FOR the third year running it was National Climbing success for Year 8 pupil Toby Roberts.
On April 28th at the Edinburgh Indoor Climbing Arena, Toby successfully won his category (Boys C) at the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) Youth Climbing Series (YCS). The national finals in Edinburgh welcomed qualifiers from 10 different regions across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Toby’s climbing adventure started under the tutelage of long-time science and climbing teacher, Ivo Weck. When he was just 8-years-old, he was part of a group of Edgeborough boys participating in the school’s Climbing Club. The group entered into the regional qualifiers of the BMC Youth Climbing Series (London South East region) and after three regional qualifying rounds, Toby made the Grand Final and went on to finish a respectable 13th place nationally, just six months after taking up the sport. More importantly however, a passion for climbing and training was born which led to a 4th place finish in 2014 and 3rd place in 2015.
Toby achieved one of his first climbing ambitions in 2016 by winning the YCS (Boys D category) and subsequently followed that up by winning the Boys C category in both 2017 and then again just a few weeks ago. April’s result marks memorable hat-trick of victories that is a simple reflection of Toby’s commitment and total dedication to his training and improving himself as a climber.
The soon-to-be leaver has been praised for his work ethic and his subsequent success has led to entry onto the GB Team, as well as a win on a European stage at the Youth Colour Climbing Festival in Imst, Austria – the first and only British winner at the event to date.
Headmaster Dan Thornburn was full of praise for Toby and his whirlwind few years of success: “Toby’s success is a credit to himself and the school. He is incredibly humble and has a superb head on his young shoulders, always playing down his many victories. His success has propelled the sport to being one of our most popular and Toby also received Headmaster’s Award at King Edward’s Witley as a result of his achievements.
“With Toby’s time coming to an end at Edgeborough this summer as he departs with the rest of the Year 8 Leavers, we will be sure to keep a keen eye on his future success as a climber.”
Other notable victories include the British Lead Climbing Championships (Boys C in 2017) as well as conquering challenging test pieces on outdoor rock including Raindogs 8a at Malham Cove and Revelations 8b at Raven Tor – two historically important and challenging outdoor routes where Toby lowered the record for the youngest ascents by some distance.
In 2019, Toby will be eligible for selection by the BMC to compete in European Youth Cups as well as the Youth Climbing World Championships to be held in Arco, Italy.
This year marks an important milestone for the sport as it debuts at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires before its full debut at the 2020 Olympics in Japan.