Meet the BMC Ambassadors

Posted by Emma Travers on 19/10/2023

All sports need role models and climbing and hill walking are no exception, so we’re excited that some of Britain's most well-respected climbers, Britain's well-loved hill walker and access campaigner, have all agreed to be part of our inspiring team of BMC Ambassadors.

The BMC ambassadors are: Steve McClure, Molly Thompson-Smith and Mary-Ann Ochota.
 
Our ambassadors are helping the BMC's profile by acting as role models to inspire and engage young climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. 
 
So keep an eye out for our ambassadors at BMC events, on social media, and participating in short films on our YouTube channel BMC TV.
 

Meet the Ambassadors

Mary-Ann Ochota: Archaeologist turned adventurer

 

Globe-trotting archaeologist turned adventurer Mary-Ann Ochota is the latest signing to the team of inspirational BMC ambassadors. Mary-Ann is a British broadcaster and Cambridge-graduated anthropologist whose TV credits include the BBC’s Time Team, Channel 4’s Unreported World, and ITV’s Britain’s Secret Treasures.

Mary-Ann first teamed up with the BMC to present the Great Walks series on BMC TV, a spectacular short film series made in association with Marmot documenting five of the finest hill walks in the Lake District. She has a particular focus on hill walking, and aims to help the BMC reach more young people and women with a message about the power of getting outdoors.

Mary-Ann says: “It’s fantastic that the BMC are reaching out to the huge community of people who love walking in our hills and high places. The mountains are for everyone, and I’m honoured to be asked to do my bit to get that message out there.”

Expressing her love of the British landscape, she says: “There’s something about the green-and-pleasant that makes my heart sing. That view of Wasdale's field systems from the top of Kirk Fell in the Lakes, or tumbling into a Snowdonia village after a long day on the hill, or sitting at the top of Cairngorm in a snowstorm eating a pork pie.”

Find out more about Mary-Ann at http://www.maryannochota.com/

Follow Mary-Ann on Twitter: @MaryAnnOchota

WATCH: Great Walks: Scafell Pike on BMC TV

Steve McClure: Sport Climber

 

 

Brought up on the North York Moors, and with both parents keen climbers there was no escape from the sport. Climbing from the moment he could walk, his first extreme was at 11, his first E3 at 13 and first E5 at 16. With a traditional background, and onsight ascents up to E8 and E11 headpoint. He has since broadened his interest and excelled in sport climbing, with the hardest sport route in the UK at 9b, numerous new routes at the grade of 9a and many onsights at 8b+. You might also find him picking his way up an ice field in the Alps or sleeping in a portaledge on a 1,000m wall in Greenland. 

In 2014, Steve made the first British on sight of Strawberries (E7 6b) - the 30-year-old Ron Fawcett testpiece at Tremadog, North Wales.  

Steve says: “Rock climbing: the best sport in the world. It’s easy to take it all for granted and the continual work of the BMC in negotiating and securing access is essential. The cliffs and beautiful spaces that we enjoy so much are not ours. It’s not our right to be there, it’s a privilege.”

Find out more about Steve at www.steve-mcclure.com

WATCH: BMC ambassador Steve McClure on BMC TV:

Molly Thompson-Smith: Competition Climber

Focused, confident and competitive, competitions are Molly's life. If she's not training, she's thinking
about training: "I just love feeling satisfied after a hard session!" With over 20 national wins to her name,
including British Lead Champion four years running, BMC Ambassador Molly is training for the upcoming
Paris Olympics. 
 
Follow Molly on Instagram @mollyts123

WATCH: Molly showing Niall Grimes around comp-style problems on BMC TV:

 


WATCH: Why join the BMC? | National Climbing Champion Molly Thompson-Smith tells us why she values the BMC


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Anonymous User
06/12/2013
Thiss "Ambassador" business seems to be becoming rampant these days. Some think it is organisations and manufacturers trying to climb on the backs of celebrities. Some that they are just paying for publicity.

That may be unfair in some cases. But even if so, these are not exactly impartial comments, are they..
Anonymous User
03/01/2014
An "Ambassador" helps to promote the sport to varying age groups, despite the obvious link to celebrity status which you rightly point out. However, these are not celebrities, these are normal people who have excelled and become known within their own small world, community.

It takes a lot for a National Governing Body to find these people and what to use their talents to showcase the sport to a wider audience and an audience that wouldn't normally commit to. In order to encourage growth in sport you have to find advocates, ambassadors, normal people who will naturally encourage others to take part and get involved.

The government is failing to do this, if you hadn't noticed obesity is at an all time high in this country. It's time for a change and I for one are behind any organisation that is willing to promote natural skill and talent to others. In order to encourage those individuals to take up the sport. Any sport.

Your comments aren't unfair, there just based on a lack of knowledge.
Anonymous User
31/05/2017
I very much appreciate the work done by ambassadors and other staff but the roll and the CVs seem to reflect the ongoing disproportionate attention to climbing interests. I have nothing against climbing and wish its adherents well, but the BMC's own surveys state that climbing is not the activity of greatest interest to its members.
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Steve McClure's extraordinary journey through the vertical landscapes of rock climbing has culminated in a truly remarkable milestone - conquering a staggering 1000 climbs graded 8a or harder. BMC's Claire Maxted gets Steve's reflections on this monumental achievement, as he takes us on a retrospective journey spanning 28 years.
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Earlier this year two Peak District climbers, Steve McClure and Haydn Jones, set off to see if they could climb eight 8a routes on eight different Peak District crags, travelling between on foot and bicycle. Niall Grimes and filmmaker Ben Pritchard tagged along to see if they could achieve this monumental feat.
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