QLD Youth State Lead Titles – Results

Sport Climbing in Australia has grown significantly in recent years.  In 2017, this lead Sport Climbing Australia (SCA) to split our National Lead Titles into Open and Youth competitions to accommodate the large numbers.

Queensland is the first state to adopt this into their state titles having held the Open Lead Titles on 10-11 March, 2018 and the Youth Lead Titles over the weekend on 21-22 April, 2018.

Congratulations to Jessica Buchanan who represented Victoria in the Youth C category coming 12th overall!

To view the full results, click here.

SCV Enters Olympic World

Sport Climbing Victoria are always striving to grow our sport and ensure we are recognised at an elite level.  We attend many functions to achieve this behind the scenes.  Board member Roisin Briscoe attended one such event last night:

As a new budding Olympic sport, Sport Climbing Victoria were delighted to accept an invite to the Victorian Olympic Council (VOC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Awards Cocktail evening held at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Upon arriving there was an instant sense of awe to know I was in the room with past Olympians who have taken their sport to the highest level.

The evening started with the Olympians Club of Victoria AGM which was chaired by President Leon Wiegard OAM.  Clearly comfortable in the role, Leon had the room under his spell from the moment he started.  He had a way of making the AGM fun and was finished with the formalities in lightening speed.

This was followed by the VOC AGM who also moved through the formalities at a brisk pace to ensure more attention could be given to the awardees of the hour.

There were three awardees to be honoured last night which was followed by recognition of William Alstergren QC who was recognised for his work as the former Vice President of the VOC (pictured top right).

The first honour was awarded to Thomas Sweeney of Tennis Victoria for the Julius Patching Sports Official of the Year Award. This award is to honour an official who has gone above and beyond in their sport. In 2015 Thomas Sweeney was also awarded the Official of the Year at the Vic Sport Awards.

This was followed by an induction of Life Membership to the Victorian Olympic Council.  This was awarded to Raymond Weinberg AM, who designed and manufactured the first Australian Olympic lapel pin in 1952 for the Helsinki Olympics among many other accomplishments.  This was accepted on his behalf by daughter Michelle Weinberg (pictured bottom right). Michelle mentioned that there is no such thing as an ex olympian – I look forward to the day one of our athletes gets to make that claim.

The final honour for the evening was the Order of Merit of the Victorian Olympic Council awarded to Nicole Livingstone OAM (pictured top left).  Livingstone is a three-time swimming Olympian and has recently taken up the role as the Chief Executive Officer of AFL Women’s – a passion I share with Nicole!

This concluded the formalities and guests were encouraged to mingle with the dignitaries.  Naturally, I headed directly to Warwick Waters, Executive Director, to talk all things climbing, making sure I mentioned our Youth Olympic hopeful Ned Middlehurst and VIS athlete Oceana Makcenzie. It was humbling to have Warwick offer his full support to climbing – I am sure I will be in touch soon!

-Roisin Briscoe, Vice President, Sport Climbing Victoria.

Melbourne Climbing School

Ever wanted to take your indoor climbing outdoors?  Victoria is lucky to have skilled guides operating from Melbourne, Geelong, Mt Arapiles and the Grampians to get you there.

Sport Climbing Victoria spoke with Aaron Lowndes of the Melbourne Climbing School on where he came from:

In 1996, a 14 year old me saw a plain, vertical-only, unpainted-plywood climbing wall in my school’s gymnasium and I knew immediately that this was the sport for me. I pestered our PE teacher until he let a small group of us use it at lunchtimes.

With Mr Clarke teaching us how to use the ropes, harnesses and carabiners (there were no belay devices), a passion was born and rock-climbing has been a part of my life ever since. Initially, of course, it was only a hobby – accounting was the path I chose through university, and I almost wholly resigned myself to following that career to a wealthy retirement. Even so, I always fantasised that I would love to teach rock-climbing “for real”, for a job instead of voluntarily through clubs.

I eventually sought out the Guide and Instructor qualifications through the Australian Climbing Instructors Association (ACIA), but even with that certificate in place, it took me until mid-2015 to work up the nerve to leave the suit-and-tie-wearing auditor job I had and to begin planning the Melbourne Climbing School.

I am now a husband and a proud father, and split my time between being a stay-at-home-dad three days a week, and running courses and trips on the other four.

– Aaron Lowndes, Melbourne Climbing School.

For more information on the Melbourne Climbing School and to book a course, click here.

Northside Women’s Workshops

Victoria is an exciting place to be with many events and programs to further develop your climbing skills and techniques.

