CRG Adaptive is Competing at Worlds in France!
Help the CRG Adaptive Team on their journey to the Worlds podium!
[Image desc: The CRG Team stands with Shane Messer at US Adaptive Nationals 2018 in matching CRG jerseys. From left to right: Justen, Mandi, Brenda, Erika, Eliana, and Max. In the front are Michelle and her guide dog, and Helena.]
At the US Adaptive National Competition in March of this year, two of the members of Central Rock Gym's Adaptive team that qualified to represent the United States of America will be at the World Championship of Paraclimbing in July!
Though the Adaptive World Championships are typically every two years, this year is special. Rock Climbing is being added to the Olympics in 2020 so the World Championships are switching from even to odd numbered years and it's happening in Briançon France. Look for our team again in 2021, at the next Worlds.
This year, our competitors happen to both be VI climbers! This means they are both visually impaired - legally blind - and that they work with a fully sighted caller in order to climb. Often, "blind climbing" means focusing on stamina, lock-offs, and body tension in order to move consistently and fluidly rather than trying to explosively "jump" for far away moves!
Justen - Although he started climbing 2 years ago, Justen has started training earnestly in the past 8 months! Justen took 3rd in US Men's VI this year. Justen wants to pursue more outdoor climbing, learning to lead climb, and his favorite other hobbies are travel and food.
Michelle - Michelle took second in Women's VI, at her first National competition! She's been climbing for a year and a half, and just finished up her master's program to become a teacher for the blind. When she's not in the gym, she lives and works on the Perkins campus doing student teaching.
While the VI climber moves up the wall, the caller speaks to them through paired two-way Bluetooth headsets, giving them information on the layout of the climb. Callers donate their time for multiple hours of volunteering every week for months, training with their matched climber to read routes more quickly and impart information more efficiently - every second counts!
Erika - Erika has been climbing for 18 months. Her favorite climbs are the tricky ones that force her to puzzle her way up to the top. She just graduated with an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University with the goal of becoming a children’s author.
Max - Max has been climbing for 6 years. Currently, he's working through his route ticklist, taking lots of photos, and becoming a better coach. This trip to France will be his first time climbing outside of New England!
The USAC and the IFSC do not provide any funding assistance nor room/board for adaptive athletes - our travel costs are entirely out of pocket. Although we are grateful for the ongoing support from our home gym, CRG Watertown, we are reaching out to our communities to ask for donations in order to help offset some of the costs of 5 people (and one guide dog!) making this unique trip while we go for the gold.
Based on estimates, we believe the overall cost for each person will be $1,600. We've set the goal slightly higher than that to account for GoFundMe's fees.
Donations to this fundraiser will be used to cover:
-Lodging (AirBnB and hostel)
-Meals and groceries
-Rental cars + fuel
-Public transportation (bus, train, shuttle, etc.)
Any leftover donation funds we don't spend on this trip will be placed into the CRG Adaptive Climbing Team's general funds, which are used for tasks such as to running the Adaptive Climbing Club, buying and maintaining adaptive climbing equipment, community outreach, paying for coaching for the team, and so on.
Thank you for your time!
As always, if you (or someone you know) is interested in adaptive climbing - whether as a climber, a caller, or a general volunteer - please reach out!