Last weekend the Youth Color Climbing Festival took place in Imst, Austria. This international competition for 10 to 13 year olds takes place annually and is an opportunity for youngsters from all over the world who are too young to compete as part of their National Team to get a taste of competing on the World stage.
Matilda Collins (11 years) and Toby Roberts (10 years), both members of the Craggy Island Youth Climbing Team, climbed exceptionally in the Youth D category and both placed 2nd. Toby, in the first year of competing in Youth D, topped all of his routes and missed out on 1st place by just 2 seconds when he was timed-out before matching the last hold on one climb.
Craggy Youth Team Coach, Mark Croxall, was in Austria to support Matilda and Toby. He said: “Both of them have worked so hard in the run up to this event having both placed very well at the BMC Youth Climbing Series earlier this year. Matilda’s natural ability and Toby’s strength and incredible determination make them both very promising climbers for the future. At Craggy, it’s very important to us to develop our young climbers in a fun environment and I believe that it’s this which motivates them to continually improve and excel.”
In Youth C, GB Junior Team members Emily Phillips and Hamish McArthur provided stand-out performances by taking 5th and 6th place respectively.
In addition, there were another 16 climbers from all over Great Britain. This is our largest ever entry into the Youth Color and a reflection of the increase in the number of youngsters taking up the sport and looking to take International competitions seriously.
GB Junior Climbing Team Manager Ian Dunn commented: "We had a great GB effort out in the Imst Youth Color which is now recognised by many countries as an important opportunity for young climbers to test themselves against some of the best in Europe.
"The young climbers from GB all had a great time, made lots of friends and saw some amazing climbing all with the backdrop of the Austrian Alps and with true mountain weather to match! The storm on Saturday didn't stop the climbing but it was certainly as spectacular! Well done to everyone and let's hope for as big a team next year."