Now selected: The 2018 Development Squad

Posted by Jon Garside on 06/12/2017
2018 Squad member Holly Toothill climbing at the weekend. Credit Rachel Carr

The 2018 Development Squad has been identified following the selection weekend at Awesome Walls Sheffield.

The BMC thanks the squad coaches and volunteers who made the weekend a success and Awesome Walls for hosting us.

The routes and the boulder problems were set in the the style of those at international competitions thanks to the hard work of the route setting team.

Dark Ventures and Beta Climbing provided the BMC with an amazing selection of holds and we’re grateful for their support.

Berghaus sponsors GB Climbing and those selected for the squad will benefit from their continued support.

Selection considerations

In choosing the squad, the selectors considered a range of issues. The top two scoring climbers in each age category were automatically invited to join the Development Squad, as noted on our site.

The remaining squad members were identified based on their performance at selection, and where relevant, their domestic or international competition results from the previous 12 months, including any exceptional performances.

The selectors were mindful of ensuring that those climbers in the bottom half of any age category were not disadvantaged. Of the 42 climbers selected, half sit in the lower end of the age categories and half sit in the top half. 20 girls have been selected and 22 boys.

For injured climbers invited to selection but unable to attend, their 2017 results were considered alongside any information provided noting reasons for their non-attendance.

2018 Development Squad

Female C
Gwen Morgan
Hannah Kerr
Edie Carr
Katie Roberts
Sarah Walker-Palin

Male C
Toby Roberts
Felix Warren
Jack MacDougall
Oscar Phillips
Jamie Jenkins

Female B
Megan Wyatt
Katherine MacDougall
Ruby Wood
Marijke Booth
Louise Flockhart
Tilly Vasic
Matilda Collins
Robin Casey

Male B
Daniel Smith
Tai Tewkesbury
Joseph Xiberras
Finn Hayward
Dayan Akhtar
Hugo Heffer
Leo Skinner

Female A
Emily Phillips
Holly Toothill
Zoe Peetermans
Kitty Morrison

Male A
Hamish McArthur
Jake Collins
Finley Wood
Robert Cook
Stephen Keir

Female Junior
Hannah Slaney
Joanna Neame
Gwyneth Uttley

Male Junior
Kieran Forrest
Max Milne
Sammy Oakes
Joe Czubkowski
Ben Preston

2018 Development Squad seleciton results


 

The GB Climbing Team is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering ScotlandBerghaus, and Rock Over Climbingand the GB Paraclimbing Team is supported by Oakwood Climbing Centre and Quay Climbing Centre. Many UK walls also support the British Climbing Team through free or subsidised entry.

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1) Anonymous
06/12/2017
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
2) Anonymous
06/12/2017
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
3) Anonymous User
08/12/2017
The BMC deserve all the flack coming their way after this team selection. Come back Tom Greenall!
4) Anonymous User
08/12/2017
A big well done to those selected this year. By all accounts, it was tough, especially with the reductions in overall numbers (was this a funding issue or a choice to focus on a smaller group?)

To those who didn't make it this year, remember that you are all excellent climbers or you wouldn't have been on the selection day to begin with. Keep training hard and try again next year.

To the selectors, what is the long-term intent on speed? It's weighting this year was minimal, and the use of a non-speed wall (while I appreciate the reasoning on unequal access to training facilities) seemed strange. Boulders were set to international competition style (to which many participants would not have had access), so why not speed?
5) Anonymous User
08/12/2017
I think you have been unfair to a great many children here and have really broken your promise to them to be interested in their long term development. If a child is either being selected to represent their country internationally, or is winning or placing reguarly in Open events, then you must surely believe that their potential merits continued investment as part of the development squad. Assesing them for the development squad based on one non-standard event on one day at the end of the season (they are not olmypic athletes) is not a good strategy and is not one taken by any other sport that I can think of (Swimming, Cycling, Rowing, etc). You are telling future talent that all they need to do is train for this one specific event. You also did not llive up to your promise to look at the year's performances for children outside of the top 2 at this event, you simply used results on this one day to form the development squad. It may be that some of the children selected are suddenly able to perform a lot better, or it may have been a one off. It may be that the current members performance is dropping off, or it may just be that they are tired and in some down time after competing nationally and internationally and believed that their performances throughout the year speak for themselves. They truested the coaches in other words. It seems that this trust was misplaced. Even though this list has been announced, I think you need to go through the exercise again and do it properly and be consistent with the ethos and aims of the development squad.
6) Anonymous User
08/12/2017
Well done to all those who were successful in being selected. I hope you appreciate the privileged position you are in. To those not selected, well done for getting that far and don't be discouraged - you are brilliant climbers and circumstances were not in your favour, how you choose to deal with this setback could be the making of you!

