Our South African Youth Team 2011!

As you can see from our first post, competition climbing has grown over the last few years in South Africa as a whole. In Gauteng, we have approximately 190 climbers climbing in the NBL 2012. We are hoping to increase this figure and encourage the adults to get involved to by introducing categories for open, novice, masters and veterans in our lead comps! For more information, watch this space!

Last year, for the first time ever, SANCF arranged to send a South African Youth team to the world cup in Imst, Austria! 10 of our very own Gauteng climbers were chosen to participate in the world cup and every one of them had the time of their lives and gained unimaginable experience!

They were:

The U/19s:

Calrin Curtis

“My experience at the 2011 youth climbing championships in Imst Austria was nothing short of one of the best experiences of my life and I had no idea at the trials having only climbed for just over a year that I would be part of this incredible adventure.

My true inspiration and reason for success both at trials and in Austria was the friendship I formed with Pieter. Pieter saw the potential in me when I first started out and if it wasn’t for his drive and belif in me I would never have made it to where I am now. We had a goal together of making the SA team and achieving success in Austria. We trained relentlessly and remained focussed on what we had set out to achieve.

In Austria we maintained this focus and drive whilst at the same time allowing ourselves to experience the amazing place we found ourselves in. It was not I who succeeded in Austria, it was myself and Pieter together and the way in which we managed to motivate eachother and have the right attitude showed in the results that we achieved. It was truly a life changing experience which taught me not only so much a bout climbing but also about friendship and I’m very glad i shared it with such a great friend.”

Gregory Oudhof

Dylan Vogt

Tiffany Wells

“Austria…..Wow…..I can honestly say that the World Cup 2011 has been my best experience to date! I will never forget the beautiful cobble stone streets and the ice cold crystal clear fountains of Imst, the very welcoming Austrian climbing team as well as ALL the other teams who made us “first timers” feel at home! They were so psyched to have all continents participating for the first time!! I went there with the goal not to come last and that’s exactly what I did! I came 42nd out of 48 climbers and in the process gained so much experience from those world class routes! The gym and competition wall was breathtaking and I spent every spare moment climbing on those walls.

The South African team along with all the coaches and parents would have won the spirit trophy for sure…..if there was one…..our friendliness, dedication and support of everyone will never be forgotten by those who took part this year!!!

Being a part of the first ever team to compete in the youth world cup for South Africa didn’t mean storming in and winning medals, it meant learning that you are a tiny fish in a very big sea and it now means we have a visible goal to work towards in SA…..It also meant gaining unimaginable experience in competition climbing that we can now share with younger generations who, who knows, may one day be bringing home medals for their country!!!”  www.verticallyunltd.wordpress.com

The U/17s:

Devin Murray

“The best way to train for trails is to find your weakness and focus your training on that aspect. You’re only as strong as your weakest link so until you correct this you will find routes or parts of routes that you will struggle on. Once you fix this carry on pushing what you’re good at. Focussing on endurance is great for lead comps and power-endurance is a great way to train for bouldering. Getting a partner to train with and sticking to a good routine that works for both of you is the easiest way to train.

The world cup is a definite highlight this year as it will be our second year competing this year. It is a very good incentive for training hard and is a good reward for all the time you have put into it. The World Cup is a great way to up your climbing experience as a whole.”

Samantha Stainton

“We were as ready as we were ever going to be. It being our first year there, all the other teams were unbelievably welcoming. We had such fun. The Austrian team was always there if we needed anything. Singapore was amazing, Andrew really made a difference to quite a few of us. Where ever the party was at so was Canada. They brought the most amazing vibe and the biggest smiles. A few of the competitors, such as Rachel Cooper and Alex Johnson will always be friends I can turn to after that trip. Scotty, Art and Dan had me in hysterics every time I was around them. It made the entire trip that much more amazing. Martin had this snickers sticker on his jersey which is now on my desk thanks to Daan.” http://www.justclimbon.wordpress.com

Gillian Bester

The U/15s:

Byron Crofford

Tristan Swart

Eran Waldeck

“Training is really tough most of the time but we try our best to be the best we can, as we always say, you compete as you train.

The 2011 trials were quite scary because we are testing our ability to climb, not so much against anyone else, but to meet a certain grade. When you’re sitting waiting to climb your first route and you hear everyone clapping and cheering from in isolation, you start to freak out a bit, wondering if you’ll make the grade, but even worse, is when you’re alone in a white room and you think everyone before you has not made it, you start to bite your nails in fear of not being able to do it either. After climbing the route/s is the not knowing whether you’ll make it to the next round or not but at the real end comes the scariest part when you’re watching the selectors decide who will make it and who will be voted out.”
When we landed, i think i can speak for everyone when i say our hearts jumped out our mouths, it was beautiful.
It was extraordinary! Truly amazing, out of this world. We trained for a few days before the comp, sometimes climbing till 11 at night, when the gym closed. finally the first day of the comp arrived and we met all the teams from the different countries. It was some scary stuff, we all climbed at different times, some early, early in the morning and some late in the afternoon. As you get called up you freak out, you’re tied in, waiting for the climber before you to fall so you can start. Then, suddenly they come off the wall and your heart starts pounding, Your belayer comes to get you and you want to scream, the time is finally here, as you get on the wall, the first thing that goes through your head, is don’t mess up because the world is watching you!!!! When its all over, you start to think, why on earth was i so scared, until the next day comes and you freak out all over again. It was the most amazing experience of my life so far! If i could go back, i would in a heartbeat. And this year it shall start all over again in Singapore.”
On the weekend SA selection trials were held and the team for 2012 was announced!!
U19 Males – Greg Oudhof, Dylan Vogt, Robin Sherwood, Calrin Curtis – RESERVE – Severin Curtis

U19 Females – Gillian Bester

U17 Males – Robert Brown, Dario Hatting, Brandon van Houghten

U17 Females – Sam Stainton

U15 Males – Tristan Swart, JJ Curtis, Oliver Marx, Katleho Pobe

U15 Females – Caitlyn Sargent, Eran Waldeck

Well done!! Watch this space for more info on SA’s climbers!!