boulders gym

Boulders Gym Training World Class Climbing Athletes

By Kimanda Jarzebiak

Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Rock Climbing World Cup takes place this weekend, July 21-22nd, in Briacon, France and Vancouver Island will be well represented by four climbers, all of whom train at the Boulders Climbing Gym at Stelly’s Secondary School in Central Saanich.

Canada is allowed 6 entries into the Lead (or difficulty) World Cup being held in Briancon, France on July 20-21.  Similar to the results for the only World Cup stop in North America (held in October 2 011), the majority of Canadian climbers in Briancon all train on Vancouver Island, at the Boulders.

In Briancon, four Canadians out of 6 will be both representing the Boulders and Canada: Robert Stewart-Patterson, Elan Jonas-McRae, Maegan Kelleway, and Alison Stewart-Patterson. The other two athletes are Sean McColl and Thomasina Pidgeon of Squamish.

For all three climbing disciplines in the “adult” or “open” categories, there is what is known as the World Cup series, leading to a World Championships.  The only regular World Cup competitor from Canada is Sean McColl. Unusually for a climber, he competes in all 3 disciplines (lead, speed and boulder), and finished the 2011 season second overall in the world.  

In Colorado, in October 2011, 3 out of the 6 athletes competing for Canada in the US Lead World Cup trained at the Boulders (Elan Jonas McRae, Maegan Kelleway, Alison Stewart-Patterson). The other 3 athletes were Sean McColl (France by way of BC), Mike Doyle (Red Rocks Nevada, by way of BC) and Alannah Yip, of North Vancouver.

On August 25th, the 26 member Canadian Youth Climbing Team arrives in Singapore, for the 2012 World Youth Climbing Championships. 5 of the 26 Canadian youth team members train on Vancouver Island at the Boulders: Elan Jonas-McRae (16), Maegan Kelleway (19), Robert Stewart-Patterson (16), Alison Stewart-Patterson (18) and  Tristen Gosselin (16).

Of the 6 member team of officials, 2 count the Boulders as their home: team manager and coach Kimanda Jarzebiak, and assistant manager Ron Gosselin.

The WYCH 2012 in Singapore is particularly noteworthy for Jarzebiak and Gosselin, as August 2013 will see their home gym hosting the WYCH for the first time in North America. As bid chair and organising committee chair, the Singapore event will be one more chance for Jarzebiak to learn as much as possible before the 2013 event at the Boulders.

2012 will also mark the 5th anniversary of Jarzebiak’s involvement with Canada’s national climbing federation. In early July, she assisted in creating Sport Climbing BC, only the 3rd provincial sport organisation dedicated to climbing in the country.

For updates from Briancon and Singapore, follow kimandaj and bouldersclimb on twitter, and the hashtags #brianconworldcup and #wychsingapore.