Started in 2009, our Comp Squad has focused on developing the best young climbers at The Castle Climbing through a comprehensive training and competition programme. The Castle Squad is proud to be sponsored by Prana, Metolius and Evolv.
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.
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!
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.
Castle Comp Squad and British Team member Jim Pope had his best international result to date with a fantastic 9th place overall at the European Youth Championships in Imst, Austria last weekend. Jim qualified for the finals in 9th place (10 make it to the finals) against a very tough field in the Male Youth B category. He maintained his rank coming 9th in the finals as well. This was his first (of hopefully many!) international finals.
The 2012/3 competition season wound up with great success. Half of the squad qualified for the national finals of the BMC Youth Climbing Series, held the 15th of June at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena. Out of over 300 of the nation's best young climbers, alll of our squad members performed exceptionally well. Grace Spence-Green (pictured above with top British climber Steve McClure), our co-captain, won her category (Girls Youth A). This achievement is all the more remarkable because it's only Grace's second year competing.