2023 see’s the first iteration of the evolved GB Climbing pathway. This change has been an yearlong project, post COVID in working with our partners to evolve and resource a pathway which can be agile and flexible to support athletes on their journey in the sport as it grows.
All Nations and their pathways are an important part of GB Climbing and the details of programs (linked below) have been developed collaboratively with the Nations partners to ensure alignment. They seek to allow for difference in the varying landscapes, but parity in the athlete experience, working in support of each other.
From Mountaineering Scotland: “We have been liaising with GB Climbing to gain further information and insight into the proposed pathway for England, Wales and Northern Irish athletes, leading into the GB Junior Team and beyond, with the aim of ensuring alignment and that Scottish athletes have access to similar support and equal opportunities on their athlete journey. Moving forward our intent is to work with the staff team at GB Climbing to continuously develop and improve the support we provide to athletes, parents and home coaches to establish a world class talent and performance pathway across the country."
Welsh and Northern Irish athletes will be included in the England Regional and England talent squad activity. With regards to Wales from an organisation perspective, the BMC is looking at the organisation structure of the BMC and how it could work for the devolved nature of Wales. The BMC is currently not regarded as the official governing body for climbing in Wales, as Sport Wales requires a number of fundamental organisational reforms before any funding were to be made available. These reforms however will take time, and most likely will need to be voted on at an AGM in the near future.
Northern Irish athletes will also have the same opportunity to be selected, and access squad activity with support from GB Talent and Pathway coaches. Mountaineering Ireland is an ‘all’ Ireland organisation and we will continue the work to ensure pathway programs are inclusive to all eligible athletes.
Below are links to the latest information regarding the England Regional Talent Squads, England Talent Squad, Scotland Development Squad and Scotland Talent Squad and GB Junior Team, and they include an overview of the proposed selection processes.
The publication of this information begins a period of consultation and any stakeholder wishing to provide feedback and/or ask questions can do so by completing the survey at the following link:
The consultation period and survey will close on the 17th November so that the final Selection Framework documents can be drawn up, taking into account all of the feedback, and published by Christmas 2022 in readiness for the 2023 season.
England Regional Talent Squads (inc Wales and NI) Overview
Scotland Development Squad Overview
England Talent Squad (inc Wales and NI) Overview
Scotland Talent Squad Overview
GB Junior Team Overview
Why are domestic competition not being included in the 2023 selection overview?
Selection processes pre COVID were published in January at the beginning of the year so athletes had notice of what competitions may be involved in selection. Post COVID and the delay in various partner funding processes has meant the 2023 selection information could not be published until the end of 2022. Therefore, for selection to England pathway activity including competition events that have entry numbers are capped (e.g. due to venue size) it would be unfair to athletes without prior knowledge that they may be used for selection.
Domestic competition is however included in the proposed selection for 2024 as athletes will have prior notice and the ability to plan their year with the required information in advance.
What are Performance Standards and Benchmarks?
This is a part of the selection criteria is based on performance, not just event ranking. The standard on routes or boulder problems for each specified selection event will be determined by the collaborative expert input of the team of route setters, forerunners, coaches and performance analyst. This information will then be communicated to athletes prior to the event beginning so they can understand the performance level and then be able to further understand the level of international competition and where their own performance sits in comparison. Athletes and home coaches will be supported collaboratively by GB Climbing Coaches and Pathway coaches in reviewing their performances against the standards and in planning their next steps accordingly.
Why has the GB National Development Squad been changed?
The GB Climbing Pathway has needed to develop further and provide more regular opportunities for athletes to be supported through Regional and National provision and therefore the GB National development squad will cease to exist in its current form in 2023. The changes will enable more localised coaching support for athletes and home coaches at all ages and stages, in both home wall and residential training camp environments.
To increase the support regionally we have needed to work closely with our funding partners to enable the resource to enable this to happen. The Pathway is collaboratively supported by funding partners of Sport England and Sport Scotland through the BMC and Mountaineering Scotland respectively.
Through working with our partners we have been able to secure funding to enable the changes to happen and increase the resource in the pathway, but this has meant that England and Scotland have needed to develop a collaborative pathway which is aligned. England and Scotland will work closely to ensure that the athlete experiences have parity and can support athletes on their journeys.
What about Speed Climbing?
Plans for speed climbing are still in development and will be communicated as soon as possible.
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GB Climbing is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland and Secur-it. Many UK walls also support the GB Climbing team through free or subsidised entry.