The much reduced numbers in most categories does beg the question, "Has the BMC abandoned the much vaulted Climbing Performance Pathway" from last year? The number of athletes in some categories can hardly be called a "squad" from which to select a team to represent in Europe, it's now more of a team and makes the Open comps at the start of the year somewhat redundant.....after all it doesn't matter how the climbers perform as who else are you going to send?

I feel it would be good for the BMC to follow through with it's policy of transparency and explain the reduction in size.
7) Anonymous User
11/12/2017
Why won't the BMC publish any negative comments about the most appalling selection for many years?
8) Anonymous User
11/12/2017
When are you going to admit that you made a mistake with this selection and redo the process properly?
9) Anonymous User
12/12/2017
"The remaining squad members were identified based on their performance at selection, and where relevant, their domestic or international competition results from the previous 12 months, including any exceptional performances."
Note to future applicants. The current squad was selected 100% based on one selection event. Competition results were not taken into account. If you want to be selected get yourself coached by one of the team coaches and aim to perform well at this event only. It does not matter what you do for the rest of the year.
10) Anonymous User
12/12/2017
If this is a Development Squad why have you de-selected kids who have been performing well all year? Did you make it clear that you were going to only use the results from this one event to select members of the development squad? Perhaps the current development squad members would have treated this event as the most important of the year if that were the case. Is this your intention? To make this event the most important of the calendar? If you don't do well in this event you are not going to an EYC, EYCC, WYC no matter what you do in the youth open events.
11) Anonymous User
12/12/2017
Performance over a 12 month period is difficult to predict in growing and developing kids. With that in mind and given the relatively small size of the squad you should consider picking a few new members during the year if they outperform their peers. That way you can always send your on form climbers to European competitions, which wasn’t always the case last year.
12) Anonymous User
13/12/2017
I feel sorry for those kids who performed really well in comps this year who were not selected at the expense of kids who sometimes do not even place all that highly in their region, never mind at national competitions. In a search for transparency the BMC have introduced something that serves no purpose at all to anyone.
13) Anonymous User
14/12/2017
WHAT GUTLESS COWARDS. WHY NOT PUBLISH WHAT ARE OBVIOUSLY NEGATIVE COMMENTS.
14) Anonymous User
14/12/2017
Shame on you BMC for telling some of those children that you would help them with their development, some of whom have been on national podiums this year and represented the GB Team internationally. You should be ashamed of how you have treated them.
15) Anonymous User
14/12/2017
Why aren't the comments being reviewed?
16) Anonymous User
14/12/2017
How long does it take you to moderate a comment?
17) Anonymous User
15/12/2017
no. 4 Speed don't count witness they haven't even selected the girl with the british record
18) Anonymous
15/12/2017
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
19) Anonymous User
15/12/2017
Sadly some very bitter people
No other sports are different
Athletes are picked, athletes are dropped
Listen to Talk Sport to understand how ruthless this world of sport can be
But don’t let your children drop their heads and learn from your bitter reactions
Teach them to bounce back and carry on with their passion
They learn nothing from seeing their parents being so unkind to other children and young people
20) Anonymous User
15/12/2017
Begs the question why these people commenting are all anonymous if they believe they are so right
Come on, post with your names and stop hiding behind anonymous
21) Anonymous User
15/12/2017
Begs the question why these people commenting are all anonymous if they believe they are so right
Come on, post with your names and stop hiding behind anonymous
22) Anonymous User
16/12/2017
In reply to comment no 12) : imho whatever issues there may be with approach/rationale, timing, process, decision-making, development squad/team, funding, etc - TRANSPARENCY is definitely NOT the problem. Please let us not go back to the 'secret sauce' days when, for example, even the 'relevant/observed' competitions were not disclosed/clearly communicated. Transparency is critical for many reasons, including fairness. The problems are elsewhere.
23) Anonymous User
16/12/2017
Has Trump’s twitter feed hijacked this article!

