Chairman’s Annual Report 2011
20 March, 2012
The year of 2011 started out at full sprint and did not ease off until December. It was a year of huge achievements in competition climbing for South Africa and arguably, with international representation, the best ever. The SANCF over the last 2 years have had a very steep learning curve, having to juggle a huge work load of many events and groups going overseas coming at us one after the other like waves in the sea and having to get this done with volunteers of many personality types.
The year started with a group of young climbers from KZN travelling to Reunion, on invitation from the FFME, the French Climbing Federation, to compete in a bouldering event which was part of the French cup. This was a taste of international climbing and the standard involved. The efficiency with which this event was run opened us to what is possible. After this, in keeping with the bouldering theme, we moved straight into the National bouldering League (NBL). This took place in 7 different regions, 2 more than last year with over 400 competitors nationally. This all culminated in a National Final at Rhodes University in Grahamstown where we had for the first time ever in SA Climbing, dope testing performed on the winners.
After the NBL final a National Youth Selection Comp was held at The Barn in Pretoria. All the top youth that were short listed from Youth Nationals 2010 had a chance to try get into the SA Youth Side. The goal for them was to go to the IFSC Youth World Champs. In the end we selected 17 boys and girls from under 15, 17 and 19 age groups. All these youth went later in the year to Imst in Austria, and did us proud. They returned and almost immediately competed again with over 100+ youth from all over the country, in the Youth Nationals in Gauteng.
A number of adults competed in international IFSC events. Arjan De Kok competed in the Bouldering World Cup in Vienna, Austria, Candice Bagley competed in the Chamonix World Cup and the World Champs in Arco, Italy in both bouldering and lead. Then Paul Brouard competed in the lead World Cup in Changzhi, China. To end the year we sent a team of 4 along with 2 helpers to compete in the Mare Festival in Nigeria.
International Guest Climber
In 2011 we were privileged to have Joe Kinder and Corlette McInerney from the US here in South Africa for 2 months. Joe started with a slide show at Monte Casino where we formally announced the SA youth side to go to Austria. He then helped with the youth training camp at the Barn followed by a week of climbing with them at Boven. Joey then went on to tour the country so that he could do his own sending. While he was in Boven he did a slide show for youth at the Paul Nkosi Hall, Emgwenyav township. Here he introduced many local youngsters to the wonders of rock climbing. He then travelled onto KZN where he did a slide show for the MCSA at Berea Rovers and another at the Shongweni canoe club where he talked to young local outdoor enthusiasts. Throughout his trip he inspired many young SA climbers to push their boundaries even further.
Thus after such a hectic year where we sent 7 different groups overseas, to 3 different continents and over 80 competitions locally all over SA, it is not surprising that the work load is taking its toll on everybody. From a personal viewpoint I also did a lot of other work such as help with the Rory,JHB NBL and NBL National final and Cape Town Rock Masters, negotiate new access to Chosspile after it was closed due to crime and bolt an entire new crag called Kings Kloof with about 40 climbs. I am also running 2 jobs from 7am to 10pm with many additional other ventures I am involved in. Thus burn out was inevitable.
Thus I have decided to stand down as chairman so that a new person with fresh energy and ideas can move the SANCF forward. At our recent AGM, George Stainton was voted in as the new Chairman (now changed to President), I wish him all the best in his new endeavour and trust that he will grow this federation into the great organisation it is destined to be.