GB Climbing Performance Pathway

Posted by Rob Adie on 31/08/2016
Eugenie Lee competing at the 2014 European Youth Boulder Championships. Photo: Eddie Fowke

The GB Climbing Pathway is about nurturing talent: from identification to winning on the world stage. Find out how you can apply to be part of the new development squad.

From 2017, a new GB Climbing Development Squad will replace the current system of regional and national academies and bring an additional tier to the GB Climbing Performance Pathway. The new squad will provide a progressive stepping stone from local talent clubs to international competition and the GB Climbing Team.


The various stages of the GB Climbing Performance Pathway.

Programme structure

The GB Climbing Development Squad follows a long-term athlete development (LTAD) model, creating an athlete-centred pathway of attainment to ensure that the required level of physical, technical, tactical and psychological skill is achieved to allow progression to the next stage of development.

Regular training days will be hosted by GB Climbing Team coaches and specialists. This cohesive pool of experts will ensure each climber gets the input required to optimise their athletic progression.

The creation of a strong technical, tactical and physical foundation will allow for the continual development of an athlete’s skills to meet the demands associated with an increased level of competition and performance. Alongside this, sport specific physical attributes will be targeted at key points in an athletes’ development to help deliver their long term goals.

Selection process


Age bands for selection in the GB Climbing Performance Pathway.

The selection for athletes aspiring to become a member of the Development Squad is a two-part process that begins with a written application; this is to be completed by the 30/09/16. Please give as much detail as possible when filling in the form as this will help the coaching and assessment team gain a better understanding of your capabilities. 

The GB Development Squad management are currently only taking applications for Junior athletes - so please only submit an application if you fall into the IFSC Junior, Youth A, B or C categories for 2017. 

Successful applicants will be contacted by 14/10/16 and will be invited to a final selection event. 

The GB Climbing Squad selection event will be held over the weekend of 3-4 December 2016 at The Depot Manchester. Each athlete will be assessed on their technical, tactical, physical and psychological skills and competencies. Lifestyle aspects such as Nutrition will also be analyzed over this weekend but will not be used as part of the selection criteria.

The costs of the GB Climbing Squad selection day will £30, this fee will be collected once the athletes have accepted their invites to attend the event. 

Notes

Going forward all members of the GB Climbing Team will first have to be selected into the GB Climbing Development Squad to be considered for international selection. Current members of the GB Climbing Team will be required to complete the selection process. If an athlete does not produce an application, or attend the selection event they will be ineligible for re-selection.

Download the selection notes below.


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Anonymous User
31/08/2016
When completing the web form should the BMC account used be the parent's or should the child register for their own account?
Rob Adie(author comment)
31/08/2016
The parents account will be fine.

Cheers

Rob
Anonymous User
01/09/2016
Hi Rob - could you please give us any more detail as to what, exactly, the physical tests will consist of? Thanks
Anonymous User
01/09/2016
Youth previously have been selected for Junior GB Climbing team from both years of Category C. Has this changed? The flowchart says youth from age 13 (top of Cat C) who have been selected for the LTAD Tier - Training to Train (13-16) Squad are now only eligible?
Rob Adie(author comment)
01/09/2016
In answer to questions 3 & 4.

3. We don't plan on publishing the standards and exact criteria for the physical testing that will be done, however coaches of athletes participating in the selection day will be welcome to observe.

4. There will no longer be a Youth C GB Team as team members will only be those selected for international competitions, with the rest of the athletes making up the GB Development Squad.

Cheers

Rob
Anonymous User
02/09/2016
If a Category C child is working at 6b+ type levels having climbed regularly for 18 months, but the drop down menu starts at 7a, does this mean there's no point applying? She's had good rankings in competitions, and we are told she has excellent potential. She's very keen and able.
Anonymous User
02/09/2016
Do seniors have to apply - your form only allows for competitor category C,B,A and junior?
Anonymous User
03/09/2016
Will there still be an OYE in November or does Assesemt replace it on the calendar?

