All sports need role models and climbing and hill walking are no exception, so we’re excited that some of Britain's most well-respected climbers, Britain's well-loved hill walker and access campaigner, have all agreed to be part of our inspiring team of BMC Ambassadors.
The BMC ambassadors are: Steve McClure, Molly Thompson-Smith, Mary-Ann Ochota and Emma Twyford.
Our ambassadors are helping the BMC's profile by acting as role models to inspire and engage young climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers.
So keep an eye out for our ambassadors at BMC events, on social media, and participating in short films on our YouTube channel BMC TV
Meet the Ambassadors
Mary-Ann Ochota: Archaeologist turned adventurer
Globe-trotting archaeologist turned adventurer Mary-Ann Ochota is the latest signing to the team of inspirational BMC ambassadors. Mary-Ann is a British broadcaster and Cambridge-graduated anthropologist whose TV credits include the BBC’s Time Team, Channel 4’s Unreported World, and ITV’s Britain’s Secret Treasures.
Mary-Ann first teamed up with the BMC to present the Great Walks series on BMC TV, a spectacular short film series made in association with Marmot documenting five of the finest hill walks in the Lake District. She has a particular focus on hill walking, and aims to help the BMC reach more young people and women with a message about the power of getting outdoors.
Mary-Ann says: “It’s fantastic that the BMC are reaching out to the huge community of people who love walking in our hills and high places. The mountains are for everyone, and I’m honoured to be asked to do my bit to get that message out there.”
Expressing her love of the British landscape, she says: “There’s something about the green-and-pleasant that makes my heart sing. That view of Wasdale's field systems from the top of Kirk Fell in the Lakes, or tumbling into a Snowdonia village after a long day on the hill, or sitting at the top of Cairngorm in a snowstorm eating a pork pie.”
Find out more about Mary-Ann at http://www.maryannochota.com/
Follow Mary-Ann on Twitter: @MaryAnnOchota
WATCH: Great Walks: Scafell Pike on BMC TV
Steve McClure: Sport Climber
Brought up on the North York Moors, and with both parents keen climbers there was no escape from the sport. Climbing from the moment he could walk, his first extreme was at 11, his first E3 at 13 and first E5 at 16. With a traditional background, and onsight ascents up to E8 and E11 headpoint. He has since broadened his interest and excelled in sport climbing, with the hardest sport route in the UK at 9b, numerous new routes at the grade of 9a and many onsights at 8b+. You might also find him picking his way up an ice field in the Alps or sleeping in a portaledge on a 1,000m wall in Greenland.
In 2014, Steve made the first British on sight of Strawberries (E7 6b) - the 30-year-old Ron Fawcett testpiece at Tremadog, North Wales.
Steve says: “Rock climbing: the best sport in the world. It’s easy to take it all for granted and the continual work of the BMC in negotiating and securing access is essential. The cliffs and beautiful spaces that we enjoy so much are not ours. It’s not our right to be there, it’s a privilege.”
Find out more about Steve at www.steve-mcclure.com
WATCH: BMC ambassador Steve McClure on BMC TV:
Molly Thompson-Smith: Competition Climber
Focused, confident and competitive, competitions are Molly's life. If she's not training, she's thinking
about training: "I just love feeling satisfied after a hard session!" With over 20 national wins to her name,
including British Lead Champion four years running, BMC Ambassador Molly is training for the upcoming
WATCH: Molly showing Niall Grimes around comp-style problems on BMC TV:
Emma Twyford: Trad Climber and Routesetter
Emma entered British climbing’s history books as the first British woman to break the 9a barrier back in 2019. Previous to that she had climbed on The Big Issue (E9) in Pembroke, Mind Control (8c) in Oliana, Spain and big walling in the Dolomites. As a BMC Ambassador, Emma wants to have a positive impact on our community, by helping educate people on how to be outdoors responsibly.
WATCH: Emma Twyford climb 9a on the Big Bang on BMC TV:
WATCH: Why join the BMC? | Star Rock Climber Emma Twyford tells us why she values the BMC
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