A YOUNG girl from Milton Abbot proved her mettle as a rock climbing ace after finishing fourth in the nation’s top competition for young climbers.
Brooke Shaw, 11, was fourth in her age group in the British Youth Climbing Series final this weekend.
She secured her spot after being declared the South West Champion in the 9-11 age group in the regional rounds held at the climbing centers in Devon and Cornwall.
She and her parents, who are also climbers, traveled to Southampton for the grand final at the Parthian Climbing Center, run by the British Mountaineering Council.
The competition saw Brooke compete with the best climbers in her age group from the UK and Ireland in two separate challenges: sport climbing and bouldering.
Sport climbing involves climbers tied to a rope trying to climb as high as possible, this can reach a height of 25 meters or more.
Points are awarded for each hold achieved by a competitor in order to reach the top. Competitors have four courses to try, of increasing difficulty, and only get one course on each course, which makes this competition particularly difficult.
The boulder is a test of the climber’s problem-solving ability, strength and flexibility, as he climbs on protective mats up to four to five meters above the ground without a rope.
Brooke and the other competitors were allowed five attempts on each climb, with eight climbs to be attempted in two hours.
Brooke competed in sport climbing on day one of the final, managing to place fourth overall after completing two completed routes and scoring high on the others.
Day two of the final was bouldering, Brooke’s weakest discipline. Despite this, she fought incredibly hard for sixth place with four of eight climbs completed.
Stepfather Joe Harris said: “Over the two days she fought the nerves to climb with courage and determination and was inspired by the talented competitors who surrounded her.
“After the scores from both days were combined we were very proud to hear that Brooke had finished fourth overall against 28 of the top UK and Irish climbers.
“She narrowly missed out on the podium, which would have potentially earned her a try for the Junior British Climbing Team.
“Despite this, she was incredibly pleased with her accomplishments and will no doubt have the opportunity to try again in the future.”
“We are incredibly proud of her,” he added. “She’s been climbing since she was three and has been competing for a while.”
Brooke, who attends Milton Abbot School, trains at The Barn Climbing Center where her stepfather Joe and mother Naomi Butcher have been instructors for 12 years and are now designing and building the new climbs.
Brooke also trains at the Climbing Hangar in Plymouth.
Although this national competition is all about indoor climbing, Brooke also enjoys climbing outdoors and can be found regularly climbing the Dartmoor Trees with her parents.
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