Summing up 2012

This passing year has been an interesting one, especially if you are British. In many ways 2012 had been the build up of many years of hard work as London prepared to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time since the summer of 1948. I remember watching the TV with my Dad when the announcement came through that London would follow Beijing in becoming the next venue to host this fantastic event. I was so excited to think that we might have world-class athletes coming to our shores to experience our culture, weather, food, you know….all those things that make the UK renowned throughout the world! ; )

LOCOG (the organising committee) did a fantastic job and the 2012 Games were a huge hit both in terms of Team GB’s performance on the medals table and also as an event in itself. However, this was just one thing 2012 had in store to make you proud to be British. The Queen’s Jubilee was another great national event and who can forget our united celebration with Bradely Wiggins Tour de France win.

For climbing this year has also been significant but more as a bridge towards exciting things further down the line.

Firstly our sport became a real contender in the bid for Olympic status in 2020 with the IFSC wowing the IOC in Paris with the World Championships in September. Secondly Merseyside’s Shauna Coxsey placed 3rd in the Bouldering World Cup, a massive step forward not only in terms of women’s competition climbing within the UK but also as a demonstration that we can also produce world-class athletes. (Next year we are hoping to see a 1st obviously).

It is also very exciting in that for the first time the UK will field a Junior Team in bouldering for the European Youth Cup dates in 2013. To couple this Mountain Training UK are looking to roll out the new national coaching scheme in March, providing better education for coaches around the country.

Level 1 Assessment 2

Me working with the North Wales Academy to pilot the Level 1 Coaching Assessment

Photo: Steve Long

So while other sports were celebrating the peak for their performance, I was left feeling that for us things are still building up. For me personally this year has also reflected this pattern. Earlier this year I finally decided to become a coach full-time, leaving my job within education to pursue what I have always dubbed with the total cliché of my “passion”.

I have been working in either coaching, teaching or sports events since 2004 and 8 years later I finally found that conditions were right for me to pursue my coaching within climbing. This later lead to my appointment as Team Manager/Coach of the GB Junior Bouldering Team, member of the BMC/Mountain Training UK Technical Committee for Coaching and (for the time being anyway) fiance.

I also managed a short break away climbing in Spain and for the first time in the 2 years since my shoulder dislocation, I didn’t feel any discomfort or pain. Shoulder dislocations are strange injuries ranging from acute sub-luxtion through to full-blown labrum tears. I remember talking to Aussie friend Chris Webb Parsons about shoulder injury and he told me it took about as long as this for it to feel normal again. Mine luckily didn’t require any invasive surgery but was painful enough to restrict me from training properly for my myself for the last 24 months. In Spain I finally felt like I could try hard again and it was a great moment when I realised this.

Techo Don Pepo

Climbing through the steep roof’s of Albarracin Spain

Photo: Michelle Forrest

The significance here is that all these things are part of a process towards something bigger. Whether it is GB Team trainings, European Youth Cups, Coach Education Courses, Coaching my own clients or Wedding Planning I am ready to take on 2013 in every way!

Almscliffe Pose

Enjoying some dry weather on New Years Day at Almscliffe

Photo: Julie-Ann Lambert


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