2012

Well it’s the end of the year so I thought It was time to quickly update this blog before 2013 starts. This website will be getting an overhaul in January so look out for some new exciting content.

What a year 2012 has been. Firstly there was the British para climbing series and the start of my full time training. The summer was eaten up by training and the paralympic ceremony work. The circus training project for this was great and I intend to do more circus work in 2013. The paralympic opening ceremony was a once in a lifetime experience and the aerial work we did was awesome. Between climbing training and paralympic rehearsals the summer pretty much disappeared and all too soon the world para climbing championships came around. Ok so we all know I won this so I’m not going to go on about it but needless to say it was epic to become world champion.

Since the worlds I have talked at the excellent women’s climbing symposium and have been working on my strength and cardio fitness, laying down the groundwork for next year. The training has actually been fun and a nice change but it’s back to a high climbing load from the start of January. The outdoor climbing progress has been pretty slow due to the inclement weather but fingers crossed for some cool projects I’ve got lined up for next year. I’m off for a weeks skiing holiday in January which will be a nice break from the norm and then its back to preparation for the British para climbing comps.

It’s interesting to consider the legacy that 2012 has left. The olympic and paralympic games clearly made an impression on the country with many of our athletes now household names. The media coverage of both games was great although its a shame that non olympic sports don’t get anywhere near as much recognition. Perhaps if climbing makes the 2020 games this might change. The fact that people are surprised when I tell them that para climbing isn’t part of the 2020 bid as the IPC and IOC are quite separate is another example of the publics attitude towards disability sport post the London games. The lack of media attention has been somewhat frustrating for me as I’m trying to climb full time and any exposure is helpful to both myself and in trying to promote para climbing.

The transport legacy of 2012 in London is a few extra lifts and ramps but on a day to day basis I don’t really notice any difference, the same niggles exist. I do think the exposure of the nation to paralympic sport has made a lasting impression which shows that people have an appetite for high level sport whatever the genre. Something that climbing should perhaps capitalise on?
Is the real legacy of 2012 the fact that instead of staring people now feel free to ask if I’m a paralympian or the fact that they are disappointed when I say I’m not?

Once again I’d like to thank my sponsors, The Arch Climbing Wall and Big Stone Ltd for their ongoing support and my coach Jimmie Gustin for being amazing.

Have a great new year and here’s to a successful 2013.

Women’s Climbing Symposium

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being invited to talk at the awesome Women’s climbing symposium. Held at The Hanger in Liverpool and organised by the amazing Shauna Coxsey this was a great event and celebration of women in climbing. More detail about my talk to follow in my next blog post but here is the highlights video for the whole event:

 

Women’s Climbing Symposium from Outcrop Films on Vimeo.