Over the next week, the best young climbers from around the world will have the chance compete across three disciplines in the World Youth Championships for the very first time - in Lead, Boulder and Speed. Formerly comprising only the Lead and Speed elements, this year's event is an exciting opportunity to showcase the future talent of the senior IFSC Boulder World Cups. 29 young British climbers will be out flying the flag for Great Britain in the historical hub of competition climbing that is the small Italian town of Arco.
GB Junior Lead Team Manager Ian Dunn commented on the outlook for the team pre-competition:
"The Junior Lead Team are super psyched for the WYCH this year in Arco. The entry is the biggest ever with over 1100 athletes registered so the competition will be fierce. However, on the back of an amazing training camp with Robyn Erbesfield and Didier Raboutou in Saint Antonin and great results in Mitterdorf with 4 finalists, confidence is high."
The young climbers representing GB in Lead are:
Male Junior - Connor Bryne, Alex Waterhouse
Female Junior - Molly Thompson Smith
Male Youth A - William Bosi, Jim Pope, Peter Dawson, Angus Davidson
Female Youth A - Rebecca Kinghorn, Hannah Slaney
Male Youth B - Kieran Forrest, Alex Norton, Sam Oakes
Female Youth B - Kitty Morrison, Pippa Watkin, Issy Adams
The climbers representing in the Speed event are:
Male Junior - Alexander Bosi, Alex Waterhouse
GB Junior Bouldering Team Manager Tom Greenall told UKC:
"There is an electric buzz around our camp ahead of the World Youth Championships. We have had competitive and strong performance as a British outfit in Europe this season and we are carrying that momentum all the way to Italy this week. We are showing our ability to perform with the European Championships in L'Argentiere really highlighted that we belong alongside the top nations."
Describing the team's training over the last few months, Tom added:
"We implemented a new strength and conditioning curriculum in 2015 which has been the real base of our season. Our strength and conditioning coach Tim Cunnington has worked wonders. From here we have built on top of that with more specific fitness and strength but above all, we have really focussed on our tactics and execution. The past few months have been spent concentrating on scenario simulations and the strategic side of the bouldering game."
The bouldering competitors taking part in Arco are the following:
Male Junior - Hamish Pokotar, Billy Ridal, Alex Waterhouse
Female Junior - Molly Thompson Smith, Tara Hayes
Male Youth A - Aidan Roberts, Luke Murphy, Ed Mabon
Female Youth A - Hannah Slaney, Alexia Basch, Silvia Barrett
Male Youth B - Max Milne, Nathan Whaley, Jack Ramsden
Female Youth B - Eugenie Lee