Guest Blog by Hamish

Posted on: 18 Jun 2014

Hello I'm Angus's son Hamish. I am 12 years old and as part of my English project we are learning about auto biographies, diaries and blogs. I am writing a three part blog about what I do which is CLIMBING. Sorry its not about running , but hope you like it.


" Everything in my life is boring except climbing" - thats what I said to my mum aged 6. Thats how it feels to me, I have always wanted to climb on things since I was really small. I was in trouble for climbing right to the top of the biggest tree at primary school, when I see buildings and churches I work out ways how to climb up them. 

When I was 5 years old mum and dad bought me four lessons at the sports centre indoor climbing wall. I was upset to start as it looked massive and I thoght I would have to climb to the top straight away. To start with we just did little climbs and before very long I was going up the big wall on a rope, it was great and I loved it. After the four lessons i felt at home at the climbing wall and just wanted to keep going back. Luckily there was a sunday kids club which dad took me too so I could keep going back and trying new things, i soon got hooked.


That was 7 years agoand I have been climbing indoors ever since ( and a bit outdoors too ). I gave up sunday football last season to concentrate even more on climbing and now train 3 or 4 times a week. Climbing isnt just about being strong, to be a good climber you have to have good balance and technique. You have to work out the best way to solve a problem so you use your mind a lot and have to learn the best way to get as high as possible. I am small for my age so this is important for me. You cant be scared either, if you are then you wont  try the tricky moves, if you dont try them then you dont know how to do them. I am lucky because I am light, I dont look strong but compared to my weight I am. Some climbers are really muscley and really strong but sometimes they cant climb the routes that I can because they arent flexible enough.

I train on monday, wednesday and friday evening from 6 - 8. I go to Red Goat Climbing centre in York and work with a coach on Mondays called Joe. He has known me since I was 7  so understands how i climb and what i need to improve. We do core strength excercises because core strength is very important for climbing. I usually do plank, dish, squats, sit ups, press ups. Then we go on the bar and do pull up excercises, I have learned to do one arm pull ups and one arm lock offs ( thats when you do a one arm pull up then lock off your arm at a right angle and hold your weight as long as possible ).I do foinger strenghthening work as well because its important to have strong fingers to hold the smallest crimps ( little holds ) Training is good fun because there are 6 of us in Joes group and we are competitive against each other, it is not bad competitive though because we all have fun together.I dont like getting beaten though, even by the older climbers and am quite determined not to lose. The good thing about climbing is that everyone is really helpful and friendly even at competitions.


I have been evtering climbing competitions since I was 7. When you are in a compettion the routes are all set to be tough, each handhold you get to is worth 3 points so the higher up the route tou get is more points.You normally climb 6 routes so the scores are all added up for each route to give a winner at the end. I love competitions because I dont get nervous and I seem to concentrate better and do my best climbing.


I have now got to be ranked number one in my age category in England and last december I won a competition in Sheffiels so was selected for the GB team. I am the youngest member of the British Junior Climbing team and this month I entered my first international competition as part of the team.


On June 5th I went out to the Youth Colours competition in Imst , Austria. There were 21 countries taking part and I was representing GB for the first time.

This is me in front of the competition wall at Imst, its a big wall with a 4m roof ( the overhanging part ). I was in a category of 75 climbers from acoss Europe, they were the best climbers from Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium and other countries that I cant remember. Most of them were a year older than me as the Youth Ccategory is birth year 2001 and 2002, some of them were beasts! Unfortunately from my section of 25 I was drawn first to clim and had to go on the mornings most difficult route. It is a big disadvantage to climb early as you havent had the chance to watch others climb so you are climbing fresh and without much knowledge. I really messed it up and fell at the first clip and only scored 5 points out of possible 50. I was really upset and let it affect me, Dad gave me a hug and tried to talk to me but I didnt want to listen. I knew I had messed up and had to put it right. On the second route of the morning I got a little higher but couldnt quite reach a hold, I decided to jump for it but didnt hold it and dropped - only 12 points out of 50. It was a terrible start for me and I felt bad about it, i knew I could do way better than that. The GB coach came and talked to me and told ne to forget those first two clims and to think of it as a 7 climb competition and start fresh again.If I didnt do this I was in danger of ruining the whole weekends climbing. After first two routes I was 60th out of 68, not good.

On the last route of the morning I finally got it flowing and topped it to give me 50 points. It felt better at lunch to have done that and I went into the afternoons three routes with more confidence. I climbed much better and scored highly on all three routes but more importantly I was climbing more like normal again and I enjoyed it. by the end of saturday i got back to 33rd out of 68 so a big improvement.

On sunday we had just 3 routes to complete but they all looked really tricky. I was determined not to let myself down again and wanted to pull back some more places if i could. I climbed well again and topped one route and scored in the 30's and 40's on the other two, i movedup to finish 23rd on the final leaderboard which I was really happy with considering my first two climbs.

Next year I will be at the top of my age category and will have another years training to get ready for it, hopefully I will be a few centimetres taller too!I cant wait to come back and climb again for team GB against top climbers and try and improve.


I have to write some persuasive writing  so have decided to write about why I think that climbing should be an olympic sport.

The Olympic ethos is FASTER, STRONGER, HIGHER. this could have been writtn about climbing. I think it would make a perfect sport for the olympics as it shows all the skills and ingredients that you need to be a true olympian. 

Because climbing is not a mainstream sport in great britain most people have not  experienced a climbing competition live and felt the excitement seen how quickly the tables can turn, football seems boring and too commercial in comparison to the copetitive buzz and honesty of a climbing arena during a competition. I bed most of you have not even heard of Shauna Coxsey who is a british climber who has won two bouldering world cup gold medals this year? Climbing needs a bigger stage to show off our talented climbers.

Here's shauna winning a gold this year.

Other sports have their main events like the World cup for football, Wimbledon for tennis, The open for golf but climbing olympic gold would be the most prescious award in our sport i think. I think the olympics neds climbing  as its fresh and exciting and I think climbing needs the olmpics too as it can show my sport to the world.

what do you think?


I'm going to Edinburgh for the British championships in 10 days, you can check my results on my website

Thanks for reading my guest bloig!

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