Katie Kaminsky chats to Sport Climbing Victoria about one of these programs:

The Northside Women’s Workshops are in their third year, covering a variety of topics including yoga for climbing, hangboard training, how to write yourself a targeted training program, mindfulness for climbing, introduction to dynos, technique classes, Qigong through hula hooping and how to minimise the risk of injury – my favourite! These sessions are run fortnightly on Saturday mornings from 8am-10am at either Brunswick or Northcote Northside Boulders, and have common themes encouraging confidence in women climbers through education and practice.

In previous years, I’ve run generic workshops on injury including how to rehabilitate hands and how to promote strong and resilient bodies for climbing.  This year we’re getting more specific – shoulders were discussed a few months ago and forearm tendons will be explored in May. The workshop environment lets us explore some of the theory behind climbing physiology and anatomy and then tie that in with on-the-wall technique, training exercises and concepts. It’s a privilege to facilitate and participate in such fun and empowering dialogues – get climbing, ladies!

-Katie Kaminsky, Physiotherapist and Sport Climbing Victoria Board Member. To find out more about Katie, click here.

For more information on these workshops visit the Northside Boulders Facebook page.

Make sure you check out our Calendar for these and other events and programs running in Victoria.

2018 CLIF Bar Open Lead and Speed Championships

On 23-25 March, 2018 Victoria hosted the 2018 CLIF Bar Open Lead and Speed Championships.  Climbers from around Australia flew down to compete for the top spot on the podium.

On Friday, the Open A competitors flocked to Hardrock Nunawading for the qualification round of lead.  In addition to the top Open A athletes, only the youth competitors eligible to compete in Open A were present as the Open and Youth Championships had been split into two events in 2017. The Youth Championships will be held from 11-13 May, 2018 in NSW.

Going into Semi-Finals for men there was a 5-way first place tie, including our very own James Kassay.  For the women there was an early favourite with Victoria’s Oceana Mackenzie out in front.

The day started early on Saturday with Semi-Finals.  Athletes arrived and headed directly into Isolation to prepare for the morning climbing session.

Competitors looked relaxed as Semi-Finals started.  Competitor after competitor tackled the Semi-Final routes until our final 8 were selected.  For the women, Victoria had strong representation with Oceana Mackenzie and Claire Kassay heading into finals in 1st and 2nd place respectively. In men’s, James Kassay was heading into finals in 1st with Matt Hoschke just missing out on a place in finals in 9th.

The Open A competitors had time to rest and recuperate while the Masters, Paraclimber and Open B categories entertained the crowds.  Representing Victoria, Hannah Xu came 2nd in Open B female with Roxana Gonzalez in 3rd.  While in Masters Dick Lodge came 2nd.

It was then back to Open A finals to see who would be the Australian National Champion for 2018.  There were two clear stand-outs in James Kassay and Oceania Mackenzie who blew the competition away to take out the title in their respective categories.

On Sunday, the Open A competitors headed to Gravity Worx to determine the Australian National Speed Champion.  In what seemed like a blink of the eye our champions were decided.  Oceana Mackenzie was the female champion and Ben Abel took home the male title with Victoria’s Ned Middlehurst coming in 2nd.

My personal highlight of the weekend was watching the two speed champions battle it out to see who was the fastest.  In a close race, Ben finished just ahead of Oceana with unofficial times of 9.9seconds and 10.5seconds respectively. This highlights how equitable this sport is for men and women.

Congratulations to all the competitors for their hard work and a massive thank you to all our volunteers.  We couldn’t run these events without our amazing community.

Thank you to Hardrock Nunawading and Gravity Worx for hosting the Championships and the sponsors Clif Bar, Victoria State Government, Edelrid and La Sportiva.

Head to the SCA Facebook page to replay the action and for photos of the event.

For full results, click here.

2018 Inaugural Victorian State Speed Titles

Sport Climbing Victoria ran the first ever State Speed Titles. The event was hosted by Gravity Worx and sponsored by Bogong and The Wilderness Shop. Arriving early, it was wonderful to see some interstate competitors.

Qualifying rounds were tough given we were running one lane then the other, not concurrently – this meant having to push yourself with an empty line beside you. It was a small number of competitors so we all encouraged each other and everyone seemed to be happy with their first qualifying runs.

Meanwhile on the Youth C and D routes the atmosphere was all nervous excitement. Their qualifying round was noisy and they all climbed the routes easily. Some flew up the route and some were happy just to get to the top.

