CAITLIN ON THE CLIMB

Cam­bus­lang girl will com­pete in the Bri­tish Open

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - Mur­ray Spooner

A young Cam­bus­lang climber is hop­ing to reach new heights as she trav­els south for the Bri­tish Open this week­end.

Caitlin Con­nor, 12, has ex­ceeded all ex­pec­ta­tions af­ter win­ning sev­eral events last year and hopes to add to her col­lec­tion of wins with a podium fin­ish in Liverpool and qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the Team GB squad.

The first year pupil at Stonelaw High, is the cur­rent Scot­tish cham­pion of the youth climb­ing team and is on tar­get to com­pete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But her cur­rent aim is to per­form at her best at the Bri­tish Open this week­end that will see her take on the best climbers in her age group.

She will com­pete in the lead climb­ing com­pe­ti­tion, which is a tech­nique in­volv­ing a lead climber as­cend­ing a route while pe­ri­od­i­cally at­tach­ing pro­tec­tion to the face of the route.

Caitlin will also take part in the boul­der­ing as­pect which is a form of rock climb­ing that is per­formed with­out the use of ropes or har­nesses.

Her proud dad, Mick, said Caitlin is fully fo­cussed on the com­pe­ti­tion and is con­fi­dent of plac­ing high.

“It will be a tough com­pe­ti­tion. You don’t com­pete in events like this un­less you are at the top of your game,” he added.

“Caitlin’s cat­e­gory ( girls youth C) is one of the big­gest and she will be against 20 girls from around the UK who are the best in their ar­eas.

“She won in Dundee last week­end so she is con­fi­dent go­ing into the com­pe­ti­tion and it gave her con­fi­dence a boost.”

Cailtin claimed a top fin­ish at the Scot­tish YCS Climb­ing se­ries on Satur­day which en­abled her to book a place in the se­cond round and added to her list of im­pres­sive achieve­ments in the last 12 months.

She won three rounds and a fi­nal at the YCS 2015 com­pe­ti­tion and came fifth in the boul­der­ing cat­e­gory at the 2015 Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship.

Caitlin’s long term aim is to com­pete in the Olympics in 2020 but she has com­peted in a va­ri­ety of sports.

She re­cently re­ceived her black belt in karate, and is a keen boxer at O’Neils ABC in Cam­bus­lang and a cy­clist with Glen­marnock Hawks.

She has com­peted for Stonelaw High in cross coun­try events and will take part in the Scot­tish School Climb­ing Cham­pi­onships this month at the Glas­gow Climb­ing Cen­tre.

Caitlin and her brother Scott, 10, are also the youngest qual­i­fied ice climbers in Scot­land.

Mick added: “Caitlin is very ath­letic and loves to com­pete but her main fo­cus is on her climb­ing. We are aim­ing to raise some funds for her to go to her first in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion this year in Aus­tria.”

Climb­ing high Lo­cal girl Caitlin in ac­tion PIC­TURE: SANDY CARR

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