It would also be good to know what exercises will be used for the Physical element of Assessment. This would help with transparency and once Assessment has been run once everybody will know them anyway! 😊
Rob Adie(author comment)
05/09/2016
Answers to questions 6-8

6. The grade boundaries on the form have been set as minimum grades for each category that we would expect the applicants to be regularly climbing in order to gain a place on the development squad.

7. Only Junior IFSC categories need apply at this time.

8. No - there will be no Open Youth event in November - this event has been moved to the spring of each year now. And see my answer to question 3.

Cheers

Rob
Anonymous User
05/09/2016
Why would you choose not to publish the minimum requirements. Surely publishing the requirements you would create a far more open process and thus reduce any future conjecture. By not publicising the requirements any decision made could be called into question on grounds of unfair bias/discrimination.
Anonymous User
05/09/2016
Its great that there are these opportunities to develop the talent, and I can see how it will benefit the GB team going forward, however it is a shame that the regional academies are no longer going to happen as these were the opportunity for those not at international standard to train with excellent coaches and then be inspired to want more. I am hoping that the academies and talent clubs will fill this gap. If so how do they get involved in this?
Anonymous User
06/09/2016
Will there be the opportunity to apply to join the development squad at a later date?
My child fractured their arm earlier this year, and I'm keen for them to recover fully before pushing themselves again.
Anonymous User
06/09/2016
Hi Rob,

My daughter was born Dec 2005 so will be competing in band C in 2017 but the age bands in the article suggest that only those born before June 2005 will be eligible. Is that right?

Cheers,




Anonymous User
06/09/2016
How many will be selected in the development squad?

Will the training sessions be held at different venues?
Anonymous User
26/09/2016
Will these changes have any bearing on entry to the Youth Climbing Series?
Anonymous User
27/09/2016
So children that are coached by those doing the selection testing/process will be more likely to get into the squad than those who are 'outsiders'. Can you tell me in what other sport is the selection criteria only known by a handful of athletes but not by others?
Perhaps a level playing field is too much to expect in climbing?
Anonymous User
12/10/2016
How will athletes be notified if they have been success in being invited to the selection weekend? Will it be via post or email? Thanks
Anonymous User
18/10/2016
So the transparency of the selection process is actually opaque. Where else in life are you told no without any form of feedback? Children are given feedback whether verbal or written at every stage of their young lives. They need this to progress. As the initial selection process is purely paper based, surely it is down to the best writers? Alas no, it's another face fitting exercise, who coaches you, where you live and how much you are prepared to pay.
As for the national academy's, they too have gone. Being in the top 6 climbers in the country and achieving regular finals means nothing. Thanks BMC. Another project that hasn't been thought through and likely to change the goalposts again.
27/10/2016
In response to the anonymous posting on 18 October:

Some of the children invited to the selection weekend were not known to any of those making the selection. It is 100% in the interest of BMC to invite those children who have the most potential.

Therefore, it is completely wrong to suggest that, 'it's another face fitting exercise, who coaches you, where you live and how much you are prepared to pay.'

Please do get in touch if you wish to discuss this further.
jon@thebmc.co.uk
0161 438 3329
Anonymous User
31/01/2017
Here's a thought for the next assessment (Autumn 2017) - that the exercises which athletes are expected to perform, are posted up on BMC TV, 6 months ahead of the assessment day (e.g. by May 2017). Performed by say a senior GB Team athlete, with a commentary by an assessor of what they are looking for, and what to avoid.

By doing this it would :-
- give all athletes a fair chance of training in good time and improve the standard overall
- give a level playing field. (There are now three levels : those who were assessed in Autumn 2016, so know the exercises; those who attended but not assessed at the time, so now know the exercises; those who were not assessed and may be in Autumn 2017, so don't know the exercises)
- reduce the risk of bias (e.g. coaches who are also assessors could no longer be accused of giving their coachees an unfair advantage)
- show the BMC is committed to being transparent (1 step of several it could do).

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