|The cool t-shirts of the volunteers on the day.....|
The finals of the Youth Climbing Series finals came and went on the 27th April at +Awesome Walls Climbing Centre - 110 very motivated, enthusiastic young climbers having fun across the range of boulders and routes (3 of each) across the 5 different age categories.
Damien O'Sullivan takes all the credit for running this year's finals, and full credit to all the route-setters (Eddie, Terry, Lucy, Damien, Michael) and all the testers (route-testers, judges, chaperones, to name but a few). I'm going to be honest though, I missed being involved as much as last year a lot more than I expected!
There's a report up on the Mountaineering Ireland site which covers the general jist of the event, the important comments being at the bottom:
Youth climbing in Ireland is extremely vibrant at them moment. Thanks to the tireless work of the young climbers, their parents, coaches and all the volunteers who make it possible.
The standard of climbing that these young climbers are now achieving is hard for many people to comprehend. Maybe you should visit Awesome Walls and try some of the Youth Climbing Series routes to get an idea of what these young climbers are achieving.
Alan Cassidy, writing about last weekend's Scottish Youth Bouldering Championships, nailed it on the head that the route-setters had almost been embarrassed last year after some of the competitors easily flashed all the problems. For me however, it's nothing to do with the exact grades these people are climbing (For whom some people want to know exactly what level they are at), but the sheer motivation, attitude, hard work, fun, laughs, and down-right all-round great attitude to climbing and competitions they all have. Coming from the era of climbers where taking part in competitions is not a particularly natural experience, it's fantastic to see the attitude of these new-comers. And for anyone commenting that they are all just indoor climbers, it's indoor so not the same as outdoor (of whom I was very disappointed to hear one individual discussing in such a manner on the day), any of the climbers who have started to progress outdoors are doing pretty well already!
Partage 8a+ Buthier from Eddie Cooper on Vimeo.
Dom age 15 climbs his first 8a+ in Font :)
Bleau 2 from Eddie Cooper on Vimeo.
Mini beasts on Musclor and heart break on La Coccinelle
Great book for ideas for games for youths/beginners (Amazon link):
Climbing Games: Chalenge and Train your Hands, Feet, Body and Brain