Hazel Findlay: Let's vote for positive change so the BMC can move with the times

Posted by Sarah Stirling on 06/04/2018
Hazel Findlay on Mind Control. Photo: Chris Prescott.
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Climber Hazel Findlay explains why she’s helping to build a better BMC by voting for our new constitution.

It’s no understatement to say that Hazel Findlay lives for the outdoors. As a youth, she was the British Junior Climbing Champion six times. She first trad climbed with her dad, age seven, and went on to become the first British female to climb an 8c sport route, climb E9 and free-climb El Cap. She loves running in the mountains and says sea cliffs are good for the soul. We asked her what she thought about the upcoming BMC vote. 

The BMC has been part of my climbing life since I was a kid, when I entered what was once called the BRYCS competitions at age seven. Our 75-year-old organisation represents hill walkers, indoor climbers, outdoor climbers and mountaineers in the UK.

The BMC works tirelessly (often without recognition) to keep our crags open to access; dealing with landowners and local authorities. They do a really good job of preserving our ability to climb at the cliffs we love.

They author a whole lot of positive change within the climbing and hill walking communities - from funding youth participation to expedition grants; equity to mountain and moorland clean-ups.

I'm proud to represent and promote the BMC as an Ambassador. I'm also very interested in helping the BMC to keep the mindset of new climbers in line with environmental issues.

In recent years the BMC has become very forward thinking and been extremely successful in making it an organisation that younger people can relate to. I think the Ambassador scheme has been a big part of this process and I'm pleased to be a part of it.

There are a lot of reasons to vote for A, however, from my perspective, the most compelling reason is that I’d like to see Sport England funding retained. It seems fairly obvious to me that more funding is better than less funding. More specifically, if we lose this funding it's unclear how the BMC could still fund competitions.

Although I’m predominantly an outdoor climber, indoor climbing and competition climbing do much to get young people into climbing and it's an important part of the climbing community here in the UK. Sport England also funds the talent development programme which provides coaching, development events and support for entering international competitions. Essentially giving young people the best chance they have to progress as much as they want to. This is especially important considering the Olympics is on the horizon.

It's clear that the BMC has had some problems in the last few years, and things were not working well as they were. The suggested changes made by an independent organisational review have a hope of materialising if we vote for Option A.

Let's vote for positive change so the BMC can move with the times and do more good for the climbing and hillwalking communities from competition climbers to mountaineers and walkers.

This is an article promoting Option A. The recommended option from the BMC National Council (supported by the Organisational Review Group, BMC Board of Directors and BMC staff) and Mountain Training.

Please do vote in our upcoming AGM

We need 75% of the votes to be in favour of one option in order to adopt a new constitution. If you're a BMC member, please check for an email from ERS for your personal URL to vote. It's quick, simple and only takes a minute. If you haven't recieved an email, please fill in the form here: https://intouch.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm/

WATCH Hazel Findlay: from shoulder injury to sending 8c on BMC TV:


Your AGM: Thanks for your vote!

This year's historic AGM had a record voting turnout, with 6,796 of those votes being made online. We want to thank everyone for having their say and helping to shape the future of the BMC. 

READ THE FULL REPORT: The BMC's historic 2018 AGM

Detailed info on the BMC AGM 2018

Find out more about the last AGM. It's a complicated topic, so start with this one:

READ: It's your BMC, and we need your vote

We were asking our members to vote on some significant changes to the BMC's constitution. Part of the discussion was the relationship between the BMC and Sport England. 

READ: What are Sport England Tier 3 and Tier 1 relationships?

There were two constitutions to vote for: Proposal A (as recommended by National Council) and Proposal B, proposed by a group of members. To learn more about the two proposals, you can read a detailed comparison written by BMC honorary solictor Martin Wragg.

READ: A comparison of alternative constitutions

How did the recommendations get decided? Read more about the process that lead to this stage, including the reports from the Organisational Review and more. 

READ: BMC Organisational Review reports

Watch the Open Forum debate

We held a debate in Manchester on 15 May for both options to be discussed. You can watch the livestream here:


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