26th September 2019 — Toby Roberts, King Edward’s Witley Year 10 pupil from Elstead, has returned triumphant from the International Federation of Sport Climbing European Youth Championships in Brixen, Italy having been crowned the new European Youth Bouldering Champion in his age category (Male Youth B).
Competing in a field of 50 European competitors, representing 23 countries, the win is even more of an accomplishment given 17 of the top 20 climbers were a year older than Toby. The win has inspired Toby to enter the European Lead Climbing Championships in Russia during October, with his sights firmly fixed on next year’s World Youth Championships in China.
Toby trains at several locations both in the UK and abroad including Oakwood Climbing Centre and Mile End Climbing Wall, as well as regular training trips to the Innsbruck Climbing Wall, Austria.
Toby values coaching advice from more than one climbing expert including the charismatic Robin O’Leary – coach with the GB Paraclimbing Team, RAF, Navy and Army teams - as well as Louis Parkinson aka ‘Captain Cutloose’ from Catalyst Climbing.
Toby also benefits from a professional climbing specific training plan, coaching and advice from ‘Lattice Training’ overseen by Ollie Torr.
Toby said, “The Brixen wall was amazing to climb, in a competition with an awesome crowd. The setting was great as usual, and the different boulders made the challenge more interesting. The semi-finals went really well - I was one of two climbers to top all four boulders, and with less attempts, so went into the finals in 1st place. The Team GB coaches, Manuel Rodriguez and Jay Jackson, and GB climbers were at the front of the wall to support me. Overcoming the last boulder to win was my best experience in a competition so far. It’s great my training is paying off and I’m already looking forward to next season.”
Mr Mark Harrison, Director of Co-Curriculum, at King Edward’s Witley said, “We are so proud of Toby. Winning this championship is a testament to Toby’s physical and technical climbing ability. It takes enormous dedication, tenacity, courage and drive to achieve this level of success, especially when you consider this must sit alongside keeping up with academic studies. Toby is a fine example of the role sport can play in shaping individuals, developing emotional resilience and identifying strategies to overcome challenges providing a clear pathway to improved performance and ultimately victory”.