Ice man Si­mon needs help in his quest for World Cup glory

Macclesfield Express - - GROOM HIT BRIDESMAID IN WEDDING PUNCH-UP -

AN elec­tri­cian is on top of the world af­ter be­ing se­lected for the Team GB Ice Climb­ing team.

Si­mon Ward, 28, is one of five men and two women cho­sen to com­pete for Great Bri­tain in the World Ice Climb­ing Cup at the end of Jan­uary.

But to get to the con­tests in Italy and Switzer­land, Si­mon, from Mac­cles­field, needs your help.

With no fund­ing avail­able for the sport Si­mon has launched a fundrais­ing cam­paign to help him cover some of costs in­volved.

Si­mon, of Ab­botts Close, Mac­cles­field, said: “I am really hop­ing the town gets be­hind me.

“Rep­re­sent­ing your coun­try is a really spe­cial thing and I want to do Mac­cles­field proud.

“In this coun­try ice-climb­ing is such a mi­nor­ity sport there is lit­tle or no fund­ing to cover trans­port, ac­com­mo­da­tion or equip­ment.

“Any help would be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated.”

Ice climb­ing in­volves find­ing the quick­est route up a frozen wa­ter­fall or other ice for­ma­tion.

For ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions ar­ti­fi­cial climb­ing struc­tures are used.

Si­mon’s jour­ney to the top of the sport is re­mark­able see­ing as he only started climb­ing six years ago.

He said: “I started in the good weather just dry climb­ing rocks in the re­gion. It was a real buzz and I was hooked im­me­di­ately.

“When win­ter came I was in­tro­duced to ice climb­ing, which in­volves a lot more equip­ment such as cram­pons and ice axes.

“Even­tu­ally I started meet­ing some of the coun­try’s best ice climbers and was in­vited out with them.

“I got really strong and was en­cour­aged to started en­ter­ing com­pe­ti­tions.

“It has been a mad jour­ney in the last two years.

“You’ve got roll mod­els who you read about all the time and then sud­denly you are climb­ing as well as them, and they’re you’re mates.”

Si­mon is a for­mer stu­dent of Fal­li­b­roome Acad­emy and used to be a mem­ber of Mac­cles­field Wheel­ers cy­cling club.

He lives with girl­friend Laura McGuire, 27, and is be­ing sup­ported by mum Elaine, dad Stephen and brother Dar­ren.

The ori­gins of ice climb­ing are from 19th cen­tury Euro­pean moun­taineer­ing.

Its emer­gence as a sport in its own right is a rel­a­tively re­cent phe­nom­e­non.

To do­nate search Si­mon Ward crowd­fun­der.co.uk.

●● Si­mon Ward from Mac­cles­field is com­pet­ing for Great Bri­tain in the Ice Climb­ing World Cup

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