Olympian Jo Pavey announced as speaker at Women's Climbing Symposium

Posted by Peter Burnside on 22/09/2016
The WCS line-up: Lisa Rands, Shauna Coxsey, and special guest speaker Jo Pavey.

The Women’s Climbing Symposium just got even more exciting! Five-time Olympian Jo Pavey joins an incredible line-up of top female sporting talent as part of the 2016 event. With workshops, inspirational talks, and an exclusive BMC TV film preview, you’d be crazy to miss this event.

Established in 2011 by BMC ambassador Shauna Coxsey and BMC vice president Emma Flaherty to further women’s progression in climbing, the Women’s Climbing Symposium (WCS) has continued to grow and be extremely well-received by women and climbers across the country. In May, the WCS was recognised with the ‘Be A Game Changer Award’ by the Women’s Sports Trust as one of the UK’s most inspiring initiatives.

This year, the WCS is headed to the Depot Climbing Centre in Manchester as part of Women’s Sports Week, a national programme of events to celebrate raise awareness and increase the profile of women’s sport across the UK. Here’s why you should be there:

WCS highlights

Olympic athlete Jo Pavey

British long-distance runner and five-time Olympian, Jo is just one of the inspirational headliners scheduled this year.

Jo will be talking about her running career, the challenges she has faced, how she has overcome them, and how goal-setting has helped her to have such a successful career.

WCS guest-speaker Jo Pavey says: “It is rare to have the opportunity to connect in this way with a different sporting community and I can’t wait to share my experiences of how I developed and achieved my goals in running. Events like the Women’s Climbing Symposium are incredibly important for giving women the tools and inspiration they need to excel in their chosen sport.”

International super-climber Lisa Rands

Former US national champion and winner of World Cups, Lisa Rands is one of the world’s most accomplished women climbers and has inspired a generation of women climbers with her dynamic style and bold ascents of climbs previously regarded as ‘only for the guys’.

Lisa was the first woman to climb E8 in 2004, and her quest for adventure has taken her around the world – including Alpine spires in Patagonia, first ascents in China, and creating new bouldering test pieces in the Rocklands, South Africa.

Absolute crusher Shauna Coxsey

Does she need an introduction? We’ll give one anyway: Shauna is this year’s IFSC Boulder World Cup Champion, part of the BMC ambassador team, and co-director of the WCS.

Shauna’s talk this year will take you behind the scenes of her best year in competition climbing ever, and show how this year’s WCS theme – goal setting – helped her focus her training and find the self-belief to become world number one.

Exclusive preview of BMC TV film ‘Shauna goes crack climbing’

Watch Shauna get gripped jamming on gritstone in the Peak District with crackmeister Pete Whittaker, one half of the WideBoyz crew.

Having once been confronted with a crack problem in a bouldering comp and been unable to get off the ground, Shauna decided she needed some lessons. She joins Pete for some expert tips on how to climb cracks. Anyone for a cheeky chicken-wing?

WATCH: The Women's Climbing Symposium 2015 on BMC TV

Try climbing outdoors

As part of Women's Sport Week 2016 (3-9 October) the BMC has set up some super-cheap beginner-friendly outdoor climbing sessions for women.

The sessions are best suited to those who have climbed a bit indoors and would like to experience climbing or bouldering outdoors; however, if you’ve not climbed indoors before and want to give it a go, that’s great too.

Find all the details here: Try climbing outdoors


This Girl Can

Get the adrenaline buzz of reaching the top. Keep fit without feeling like you're doing exercise. Socialise and build strong friendships. Tempted to give climbing a go? Find out more about This Girl Can Climb.

WATCH: This Girl Can Climb on BMC TV

WATCH: Shauna Coxsey in This Girl Can Win on BMC TV

WHAT'S NEXT? Get the psyche!

Boost your confidence by familiarising yourself with some of the basics skills and knowledge you'll be learning. Read our special edition magazine for new climbers Get into Climbing. Buy your copy from the BMC shop for just £5 (£3 for BMC members).


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