evidence of the huge effort put in by our young athletes into their training, commitment and pure enjoyment of our fantastic sport is not just in the results on paper but the atmosphere and friendship within team events.
On the international stage the GB team were like a firework travelling through the sky with an almighty whoosh of flying sparks! We have been propelled rapidly to great heights by the youngest competing members of our team.
Molly Thompson Smith and Tara Hayes only in their first year of Youth B, taking their first (not so timid) steps into the terra incognito of international competitions have gone out and both taken positions of 6th in Europe!
On top of this Molly made it through to the finals in her first World Youth Championships, taking home an achievement of 8th in the world. Our metaphor flies on to its ultimate awe inspiring finale of sheer brilliance and flying color driven by the oldest member of our team. Ed Hamer has taken the dedication and vision of climbing, not just in the refined competition circuit but as a whole, a lifestyle of personal progression and achievement on plastic and rock. The result of this drive was realized in October when he positioned 2nd in world for U20's. The pride and excitement that welled up from the crowd of supporters cheering Ed under the clear Austrian sky that frames the inspiring competition wall at Imst Kletterhalle, was such a powerful and moving experience!
Amongst fantastic achievement and international ranking the background is as important and valued. The whole team has been a credit to those that support us. The atmosphere and livelihood of national events has been warm and unbelievably positive. There is no doubt that the standard of everyone is steadily pushing higher and higher. The display of outstanding performance at the national events, British Championships and Youth opens shows that every climber that has been chosen to represent Great Britain has the potential to make it as far or further than our current stars, all that is required is dedication and belief. We have seen the amazing talent and energy of the up and coming climbers in Youth C by the outstanding performance at the recent Sunderland youth open, the lads were well onto the heels of us junior males, inspiringly so! We are welcoming onto the team an incredible bunch of new climbers who are going to take things forward I can tell!
Towards the end of the year we have faced the hard news of John Ellison's Cancer however as a network of friends we are united under the world of climbing in support for him. The energy and passion of team members, management, sponsors, volunteers, supporting family and aspiring young people promises for an exciting year ahead!
Luke Tilley (Team Captain)
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