One of the targets of the UIAA Youth Commission in the ‘post-Covid’ period was to ensure a robust and diverse programme of youth events.
A working group within the UIAA Youth Commission, the Youth Innovation Panel, is working closely with UIAA member associations to create an annual calendar of climbing meets. Such partnerships will see the UIAA support member federations in delivering more targeted climbing programmes, expanding the remit of events and raising both their profile and standards. This is part of a longer-term ambition to introduce a certification system which will see youngsters follow a dedicated UIAA syllabus.
Seven camps have already been confirmed for 2023. Two longstanding annual camps are being organised in collaboration with FFCAM, France. These include the Ice Climbing camp which took place in February in Guillestre and next week sees the popular climbing meet in Ariège. The La Federació d’Entitats Excursionistes de Catalunya (FEEC), recently hosted a successful rock climbing meet in Monsterrat. Two summer camps are being held in Romania, in partnership with the Romanian Alpine Club. The first is in the Carpathians and second camp in the Făgăraş Mountains. In July, an international youth camp is being hosted by the Cyprus Mountaineering, Climbing and Orienteering Federation, and to conclude a busy summer, Mountaineering Ireland is hosting its annual Alpine camp, this time in Austria.
All events welcome international climbers typically from the ages of 13 to 30. Youngsters are divided into different groups, based on age and experience. As well as practical climbing opportunities, a focus is placed on fostering an appreciation and respect for the mountain environment, building friendships and learning about different climbing cultures.
The return of an impressive programme of events is just the first step as Youth Commission President Pavlos Georgiades explains:
“Our next goal is to increase the calendar of events and ensure there are always youth events taking place across the globe. We hope to increase participation outside of Europe by establishing closer relationships with member associations in different countries. Organisers will be able to use and harness a comprehensive UIAA syllabus including training materials and certification which will add extra value to their events.”
The UIAA also plans on expanding its online calendar of events to offer a window into all events hosted by UIAA member associations and those partnered by the UIAA.
UIAA member associations are encouraged to work with the UIAA Youth Commission on expanding the international network of events. Please contact Rob Adie, UIAA Sports Events Coordinator.
To find out more about UIAA youth events click here.
Main photo: UIAA Ice Climbing camp in Guillestre, France. Credit: Lena Drapella