Junior Coach and finalist Grace Spence-Green gives her perspective of the Comp Squad's BMC Open Youth Event results.
On the weekend of the 7th-8th of December, the Castle Squad travelled to Sheffield to compete in the awesome BMC Youth Open Event for both bouldering and leading. It was also the qualifier for the Junior British climbing team. Based on their performances, Cameron made the GB Climbing Team, Eugenie the GB Bouldering Team and Jim made both teams, which was absolutely fantastic news for the Squad.
The hard training this autumn term has paid off with not one, not two, but THREE squad members selected to compete on the British Team next year. Selection took place on the 7th and 8th of December at the Open Youth Events in Sheffield. As this was selection for next year's team, some competitors were moved up an age category.Eugenie Lee and Jim Pope were selected for the Junior British Bouldering Team and Cameron McLoughlin and Jim were selected for the Junior British Climbing Team.
The BMC Leading Ladder is a fun lead climbing competition running at 28 UK walls from 2 November 2013 to 23 February 2014. Each participating wall will set ten BMC Leading Ladder routes ranging from F5+ to 8a. You will have two weeks in which to climb these routes. At the end of the series there will be a Grand Final on 22 March 2014. To be considered for the final you must compete in at least two rounds.
There will be four age/gender categories: Female / Male under 16 and Female / Male 16+
Castle Comp Squad captain, Jim Pope, has won Hackney's U16 Sports Person of the Year. The award recognises an individual who has had outstanding success/achievements within their chosen sport. In addition to objective success, nominees must also have made a significant impact on sport in Hackney, be a role model, have exceeded expectations in their performance and made a significant difference to a team. Over the last two years, Jim has undoubtedly met all these criteria and we congratulate him on receiving this well-deserved award!
The GB junior bouldering team has ended the season on an all-time high, with team captain Nathan Phillips winning gold at the European Youth Cup (EYC) in Laval, France on Saturday 12 October.
In July, the 19-year-old from Holmfirth, now ranked second in the world, became the first-ever junior Brit to get a podium place in a European youth bouldering event, coming third place in L’Argentiere.
Castle setter and British Team member, Leah Crane, has a new video about one of her favourite bouldering areas in the UK: St Bees Head in West Cumbria. This is the first of a a new video series featuring Marmot sponsored athletes. The series, "Hand Picked" features the climbers' favourite places to climb and is part of the publicity leading up to the Kendal Mountain Festival held in November. Leah was at The Castle in October for the Loft Launch event.
The Castle sent 9 members of the Comp Squad to the national lead climbing championships, this year held in Sheffield on Saturday the 5th of October. Although this was the first national final for many of the 9 climbers, we still qualified 4 for the final with Yasmin Roberts missing out on her final by the narrowest of margins. Of special note, in the highly competitive Youth B male category, Castle Squad members (Jim Pope, Cameron McLoughlin and Stan Harris) made up half the final.
The Castle has always been committed to development and research especially when it comes to climbing and facilities. In the name of research in the past years we have travelled to France to participate and network in international events, toured all over the UK visiting the latest walls, and climbed around the country to get a feel for grading and styles. These trips have always been productive: we learnt a lot from others and took steps to implement changes as a result.