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A Short View from the Ground

A big thanks to Aimee Feenan for giving us permission to link to her article "A Short View from the Ground" about the BMC YCS Series, recently held here at the Castle.

The British Mountaineering Council’s Youth Climbing Series at The Castle

A Short View from the Ground
By Aimee Feenan - 5th April 2014

Aside from the cruel and unusual punishment that the education system imposed in the form of sports days, I’ve never been a sports competitor, not willingly anyway. Before senior school, the relative safety of the egg and spoon race (while surrounded by not-so-secretly competitive parents), was just the start of a slippery slope. By the time I hit my teens, I would do everything I could to escape the inhumanity of being forced to partake in track events and even managed, to my shame, to con a fellow student in to taking my allocation of the 1800 metre race so that I could reduce my suffering and zip through the 100 metre hurdles instead. I don’t know if you remember much about your time spent on school sports activities, but mine were far from my halcyon days. That was the 1990s. Fast forward 15-20 years and I find myself wishing I had tried to enjoy it all more; excluding, of course, anything related to sharp, fast-flying objects such as the javelin, which really should have been banned following the memorable edge-of-your-seat accident reconstruction on that gory TV programme 999. Think of it this way, we’re not allowed to run with scissors but an 8ft metal pole (with a point at one end) in the hands of a teenager is ok? I’m not convinced they thought that one through. So what has sparked this trip down memory lane? Answer … exposure to a youth climbing competition where climbers (as young as 7) actually choose to put themselves through the physical and mental torment required in their quest for sporting greatness. I bet they’d all be wicked at javelin too.
On Saturday 29th March 2014, I had the pleasure of attending the London and Southeast regional final of the British Mountaineering Council's Youth Climbing Series in support of the Craggy Island Youth Team and Youth Squad. My plan for the day was to try and find out what it is that drives young climbers to compete and the value they take from it that keeps them going back for more. Interested? Let me set the scene …

Visit Aimee's website to read the rest of the article on a spectators view of climbing competitions.