Driving home from the Australian Boulder Champs (Australian Boulder Climbing Championships to be precise), I was totally spent. I considered pulling over and trying to nap, but was on a tight schedule to make it back to Bayside Rock for coaching, so I cracked open another red bull and pushed on, using the driving to try and make sense of all the tangled memories from the past week and a half.

setting starts

the first day of setting. The plans for the wall build still up!

What a journey this event has been. From conception, to creation, to competition, it sure had its fair share of ups and downs (no pun intended). It feels like years ago already, driving up to Ballarat with the first load of holds and T-nuts, watching the marque being erected. The next 8 days are a crazy blur of sawing, steel, bolts, problem solving, setting and climbing, not to mention the arduous task of mat Tetris at 4am the morning of the competition. Cutting it close doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Setters working on the wall

The setters working hard to finish the panels

I can tell you that there were a number of moments when Naomi, Romain, Aaron, Roisin and Myself stood in piles of sawdust, hard hats on, holding 5m steel pillars, thinking that the monumental task before us was totally insurmountable. Yet still, we pressed on.

The ingenuity, perseverance, determination, focus and drive of these people is something I will never forget. In those dark and early hours, when I thought that I had nothing left to give, I somehow found the will to carry on because of them.

Finished panels

The panels are finished!

I wanted also to mention the countless other volunteers that visited us, and helped us achieve this incredible feat. Ingemar for his incredible designs and use of his shed, Aden for building…. well…. everything. James and Claire for appearing when we needed them most, Naomi’s mum for feeding our army and Stuart for everything else plus the amazing reaction to the climbs we set, awesome.

(I will be talking about the setting, setters and comp in my next post…..)

Sport climbing in Australia is really starting to ramp up and I think that this event has really show cased that. It came at just the right time too, with climbing being short listed for the 2020 Olympics. We are seeing bigger and better competitions, with the level of our athletes ever on the rise too. The gauntlet was really thrown down by Queensland earlier this year and I would like to think that Victoria took the challenge and stepped up to the plate!

That being said, with Rob and Carlie deciding to retire from their long serving board positions on the SCA, the quote from Sir Isaac Newton comes to mind:

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”

I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours and their input and constant drive I am sure will be missed in the regular board meetings.

Even though this project is far from over, with the moving of the wall and the clean up and assembly still to take place, the Championships are over, but for some reason, I also feel like it has all just begun……….. What will tomorrow bring?

Who will be next?

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