Welcome to your BMC update. We sat down with BMC President, Andy Syme, to delve into recent accomplishments and the latest news from the world of hill walking, climbing, and mountaineering
Following on from positive feedback from a recently filmed Q&A, Andy Syme visited BMC HQ to catch up with the staff and take time to learn about various projects ongoing within the organisation.
Click here to watch the first edition of the BMC update.
If you would like to read the information from this week's update, you can read more below.
Access and Conservation
Dartmoor's Landmark Victory: In a ground-breaking ruling, Dartmoor stands as a beacon of wild (backpack) camping freedom. This achievement reaffirms the BMC’s belief in responsible camping and has thrown a much-needed spotlight on wider access rights to all our green and blue spaces.
Click here to read more.
Preserving the Upper Derwent Valley: After strong opposition from the BMC, along with a coalition of national and local conservation groups, to the relief of many, plans have been shelved by Severn Trent Water to develop dams in the Upper Derwent Valley. Our efforts, alongside conservation groups, have successfully halted plans to develop dams in the Upper Derwent Valley.
Click here to read more
A huge thanks goes to our ACES team and partners for working so hard in ensuring the successful outcomes of these two significant areas.
Funding provided by Sport England has enabled the BMC to establish stronger collaboration with its four Funded Partners. Over a five-year period, this funding endeavours to create an all-encompassing network of opportunities, spanning a wide array of adventurous activities.
o The BMC is leading the way in Safeguarding, offering expert advice and ensuring all Safeguarding courses delivered sector leading and fit for purpose. We’re ensuring we cover the needs of our varied activities; protecting coaches, volunteers and participants alike.
o In May, we published our new EDI Strategy, which will help drive the systemic change needed to champion and support equality, diversity and inclusivity in hill walking, climbing and mountaineering. The strategy is supported by a detailed action plan to improve and accelerate progress. Since it's launch, the BMC has support events such as the hugely successful ClimbOut.
o The influence of the BMC is being felt by re-vamping the ‘Partners Assembly’: a sector-wide collection of outdoor organisations, committed to delivering impactful, collaborative projects. Noticing the lack of consistency of safety messaging in the Outdoors, the BMC led group are working to ensure the rise of hill walkers receive clear, consistent safety messages. Thereby reducing the burden on Mountain Rescue teams and the risk of accidents.
o We’re amid implementing ‘Volunteero’ - a new volunteer database platform to enable us to better manage and support the vast numbers of brilliant volunteers, kindly giving up their time to help deliver activities, such as the upcoming ‘Festival of Walking’ – a joint project with YHA and our environmental campaigns, such as Mend our Mountains, maintaining thousands of footpaths and bridleways.
o Our new Clubs model has been designed to support more Young People, with enticing offers to encourage greater participation and provision..
GB Climbing athletes have made thier own stamp on the world stage, with many finalists and several medals won across multiple competitions. Read on to explore some of the recent competition highlights.
Continental Youth Cup: Sam Hammond, made his first final at his first ever international competition, and from Rhys Conlon who took the bronze medal Continental Youth Cup in St. Pierre and Imst. History was made when Andy Goodall took the gold medal in Speed, the first Speed medal to be won by any British athlete ever.
In Imst, we saw a total of six GB Climbing athletes make finals across four categories.
Paraclimbing: In the very last IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup of the 2023 season, we saw Abbie Robinson take first place in Women B3, continuing her streak of wins, Martha Evans won the silver medal in Women RP3 while Luke Jamieson made his first finals in Men RP1.
Read more about medal success
IFSC World Championships: History was made by GB Climbing athletes at the IFSC World Championships in Bern. Toby Roberts came agonisingly close to securing one of the first quota spots in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after an impressive performance in the combined Boulder & Lead final. Adding to the accolades, Molly Thompson-Smith reached the finals of the Lead event, marking her as the first British woman to achieve this milestone.
Meanwhile the GB Paraclimbing Team won four medals after seven athletes qualified for finals. Abbie Robinson took her fourth World Champion title and her 10th gold medal, Richard Slocock won silver, and Martha Evans and Lux Losey Sail both won bronze.
Click here to read more about historic IFSC World Champioships
IFSC Youth World Championships: As Youth Worlds continue in Seoul, GB Climbing's 23 GB athletes are competing across lead, boulder, and speed disciplines.
Click here to meet the team.
Huge congratulations to Rafe Stokes, who brought home, beating last years Youth World Champ, to win Bronze.
We’d like to put on record our sincere thanks to the athletes, their personal coaches and also all the GB Climbing coaching and backroom staff. We are activating plans to implement improved strategic decision-making processes, a better and more integrated workforce and athlete experience to ensure they both thrive, and better meeting the needs of the participants, creating embedded transformational change.
As with any organisation, we are constantly learning and evolving to be better in all we do, but as you’ve just heard, there’s a great deal of success to celebrate and to shout about too.