October 13th, 2017 by gep7452

We were very lucky this year to have two World Paraclimbing Cups in the UK. The first was in Edinburgh two weeks ago and in Sheffield last weekend. Both were run alongside other competitions which I think is a good thing as it provides more exposure for Paraclimbing.

The World Paraclimbing Cup in Edinburgh was run alongside the World Cup for able-bodied climbers. The ticketed event was sold out and allowed Paraclimbing to be showcased to a lot of people whom it would not of otherwise been. The competition consisted of 2 qualifying top-ropes and a final top rope. Coming 2nd to the German Kevin Bartake taking Silver.

The second World Paraclimbing Cup was in Sheffield at Awesome Walls This was run alongside the British Lead Climbing Competitions and agin brought a wider audience. This time taking Gold topping out my first route and beating Kevin Bartake on both the second qualifier and the finals.

After the Sheffield competition the Paraclimbing team stayed on in the Peak District for a couple more days to allow for some filming to be done with the team, Epic TV and BMC TV. The first day was spent at Stanage Edge where the team went trad climbing and finishing off on the Flying Buttress. In the evening a spot of night bouldering at Stanage Plantation where multiple attempts were made on Deliverance.

The Tuesday saw the team rained off the Grit and so a visit to Climbing Works was the alternative. Thank you very much to Climbing Works who opened just for the team when we arrived as they were not due to open for another 2 hours. A great time was had by all the team and more filming buy the BMC TV crew.

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August 11th, 2017 by gep7452

Matthew is excited to announce that he has a new home wall and sponsor with the fantastic Oakwood Climbing Centre in Wokingham. Oakwood which opened less than a year ago has already raised the standard in indoor climbing centres and become a very popular climbing venue. "I am really pleased to be supported by such an outstanding centre and look forward to training regularly on their first class facilities". Said Matthew.

Oakwood is set in the countryside just outside Wokingham, Berkshire and boasts many top quality facilities including one of the longest competition walls in the UK, top out boulder islands, circuit board, lattice board, fingerboards, campus boards, Auto-belays, Top-rope and lead walls. It also has mini boulder walls and slide for children large and small. After climbing you can relax in their cafe with its large view window onto the climbing arena and under floor heating.

Tony Pudner, the man behind the formation of the centre said "Matt is a shining example of someone who has succeeded at the highest levels of climbing despite obstacles that life dealt him. You tell him why something can't be done and he will show you how it can. He will be an inspiration to young people, and we look forward to his future participation and involvement at the Oakwood Climbing Centre"

Why not come down and check out the centre, you may see Matthew training for his latest competition.

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March 27th, 2017 by gep7452

March 19th saw the first Paraclimbing Training Day of 2017. We all arrived just before opening at the new state of the art climbing centre in Wokingham, Berkshire the Oakwood Climbing Centre. For some it was the first visit to this centre but for me it’s become rather a regular hangout. 

The day started with a general chat and catch up with old friends as well as meeting the new members of the Paraclimbing Team. The new kit was handed out I particularly like the new style coat but all the new kit looks good. We welcomed the new team coach Belinda Fuller (Be) who will join Robin O’Leary in training the team.

A warm up session then on the climbing wall floor, with some exchange of various exercises used by different members of the team. 

The formal training started with each of us being set a number of boulder problems to work on recording the number of attempts we took to complete the problem. The coaches gave advice and coaching as required but also assessed everyone’s abilities and future development points. Then a break for lunch with Be scrutinising everyone’s lunch as a nutritionist as well as climbing coach, however, time for a bit of team banter round one team members converted van before it was time to get back to it.

After lunch the team members, taken a side by Be and went through a nutrition questionaire whilst others were set various tasks to complete allowing Robin to run some formal assesssment on people weaknesses and strengths.  The centre as a range of training facilities such as a lattice board, circuit board, campus. A number of team members underwent a lattice board assessment whilst others were set endurance task.s By the end of the day everyone was exhausted but all felt the day had been worthwhile and very useful.

Looking forward to the next training day this time at Awesome Walls in Sheffield.

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January 22nd, 2017 by gep7452

Oakwood Climbing Centre

I was thrilled to be invited to attend the filming of a Promo Video for the new climbing centre Oakwood near Wokingham in Berkshire recently. I have been following the progress of this centre for a while and now to have the chance to try it out before I opens was amazing. I was also interested to see if it lived up to all the hype. Well I wasn’t disappointed.

From the moment you drive into the car park you know it’s different to most other climbing centres. There is plenty of parking for climbers for a start. The centre were still having finishing touches installed and built but even that did not detract from the bright and clean look of the climbing area. There are so many features packed into this centre it has top-out boulders, auto-belays, top-rope and lead, campus boards, circuits, lattice boards and woody. It has also catered for the younger guests with a mini-climbing area, traverse and even a slide.

They haven’t forgotten the non-climber either with a lovely viewing area with large viewing window and under floor heating. Comfortable arm chairs and sofa make this area luxury compared to most centres. The cafe facilities had not yet been installed but I am sure will be up to the same standard.

All in all the centre is amazing and I can’t wait to come back when it opens. I am sure it’s going to be a huge success and look forward to being a regular user.

Oakwood Climbing Centre website can be found here

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