Sport Climbing Australia

 Lead - Bouldering - Speed


Ned Middlehurst - Youth A Lead, Speed and Boulder International Team

I became interested in rock climbing about 3 years ago after participating in a school run indoor climbing program. I also had the opportunity to go on a 5 day climbing camp at the Arapiles. This is what caught my interest in sport climbing. 

After climbing on a casual basis once a week I realised that this was a sport that I enjoyed enormously and began to look for more challenge. I began indoor rock climbing and joined the Youth Climbing Team at Bayside Rock Climbing Centre and progressed swiftly to the Youth Development Team. I currently train 5 times a week at Bayside Rock in Carrum Downs. 

I began to compete in competitions that same year, 2014. Having been involved in both competitive swimming and gymnastics, competing was a natural progression for me. I found that competition climbing gave my training a focus that I enjoyed. The opportunity to meet and climb with other athletes was also something that drew me in. 

In the past 3 years, I have competed at both State and National level competitions. Last year I qualified for the Australian Youth Team for the Lead event and competed in the World Youth Championships in China. 

2017 has been a huge year for me so far. The National Youth Climbing Championships were held in May. I finished in 1st place for both Lead Climbing and Boulder, and 2nd place in Speed in my youth category. I placed 1st in the Overall. As this competition was also the selection meet for the Australian Youth Team I qualified to compete in all 3 events at this year’s World Youth Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. 

The World Youth Champs is my main competitive goal this year, but as part of my trip to Europe I am going to compete in my first World Cup event. The Boulder World Cup in Munich is a part of the World Cup circuit for Open climbers. As a Youth climber, this will be a huge challenge for me but I am very excited to have the opportunity to experience this level of international competition. It will give me a chance to prepare myself mentally leading into the Youth competition. 

Sport Climbing has only been recognised as an official sport in Australia since 2016. It will make its debut in the Youth Olympics 2018, and then in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. So, as an athlete, I am very excited about where my sport is headed. I was recently privileged to be nominated by Sport Climbing Victoria for the Pierre de Coubertin Award. This award recognises secondary school students who demonstrate values which are consistent with the Olympic Movement through participation in sporting activities. I am very proud to be able to represent my sport in this regard, both at home and internationally, and promote it as a great way for young people to be active.

PO Box 341W Ballarat West 3350


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