Whilst upsetting for those not selected, there’s a simple remedy. Get better than those who, through their own hard work, beat you at the selection event. Come back and beat them at the next selection event.
24) Anonymous User
16/12/2017
All these negative comments from disgruntled parents of ex squad members. You must deep down know that you have been complicit in what is happening. Where were your voices last year when the squad was selected on the basis of a set of unspecified tasks that had nothing to do with climbing ability and everything to do with whether you already had experience of the exercises or could do a perfect push up? Oh that's right, you kept quiet because your children stayed in. At the point where you let the fiasco and unfairness of last year prevail you gave the BMC cart blanch to do whatever they wanted!
25) Anonymous
16/12/2017
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
26) Anonymous User
18/12/2017
Well done to those selected, shame on the coaches who have betrayed the trust of a number of senior athletes. This feels like a throw back to the broken thinking of discredited lead team of the past. The BMC need to bring back Tom Greenall, the national team deserves better than this shambles.
27) Anonymous User
18/12/2017
Have the BMC given up answering comments or are they all in hiding with their heads bowed in shame.
28) Anonymous User
18/12/2017
The problem here goes wider than the selection even. One only needs look at the turn over of coaches with the squad over recent years to note that selection has become no more than the product of one man's opinion, and that one man holds total sway. It is amazing how the BMC has allowed this to happen and, given the negative comments on this thread, and the lack of response to them, appears instead to actively encourage this personal fiefdom.
29) Anonymous User
19/12/2017
Stop hiding the comments, let people's comments be seen otherwise there's no point
30) Anonymous User
19/12/2017
lol
31) Anonymous User
29/12/2017
Have the BMC totally given up moderating comments and responding to posts or are they burrowing their head in the sand because they don't like the truth.
32) Anonymous User
31/12/2017
A lot of comments waiting to be reviewed! How long does it take?
33) Anonymous User
15/01/2018
The reputation of the GB junior climbing team can never recover from this year's selection. There are too many athletes selected who are not at national standard. Very sad for those on the team who are.
34) Anonymous User
18/01/2018
And still the BMC remain silent and have not answered a single comment.
35) Anonymous User
20/01/2018
For reference - from the web site's terms and conditions of us (I think these are the "house rules")....5. We moderate comments on our web articles. To avoid moderation: don't damage our reputation or others by association with sexism, racism and other issues. Don't damage the reputation of someone or a company. Don't harass people, and don't say anything offensive or obscene. Disagreement is fine, but attack the argument not the person.
36) Anonymous User
20/01/2018
Rest assured, someone in the BMC is actively monitoring these comments! Just look at the number that had been published (some were quite popular) and have now been removed because they broke the house rules or are back to awaiting moderation.
37) Anonymous User
23/01/2018
Curious as to how comments can be moderated, deemed acceptable and published and then retrospectively removed because they broke the house rules????
38) Anonymous User
23/01/2018
19) I would hope the BMC aren't following other sports down the route of ruthless practices, especially when you consider the scrutiny that Athletics, Cycling and Gymnastics (to name just a few) have come under in recent months. How can you sit in judgement as to why these comments are being made. It may be bitterness or it may be because parents and young climbers feel they have been betrayed. If private grievances go unanswered what other forum is there?
39) Anonymous User
27/01/2018
From all of these negative comments, l will not want my child to be selected nor will l encourage them to attend these events. How demoralising these comments are. If this is what the BMC and it's other associated communities represent, then what kind of example would l be setting for my child by allowing them to enter a community that is full of bitteeness and resentment.
40) Anonymous User
29/01/2018
It is perhaps difficult to understand this if you were not involved in the development squad through 2017. What you did not see and hear were the various assurances made throughout the year to squad members that their long term interests were of primary concern (see article on LTAD), and that by competing well throughout the year, they would ensure their continued place on the development squad - including consideration for their age, stage of development etc. When the selection criteria was published, many parents provided feedback that the specific criteria seemed to place sole emphasis on this one performance. The criteria was then amended to include consideration of competition results and again various coaches gave their assurances in squad training sessions that climbers with good competition performances need not worry and that their competition climbing records would be considered for re-selection. When the selection was published and it was clear that a somewhat arbitrary line was simply drawn through each category, many children felt deeply betrayed. As parents we also felt this betrayal for them. Some of these children were top ranked climbers who had just represented their country internationally and been on the podium in a national championships. If you were not in the squad you may very well think "this was a selection event and the top performances were selected", however this was not at all the expectation of many climbers who were already in the squad. Not because they misinterpreted the criteria, but because they were told otherwise by the squad coaches. There is no bad feeling towards children selected to the squad. It was the responsibility of the selection committee to execute the process using the criteria and in a way that treats everyone fairly and without bias and which is consistent with verbal assurances and the ethos of the squad. This is what they failed to do. Some people commenting see this as bitter parents, however that is because you are not aware of how the children were treated since this announcement. If you were, you would be sympathetic to them also and perhaps judge the reactions a little less.

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