In most instances the fastest climber from the qualification round went through to finals and those in 2nd and 3rd fought it out for a chance to go up against the first qualifier for 1st place.

This allowed me to have a rest and keep warm for my final.  All the females in my Youth A category were also competing in Opens, so we climbed the speed route many times; I did 6 runs in total, two less than my fellow competitor Abi as we met in the final.

Matt Austin, a promising Youth B competitor was unofficially competing in Open A and went into the final in first. He was pipped at the post by Ned Middlehurst, due to an early foot slip, but went away with the fastest time of the day with 10.5 seconds. While Ned’s best time of the day was 10.8 seconds. Douglas officially came 2nd with a time of 13.09 seconds.

Now it was time for my final. We step up to the wall, place our chalky hands on those start holds and look up. Turn to the judges and get attached to the auto belay. Beep.. Beep.. Beep.. and we are off at a run. I’m trying not to look at Abi and stay focused on my own climbing. Bang I hit the button first, with Abi right behind me! My fastest time of the day was 10.9 seconds, Abi’s was 16.3 seconds and Emma’s was 22.9 seconds.

Youth A male had such a tight final they needed to do a re-run. Wara Asahara just beat Tosh Johnsson.

Thanks to all the volunteers and organisers! All in all, it was a fun day.

– Oceana Mackenzie, Australian Open Bouldering Team Member

2017 Victorian Sport Awards

Wednesday 14 March, 2018 marked the annual Victorian Sport Awards to recognise those who contributed significantly in their respective sport in 2017. From Athlete of the Year to Sport Development Initiative of the Year, all the bases were covered on this night of nights.

Sport Climbing Victoria’s representatives arrived with excitement as our very own William Hammersla had been shortlisted as a finalist for the Southern Cross Trophies Victorian Young Volunteer of the Year award demonstrating the growth and recognition of climbing in Victoria.

Attendees were greeted upon arrival with canapés and beverages and invited to mingle amongst Victorian Sport dignitaries.  Prior to entering the awards ceremony we walked the red carpet and got our photo taken with our nominee.

Guests were ushered into the theatre where we waited with bated breath as winners across many disciplines were announced. Finally, we came to our category, we sat on the edge of our seats and the Southern Cross Trophies representative came to the mic:

“And the winner is…Luqman Latif – Tennis.”

While Will may not have won the trophy, he’s still our number one. Sport Climbing Victoria would like to congratulate Will and thank you for all your time spent volunteering and loving what you do.

Congratulations to all the winners at the 2017 Victorian Sport Awards and thank you to Vicsport for hosting the awards and recognising Will’s contribution to climbing. To view all the winners, click here.

This year we will be launching the Sport Climbing Victoria Awards. Watch this space after nationals for the categories to open and start thinking about whom you would like to nominate!

QLD State Lead Titles – Results

The last Open State Lead Titles of the series was held this weekend in Queensland.  Sport Climbing Queensland (SCQ) have trialled a new format splitting the Open and Youth State Lead Titles.

This meant only Open competitors competed ahead of the Open National Championships to be held in two weekends time on the 23-25 March, 2018 while the QLD Youth State Lead Titles will be held on 21-22 April, 2018 ahead of the Youth National Championships being held on 11-13 May, 2018.

We had one competitor making the trip up north.  Congratulations to Ned Middlehurst on coming 3rd in Open A Male.

To view the full results, click here.

SA State Lead Titles – Results

The Australian State Title season continues this weekend with the completion of the South Australian State Lead Titles yesterday.

Again we had a small contingent of competitors travel over from Victoria who made a big impression on South Australia.

Sport Climbing Victoria would like to congratulate Sarah McKenzie on first in Open A, Alana Frankland on first in Youth A and Alyssa Schneider for second in Youth B.  In Youth C we had Jessica Buchanan in first, Zoe Puglisi in second and Jody Wong in fifth.  We also had Jaime Wong coming first in Youth X.

A strong showing from our female athletes!

For full results visit SCSA Facebook page.

Inaugural WA State Titles and Bayside Boulder Bash

This weekend was packed full of competitions. Over in WA, Sport Climbing WA held their first State Lead Titles.  86 competitors attended to battle it out for the top spot.  This is yet another exciting sign of the growth of sport climbing in Australia.

For full results, click here.

Here in Victoria, we had the annual Bayside Boulder Bash.  It was an amazing event, with many interstate climbers joining us to compete.  Thomas Farrell, too strong for the Victorians, took out top spot for Open A Male, and our very own Oceana Mackenzie taking first place for Open A Female.

For full results, click here.