This is the first time Great Britain has hosted an international paraclimbing competition. The only previous international events being the IFSC Paraclimbing Championships in Arco (2011/13) and Paris (2012) and the IFSC European Paraclimbing Championships in Chamonix (2013).
Climbers will compete against other climbers with similar disabilities. The categories are:
B1 Total Blind; B2 Vision less than 5%; B3 Vision less 5%-20%; Amputee – leg; Amputee – arm; Neurological physical disability (NPD); and Seating.
The full contingent of the GB Paraclimbing Team will take part, including current paraclimbing world champion (and Castle climber) Fran Brown. Other team members are Duncan Booth, John Churcher, Laurence Dare, Pete Roberts, Rad Breeze, Sianagh Gallagher and Reanne Racktoo who took silver for her category (female visual impairment) in the recent European Paraclimbing Championships. Profiles of all the GB Team members can be found on the GB Climbing Team website.
Rob Adie, BMC competitions officer said: “We’re delighted to be holding the Paraclimbing Cup and looking forward to welcoming around 20 climbers from around the world. We hope the event will help showcase our British talent and show how accessible climbing is to people of all abilities.”
Andy Coltart, President of the IFSC Paraclimbing Commission and assistant manager for GB Paraclimbing Team said: “The IFSC is looking forward to the Paraclimbing Cup in London. After the success of the Paralympics last year it is great to see another gathering of the world’s top para athletes for this competition in London. We wish every success to those competing.”
Graeme Hill, GB Paraclimbing Team manager said: “It’s really exciting to see the pace at which paraclimbing is developing. Team GB is on great form, with two podium places in the Euros this summer. We’re hoping for some more great results on home soil.”
The qualifying rounds will take place on Saturday 21 September and the final will be on Sunday 22 September. Spectators are welcome so come to London and watch the action.